Stamps Stay in WIL; Helbig, Martin Return
[Victoria Colonist, April 4, 1954]
Western International Baseball League directors voted to keep Calgary in the 10-team circuit at an emergency meeting held Saturday in Yakima and indicated they will do everything possible to help out the Stampeders.
“Everything will remain the same,” league president Bob Abel announced after a five-hour parley with the directors. “Calgary will stay in the league and we will open as scheduled.”
The meeting had been called to discuss possible forfeiture of the Calgary franchise should that club be unable to field a team in the current season. It had been reported Thursday that the prairie city would be unable to continue this year because of financial difficulties.
Abel said the directors accepted the proposition of N.G. “Bus” Lacey, Calgary president, guaranteeing the financial needs of his team. The guarantee was given in a series of telephone negotiations with Lacey in Calgary.
The president also announced that Gordon McFarland, connected with professional hockey in that area, would take over as business manager for the Stampeders.
Officials of the Edmonton Eskimos, the other Alberta club in the loop, were pleased with the decision. C.H. Ross, vice-president, said Saturday night it “takes us off the hook.”
Concern was felt at Edmonton because the Eskimo team, 200 travelling miles north of Calgary, might have been dropped from the league also if Calgary were forced to fold.
Meanwhile, Victoria Tyees acquired three players yesterday when Portland Beavers made their first major roster cut of the spring training session. Assigned to Victoria were catcher Milt Martin and outfielders Dwayne Helbig and Marv Dierks. Martin and Helbig were both with the club last season.
The Beavers, who desperately need pitching help, made a move in the right direction by purchasing Bill Boemler from San Francisco and Lee Anthony, who had been released by Seattle. Pitcher Bob Schulte was sent to Calgary and Charley Lebrun was farmed out to Birmingham.