Saturday, 9 August 2008

Friday, June 11, 1954

                W  L  Pct GB
Vancouver .... 27 16 .628 —
Yakima ....... 24 20 .545 3½
Wenatchee .... 25 21 .543 3½
Edmonton ..... 19 16 .543 3½
Spokane ...... 22 22 .500 5½
Lewiston ..... 21 22 .488 6
Victoria ..... 19 22 .463 7
Tri-City ..... 20 25 .444 8
Salem ........ 20 26 .435 8½
Calgary ...... 15 22 .405 9

VANCOUVER [Clancy Loranger, Province, June 12]—The chips were down at Capilano Stadium Friday, and the Capilanos rose to the occasion—they picked them all up.
With a hustling band of Wenatchee Chiefs on hand, just a game and one-half back, and their WIL first-place lead in jeopardy for the first time since the first week of the season, the Caps had to produce. They did, convincingly.
Uncorking the power that has been bottled up for here games, and beating the Chiefs at their own game of hit-and-run and daring on the bases, Bill Brenner’s boys took both ends of a doubleheader before 3000 people to boost their league-leading margin to three and one-half games over Wenatchee.
They won the first one, 5-4, with a thrilling last-inning finish that starred Jimmy Clark on the basepaths, then unlimited their lumber in the nightcap for an 11-9 victory. Rod MacKay, in a relief role, and George Nicholas, who has pitched better, got credit for the wins. It was MacKay’s third, and the eighth for Nicholas against three losses.
The tenacious Chiefs, who singled you to death, forced the Caps to win the first one the hard way. Down 4-2 going into the seventh inning of the short game, Wenatchee tied it up, thanks mostly to pitcher Charlie Beamon’s triple.
But some all-out galloping by Jim Clark won it in the Caps’ half. After pinch-hitter Danny Holden had walked, Clark forced him at second. Then, with two out, Jimmy scored all the way from first base as Marv Williams completed a perfect hit-and-run play with a double to right field. Clark had to dodge catcher Lloyd Jenney to slide home with the winner.
In the second, the Caps were outhit 18 to 11, but they bunched their blows better. Big Bob Wellman led the assault with a towering home run, double and single as he broke loose from a bad slump. Bob had 5-for-7 for the night.
The series with the heads-up Chiefs finishes tonight, with Bill Brenner opposing Ted Shandor in a single game at 8:15.
PROVINCE STARS—Jim Clark, for his spine-tingling dash for home … Bob Wellman, whose home run may still be going … And Charlie Beamon, who was the best of the eight pitchers who saw action.
First Game
Wenatchee ..... 020 000 2—4 10 2
Vancouver ...... 300 100 1—5  6 0
Beamon and Jenney; Franks, MacKay (7) and Pesut, Duretto (1).
Second Game
Wenatchee ...... 011 103 003— 9 18 1
Vancouver ....... 203 500 10x—11 11 2
Richardson, Thompson (4) and Jenney; Nicholas, Lovrich (6), Cordell (9) and Duretto.

VICTORIA, [Jim Tang, Colonist, June 12]—“Phantom” Joe Nicholas, the elusive and much-travelled righthander who was optioned to Victoria Tyees about two weeks ago—and since has been to California, Calgary, Edmonton, Spokane and California again without throwing a ball for the Tyees—is definitely in the city. If all goes well, and he doesn’t have to leave for somewhere between now and then, he’ll pitch against Yakima Bears tonight.
And he’ll be a welcome sight. For last night, Victoria failed again as the Yakima Bears thumped out a 14-5 victory before about 800 fans at Royal Athletic Park to square their four-game WIL series at 1-1.
Three Victoria pitchers toiled in vain to step the 17-hit Yakima attack in a game which could well have had a reverse result had the Tyees been able to muster some pitching.
Although well beaten on the final count, the Tyees were in the game until the Bears unloaded five insurance runs in the ninth inning and it took three double plays and a sparkling catch by John Albini to hold them to five runs.
Albini hauled down a liner from the bat of Tom Perez with a leaping catch against the fence in centre field for the big play in a third-inning rally which fizzled out with only one-run scoring.
But that wasn’t all for Albini. He also connected for a grand slam homer run in the ninth, after the Victoria infield had messed up two plays to help load the bags, and batted in three others with a pair of singles. He also wound up as his club’s catcher when Lou Summers, who hurt his hand Thursday night, was given a rest.
Third-baseman Mike Catron, shortstop Dick Briskey and pitcher Danny “The Lion” Rios also picked up three hits for the winners.
Rios missed a chance to add to his total when he had to be relieved in the seventh with the Tyees getting to him regularly. Fast-balling Dick Schaening came in to snuff out the rally and held the Tyees comfortable from there.
Bob Drilling started for the Tyees but didn’t get through the fourth inning as he failed for the fourth successive time to go nine. Phil Page, the rookie southpaw who joined the club Thursday, took over for the next four innings and got by reasonably well. He gave up three runs, one when an easy fly ball was lost in the lights, and the other two when Albini scored two runners, one of them all the way from first base, with a long single.
Mike Kanshin was the victim of the five-run ninth but he might have escaped without a run, three errors by the Victoria infield setting up the rally.
On the bright side for the Tyees was Neil Sheridan snapping his slump by getting four well-tagged hits, two of them doubles, in five trips. Dain Clay also snapped out of a slump with three singles, although playing with a bad cold.
Yakima ........ 003 310 205—14 17 1
Victoria ....... 001 020 200— 5 11 3
Rios, Schaening (7) and Summers, Albini (7); Drilling, Page (4), Kanshin (8) and Martin.

SPOKANE, June 11 — The Salem Senators scored four unearned runs in the first inning Friday night and went on to trample Spokane 9-1 in the opener of their four-game Western International League baseball series.
Three singles off Spokane starting pitcher Len Wisneski and two fielding errors brought in the first-inning counters. The Senators retired Wisneski in the second inning when he gave up another single for the fifth run.
Salem ......... 410 040 000—9 9 0
Spokane ......... 000 010 000—1 4 4
Rayle and Ogden; Wisneski, Closs (2), Trautwein (8) and Dean.

LEWISTON, Idaho, June 11—The Lewiston Broncs banged out five lome runs Friday night to down Tri-City 10-2 in the opener of their tour-game Western International League baseball series.
Clint Cameron and Russ Rosburg each hit two of the round-trippers, and Bob Williams one.
Rosburg, who led off the home-run parade with a bases-empty blow in the third, brought in a total of four runs. His second came in the eighth with two men on base.
Tri-City .......... 000 000 110— 2 10 2
Lewiston ........ 011 120 05x—10 14 0
Bloom, Dobernic (8) and Warren; Fletcher and Cameron.

Edmonton and Calgary, doubleheader, ppd.

(Including games of Monday, June 6, 1954)
Vancouver .317; Tri-City .307; Wenatchee .295; Victoria .288; Lewiston .281; Calgary .281; Yakima .276; Salem .274; Spokane .267; Edmonton .271.
Yakima, .967; Vancouver .965; Salem .964; Edmonton .964; Lewiston .960; Wenatchee .958; Victoria .956; Spokane .954; Tri-City .947; Calgary .945.
Percentage, Bob Wellman, Van., .395; Runs, Joe Rivas, Wen., 42; Hits, K. Chorlton, Van., 65; Total Bases, Joe Unfried, Wen., 107; Two Base Hits, Harvey Storey, Salem, 15; Three Base Hits, Herman, Yak., 6; Home Runs, Dick Greco, Van., 11; Sacrifice Hits, Vic Buccola, TC, 10; Stolen Bases, Jerry Green, Wen., 11; Bases on Balls, Eddie Lake, Vic., 43; Runs Batted In, Joe Unfried, Wen., 46; Strikeouts, Charlie Ruddock, Spo., 40.
ERA., Bill Brenner, Van., 1.27; Wins, three tied with seven; Losses, Larry Borst, Sal., 7; Bases on Balls, Jon Briggs, Sal., Gene Johnson, Sal., 61; Complete Games, Bill Brenner, Van., 8; Strikeouts, Jon Briggs, Sal., 79; Innings Pitched, Bill Brenner, Van., 99; Home Runs Allowed, Bill Bottler, Vic. 11.

Finances Worry WIBL, May Soon Call It Quits
SPOKANE, Fri. June 11—Directors of the 10-team Western International Baseball League meet in emergency session here Saturday to decide whether to tough it out in the face of big financial worries, or possibly call it quits.
Bad weather and poor attendance this year have brought cries of “help” from almost every club in the league. It’s been one crisis after another, starting with the first week of the season when the league withdrew Calgary’s franchise, temporarily, because of unsound financing.
Spokane apparently brought the troubles to a head when owner Roy Hotchkiss announced two weeks ago he was “through” and planned to get out of baseball as soon as possible.
The big complaint of most teams is the big traveling distances necessary in the league which sprawls from Salem in Oregon to Calgary and Edmonton in Alberta.
Some teams have suggested the league could make it through the season if the two Alberta teams were cut off.
Officials of the Lewiston, Idaho, and Salem clubs have said they will vote to drop the teams at the meeting Saturday.
Salem also has recommended reducing the league from Class A to Class B, or even C, to cut down on veteran players, and returning to the 60-40 split of the gate on road games.
The league just this year began a new system of financing, to give the teams all their home gate receipts.
There was some question whether the league could take back the franchises of Edmonton and Calgary, added to the league two years ago, if they didn’t want to give up.


[Vancouver Sun, June 12, 1954]
We’ve had our disagreements with Bob Abel, the on-and-off bossman of the Western International League but Robert made a great deal of good sense in his statement to The Sun Friday.
In fact his clear-cut concise surmise of the muddle that is known as the WIL came as sort of a refreshing breeze from the Pacific after club owners for the past week had engaged in considerable mud slinging.
Said Abel: “The prime question for the club owners to face is this: ‘Can they pay their bills and their ball players?’”
And Abel obviously knows, as most of us do, that some clubs can’t exactly do that.
He said: “I have kept a very close watch on every club in the league … and they can not go on as presently constituted and fulfill the present schedule.”
Abel Knows Their Business
“I feel I had an obligation to the owners in this league to point out the status of other owners. Now with this meeting (today at Spokane) they will have to get up and lay the facts before each other.”
Some of the owners have been clamoring for Abel’s resignation. So have we at times in the past, particularly over his inability some years back to employ an efficient umpiring staff.
Perhaps Abel is not too conscious with the finer mechanics of the sports of baseball but he is fully conscious of the finer mechanics of the business of professional baseball.
There are clubs in the WIL which have about as much right to hold a franchise than has Warman, Saskatchewan.
Whatever happens at the Spokane meeting today I am confident the WIL will play out the season although the number of clubs may be cut down by four.
And whatever does happen it will be a makeshift affair for this season only because chances are better than 50-50 that a realignment of the Pacific Coast League next year will bring about a drastic change in the professional baseball setup in the Pacific Northwest.

Week’s Work
[Vancouver Province, Saturday, June 12, 1954]
The week’s work, or, 10 little WIL teams—then there were eught (or six? ).
MONDAY—It’s difficult to predict just what will happen at the Western International League’s meeting at Spokane this weekend … When you get delegates from 10 different teams—several of them with orders from their directors, and half of them thinking the other half are unnecessary drags on the main operation—well, anything could happen.
What isn’t likely to happen, though, is the foldup of the league … Too many people have too much invested in their operations for that to happen … Calgary would see to be the key … If they’re unwilling to keep going—and “unwilling” is the word, because they can produce the money if they want to—somebody else will have to go, too, because nine teams of course isn’t practical … It’s felt Edmonton could carryon without Calgary, providing the league drops its unwise policy of keeping home gates and returns to a 60-40 split … A visiting team could do much better playing one week at Edmonton than splitting the week at Edmonton and Calgary—only providing, of course, that they were getting their cut of the gate … And if Bob Abel is ousted as president, there’ll be no mourning here …. Anyway, it won’t be dull.
THURSDAY—To hand is an invaluable booklet, put out by William J. Weiss, the WIL’s new statistician this year … It gives the lifetime records of all WIL players, and also includes such interesting reading as this: Nickname of Jake Helmuth of Wenatchee is “Eyes and Ears of the World” … And the Chiefs’ Jerry Green, whose square name is Elijah, has the entrancing nickname of “Pumpsie” … Victoria’s Ron Jackson, describing his most unique experience, tells this story: At Salinas in ’49, Jackson was a base-runner at first when the batter hit and outfield fly … Thinking the ball was caught, Jackson returned to first base, but the batter, knowing better, raced to second … The umpires ruled the ball not caught and the game proceeded without anybody noticing that Jackson was still on first. Said the opposition first baseman to Jackson: “You look familiar—do you have a twin on the team?” … Said Jackson: “No, but that man on second base sure looks like me.”

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