Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Monday, August 2, 1954

                W  L  Pct GB
Lewiston ..... 21 10 .677 —
Yakima ....... 17 11 .607 2½
Salem ........ 15 13 .536 4½
Edmonton ..... 14 14 .500 5½
Victoria ..... 11 13 .478 6
Vancouver .... 12 14 .462 6½
Tri-City ..... 12 17 .414 8
Wenatchee ..... 9 20 .310 11

VICTORIA [Jim Tang, Colonist, Aug. 3]—Victoria baseball fans, the few who have been turning up at Royal Athletic Park this season, may be witnessing their last WIL action of the season in the current series between the Tyees and Salem Senators.
There were rumors at the park last night that the Victoria club was going to fold up would be made immediately after last night’s game. Club officials admitted that matters had reached the point where it is almost impossible to carry on further, but they have scheduled another meeting for this morning to see if they can’t find a way to finish the season.
Crowds have been disappointingly small and the club is facing the most series situation in three years of crisis after crisis. It is schedule to make a 10-day road trip which includes a week-long stand at Edmonton, after it winds up its home stand against Salem on Thursday. The trip will cost about $3,000 and the club will have to meet its August 15 payroll before its next home stand. The chances that some way will be found to continue seem extremely dim at the moment and it appears as if it will be all over after Thursday, if not sooner.
Although players were fully aware of the financial crisis, the Tyees came up with an excellent performance last night to eke out a 6-5 decision over the Senators and stay close enough to the leading Lewiston club to warrant hopes of being solid contenders—if, of course, they can finish the season..
Result left the Tyees in fifth place and while they are six games behind the Broncs, they are only two out on the losing side.
Features of last night’s game was manager Don Pries’ first out-of-the-park homer this season, two sparkling catches in left-field by Salem’s Connie Perez, who robbed Don Lundberg of extra-base hits in the first and fourth innings, and the ninth-inning rally which won.
A base on balls by Steve Mesner, subbing for second-baseman Ron Jackson, who had to leave the game after being hit on the foot by his own foul ball, started the rally.
Dain Clay just missed winning it as his double bounced off the centre-field fence after Pries had popped out. Mesner moved to third and Neil Sheridan was walked intentionally to load the bags. Mesner scored when relief pitcher Jose Rayle threw four straight balls to Lundberg to force in the wining run.
Salem ....... 002 000 300—5 10 1
Victoria ..... 200 120 001—6  9 1
Roenspie, Rayle (7) and D. Luby; Flinn, Bottler (9) and Martin.

VANCOUVER [Province, Aug. 3]—Two weeks is a long time to be away from home, Mother, and Capilano Stadium, and the Capilanos acted Monday night as if they’re going to like it here.
They celebrated their return with a devastating 21 hits—their biggest total at home this season—and looked much more like the first half champions they wer insread of the second division club they currently are.
With Marv Williams leading the way with two home runs,(four runs batted in), and altogether six players getting three hits apiece, the Caps overpowered the Tri-City Braves in the first of a four-game series, 10-5.
The Caps played, too, without starry third-sacker Ken Richardson, who pulled a muscle last week. Kenney’s doctor says he’ll be out three weeks, but Richardson says he may play tonight.
Bob Roberts, who had complained of a sore arm last week, didn’t look like a hospital case as he went all the way for his tenth win against four losses.
The teams, who drew about 750 despite the threatening weather, repeat tonight, with Sandy Robertson the likely pitching choice. [Walter Clough is expected to throw for Tri-City].
[WILfan notes: Jack Hemphill, released by the Caps after he refused to report from Salem in the trade for now ex-Cap Tom Del Sarto, started for the Braves, giving up 11 hits and eight earned runs in three innings of work. He was replaced by former Cap outfielder Gordon Brunswick, who allowed 10 hits the rest of the way. Neither struck out a batter ... Tri-City broke loose for four runs in the sixth ynning when Terry Carroll led off with a double. Then Dick Watson, Len Tran, Rube Johnson and Artie Wilson followed with singles before the side was put out..]
Tri-City .......... 000 004 001— 5  9 1
Vancouver ...... 000 201 01x—10 21 0
Hemphill, Brunswick (4) and Johnson; Roberts and Duretto.

LEWISTON, Aug. 2—The Lewiston Broncs used the formula "win the one that counts."
The pace-setters from Idaho disposed of their nearest challenger, the Yakima Bears, Monday night, 6-4, to stretch their lead league to two and one half games.
Less than a week ago Yakima was threatening to overtake the Broncs and at one time moved within .004 percentage points of Ihe top spot.
Lewiston jumped off to an early lead, scoring three runs in the third inning. The rally came on Joe Orrell's single, a walk and Don Hunter's home run.
The Broncs got another in the fifth on three singles and an infield out and two more in the eighth on three walks, a sacrifice and a single by Bob Williams.
Yakima collected two of its runs in the fifth on three walks, a single and a wild pitch. A walk, Lou Stringer's triple and Lonnie Summers' double gave the Bears their final two runs in the eighth.
Lewiston ...... 003 010 020—6 7 0
Yakima ......... 000 020 020—4 7 2
Orrell, Derganc (9) and Garay; Schaening, Edmunds (6), Rios (8) and Summers.


Sports Notes

[Tri-City Herald, August 3, 1954]
Sometimes, one gets the impression that Western International League umpiring is rapidly reaching the level found in the sport known as professional grappling.
If you are not an avid grappling fan, some explanation is in order. Under the rules,
no foul can be called unless the ref actually sees it. And under the grappling system, the ref seldom looks very hard — much to the consternation of the fans who cut loose with shouts of “hair,” “choke” or whatever is being attempted.
But back to baseball and the rules which seem to be overlooked of late.
During the recent Lewiston series, the Sanders Field groundkeeper, who has been doing an excellent job lately, dutifully marked out the batters box for each game.
Now this little chore has long been done at Sanders Field mostly to make things look nice for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. About the time Edo Vanni comes up to bat, the forward half of the right side is promptly rubbed out.
Vanni picked that idea up from Jojo White, and for what good reason, no one knows, unless he’s afraid of getting lime in his beard when he crouches before the pitcher.
Right side Doesn’t Last Long
But with Lewiston here, the old rightside batters’ box doesn’t last half an inning. No 2. in the Lewiston batting order is Don Hunter, who wipes out the rear half but for a better reason than Vanni.
By removing it, Hunter is able to stand undetected a good nine inches out of the box. And that is what starts the baseball fans howling like a grappling crowd.
After this practice had gone “undetected” by the umpires through several games, Tri-City catcher Rube Johnson, who was a little reluctant to get hit by a bat, and at the
same time didn’t want to move so far back that peanut shells from the first row of box seats spilled down his neck, finally called the situation to the attention of ump Lowell Fulk.
Fulk took prompt action. He measured off the distance from the plate, marked the end of the box, and told Hunter to stand in there. Hunter scratched out the mark, and proceeded to bat with his foot nine inches out of the box.
Now all this may be all right. Although the rule book says the batter will stand in the batters’ box, nothing is said about how to make him stand in there.
However, the rule book does say a batter is out if he hits the ball while batting with one foot out of the box. So one would assume that maybe the umps were waiting for Hunter to “hit” before taking some action.
However, Hunter got six hits during the scries, and nothing happened.
Prompt Ruling Would Have Helped
The Hunter case was nothing, though, compared with the action Saturday night which sparked the grappling match between the two teams. Had there been a prompt ruling by one of the umps, nothing would have developed.
Certainly, Fulk, who was in his position between second and third base, should have been aware such a ruckus was in the making. Before anything happened, Vanni had shouted to shortstop Nick Cannuli, “You’re blocking the basepath and if you don't get out of there I’m going to crash through!”
To which Cannuli replied with a quick but unrecorded retort.
Then, on the next pitch, Vanni took his leadoff and bumped him — not too hard — but enough to establish the idea that there was interference.
It would seem right then and there, the umps would have ruled there was interference and awarded Vanni and Dick Watson, who was on third, a base; or they would have ruled there was no defensive obstruction but Vanni was guilty of interfering with a defensive player and called him out.
Instead they did neither. No interference of any kind.
Nothin’ Happens
Carrying sucn reasoning to Ihe extreme, it would seem that a player could hold a baserunner on the bag simply by standing in his way; or, any defensive player is fair game for any baserunner, if the baserunner feels like gunning him down.
Vanni, at least, took his complaint to the ump but not Cannuli. He jumped Vanni.
The result: Ump Mel Steiner comes running out and quickly finds an excuse for following his established procedure—bouncing Vanni oul of the game.

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