Saturday, 9 August 2008

Monday, June 14, 1954

                W  L  Pct GB
Vancouver .... 28 16 .636 —
Yakima ....... 27 21 .563 3
Edmonton ..... 21 17 .553 4
Spokane ...... 24 23 .511 5½
Wenatchee .... 25 24 .510 5½
Lewiston ..... 22 24 .478 7
Victoria ..... 20 23 .465 7½
Tri-City ..... 22 26 .458 8
Salem ........ 21 28 .429 9½
Calgary ...... 16 24 .400 10

Victoria at Vancouver, postponed, rain
Seattle (PCL) at Salem (WIL), cancelled, rain

Birthday For Cap Stadium

[Vancouver Province, June 15, 1954]
Tonight is “anniversary night” at Capilano Stadium, and the management has given its permission to announce that they are having great gobs of extra entertainment for the paying customers to mark the historic occasion.
It was three years ago tonight that Bob Snyder beat Salem as Bob Brown proudly unveiled the 6500-seat edifice, one of the finest parks on the Pacific coast. (The management is allowing that statement to stand, too.)
The weatherman provided an extra attraction tonight, too. Courtesy of Monday’s rain, there’ll be a doubleheader, starting tonight at 7 p.m. against the Victoria Tyees.
The Capilano quartet, featuring George Nicholas (also arranger), Bob Wellman, Bob Duretto and K Chorlton, will warble a few notes; Chorlton will put on the clown act that stole the show from Joe E. Brown recently; Arnie Hallgren and Neil Sheridan will test their fine arms in accuracy throws at the plate; and Wellman and Dick Greco will try to hit the ball over the centre field wall with fungo bats. All this will go on between games.
The series with the Tyees winds up with two more games Wednesday, at 2:30 and 8:15.
DIAMOND DUST---Pitcher Bud Beasley arrived Tuesday (see Alf Cottrell for further particulars) … His arrival means that one player will have to go to make room for him … Look for Tom Lovrich to be returned to Seattle … A bad slump on the road threatened to drop Bob Wellman out of top spot in the league batting race, but he came back with a vengeance against Wenatchee and is again leading the Caps in batting … Marv Williams probably the best all-around Capilano right now, is right behind him. The unofficial figures:
                     AB  H HR RBI PCT
Bob Wellman ....... 135 53  8 35 .393
Marv Williams ..... 170 65  6 25 .382
Danny Holden ....... 14  5  0  1 .357
K Chorlton ........ 198 69  8 38 .348
Ken Richardson .... 157 51  7 50 .325
Arnie Hallgren .... 165 50  4 38 .309
Dick Greco ........ 150 45 11 45 .300
Jim Clark ......... 194 55  0 18 .278
Bob Duretto ........ 81 22  1 14 .272
Nick Pesut ......... 97 23  0 12 .237
John Cordell 3-1, .750; George Nicholas, 8-3,.727; Bill Brenner 7-4 .636; Bob Roberts 5-3 .625; Rod MacKay 2-2 .500; Bill Franks 2-3, .400; Tom Lovrich 0-0 .000

Rival Club Leader Helps Keep Spokane Nine Alive
Hollingbery Signs Check; Meet Called

SPOKANE, June 14 — The president of a rival ball club went to bat with cash and energy for the Spokane Indians Monday in an effort to keep Western International League baseball here
Orin E. (Babe) Hollingbery, the former Washington State College football coach and now president of the Yakima Bears, made two healthy contributions.
1. He wrote out a personal check for $7,000 to take care of back pay owed the Spokane players. They had refused to leave on a road trip to Edmonton, Alta. unless they got some money.
2. He called a meeting of leading citizens to discuss ways and means of saving the Spokane club.
Negotiation Group
Out of the meeting came word that Mayor Arthur Meehan had appointed himself and hotelman James McCluskey to negotiate for a lease of the Spokane ball park with Roy Hotchkiss, the former owner who gave up the operation because of poor attendance and financial trouble.
A motion will also be made at Tuesday’s Chamber of Commerce meeting that a group of leading citizens establish a non-profit organization to raise money and keep the club in business.
Hollingbery had called together the mayor, McCluskey, contractor Pat Purvis, hotelman Joseph Albi, president of Spokane’s Athletic Round Table.
Albi said articles of incorporation will be ready Tuesday for the “Save Spokane Indians, Inc.”
“These fellows will be volunteers,” Albi said, “and they won’t stand to lose a thing beyond what they themselves put into it.”
If the corporation is set up and does show a profit the permanent organization will run the team from 1955 on, Albi said.
Asked about the $7,000 check, Hollingbery said:
Trouble With Wife
“I’m going to get into trouble with my wife about this. I wish you didn’t have to use my name.”
The $7,000 win be charged against the Spokane franchise for anyone who picks it up. The WIL presumably will reimburse the Babe if the club folds.
The WIL took over operation of the Spokane club Monday for the trip to Edmonton and Calgary. If no one picks up the franchise by the end of the week, however, Spokane will be dropped, the directors said.
Hotchkiss has put a $225,000 price tag on his operations here but has said he would to willing to work out a lease.

By Sherm Mitchell, Jr.

Union-Bulletin Sports Editor
[Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, June 15, 1954]
Will Willy Go Down Three Times?
The Western International League, is having an awfully tough time keeping its head above water. Like a drowning swimmer, the circuit has gone down twice, struggled back to the surface a like number of times, and still hasn't shaken loose the lead weights that threaten to drag it under for a third, and last time.
The "obituary" notices that appear daily as stories from frantic league meetings don't offer a bright prospect for the future. A few weeks ago Calgary floundered and went under. The league itself took temporary control, Calgary revived under a new leader ship, and now is apparently in pretty good shape. This past week Spokane dittoed the Calgary failure. The league now is operating the Spokane franchise for a week. And a group of Spokane citizens among them former Whitman and professional star Pete Jonas, are scurrying around with hopes of keeping the Indians in the league.
It's an odd situation, particularly foe Spokane, That community set a record for attendance in 1947 with 287,185 paid admissions to watch a class B ball club. Now they have a tough time reaching four figures for any home game.
Three Reasons For Trouble
Is the caliber of ball that much poorer? Nope, it shouldn't be, because in 1947 the fans shelled out to watch a class B team. Now the league is class A, and it should be a little better, if any thing.
However, as we see it, that advance in classification is one of three major drawbacks for Western International League success right now. These are the three reasons, as we view them in highly non-informed way:
1—Probably for reasons of prestige, the league upped its stand ing from a B circuit to an A classification. But a look at the box scores the next spring showed a large percentage of the same players. Did they just get a classification better over the winter that is, did they improve with time, and age? Nope, but the club all had a higher salary scale to pay. The costs went up, though the same fans and same players were at the ball park.
2—A couple of teams tried a gimmick of taking all the receipts at their home games last year during periods of distress, and with big promotion efforts, got out of the red, at least temporarily. Thus the league as a whole this year decided the home team should get all the receipts, instead of the 60-40 split, as before.
What has happened? Those teams with good attendance are doing okay. Those without revolving turnstiles are floundering. And when one team starts to sink, it threatens the entire league. Under the 60-40 arrangement, the team having a poor year at the gate still would have some assurance of a steady income.
3—Again, probably in the interest of prestige, the league brought in Calgary and Edmonton. Both cities are far removed from the rest of the league. It's more than 1,100 miles, for instance from Salem to Edmonton, and when the teams must make that trip without any financial help, it's expensive. Sunday, in the interest of keeping the league alive, Edmonton agreed to pay $600 to each team making the long journey. Well, why not just operate on a 60-40 basis, and not have to arrange for special handouts?
Using Our Heads At Home
There have been numerous attempts over the years to get a Western International League franchise in Walla Walla. The opportunities have been presented, when one team or another has folded and was ready to move. But despite the loud demands of a comparative few, the majority of baseball backers here have wisely turned down the propositions.
We're fortunate to have a league of semi-pro ball which is as stable and interesting as the Tri-State loop. True, the caliber may not be quite that of the, WIL, bnt if it's well-matched, it's just as interesting. And certainly on the basis of exhibition games and occasional interchange of personnel, the two leagues arent far apart in actual classification.
The Walla Walla Baseball Association, which operates the Bears, knows very well that pro ball, on a class A scale, would go into debt here in no time at all. Night after night at Borleske Field, no matter what the attraction or the standing of the Bears in the league, the attendance is very steady at around 500-600 fans.
That wouldn't finance a Willy League team. But the Bears' backers make their yearly plans on that attendance figure, knowing that they can count on it. Thus we have a solvent club, an attraction several nights a week during the summer, and avoid the headaches that threaten the death of the WIL.

Alf Cottrell
[Vancouver Province, June 15, 1954]
The Mostest Lefthander
Cheerful little Bud Beasley, the man who claims he is baseball’s most left-handed pitcher, checked into Capilano Stadium from Reno, Nevada late Monday afternoon.
As Bud shook hands with those in the Stadium office there wafted through the door the sounds of early batting practice—of bat meeting ball. Beasley snorted like an old war horse at the sound of a distant bugle.
It was something of a surprise when Bill Brenner recently announced that Beasley was coming back to do some pitching for the Caps again. There were mutters that he must, at long last, be washed up.
Most assuredly Bud is washed up. Fact of the matter is he never was real good until he was, even in his own mind, “all washed up.”
He arrived at that states of mind in 1941. If you are real good on statistics you will already have figured up that 13 years have gone by since that time.
Ready For Rocking Chair
In the year 1941 Bud was pitching semi-pro ball on weekends. He could then look back on five years at the University of Nevada, plus coaching spells at Columbia University in New York and Stanford University.
Also behind him were spells of pro ball in the small minors and a season spent seeing America, complete with beard, as a member of the House of David baseball team.
So in 1941 Beasley turned the late Earl Sheely down when Earl tried to get him to play in the Coast League. In 1942, though, Bud gave in to Sheely’s blandishements. By 1945 he was the Coast League’s leading pitcher.
He couldn’t throw fast. His stock in trade was, and is, the same as Bill Brenner’s. A knuckle ball. They say Bud, in his best days, had a knuckler that danced like a snake on a red hot stove.
He likes to tell about the last game of the 1945 Coast League season, when his arm had gone because of pitching three times a week.
One of His Better Jobs
Because he needed a win to cinch the league’s pitching lead Bud wanted to pitch. In fairness to the club, though, he warned Sheely that he arm was like a chunk of wood.
Sheely insisted Bud pitch, as he warned up for 10 minutes. When he went to the mound the fans got a laugh out of the fact that two teammates were heating up in the bullpen, even before Beasley had thrown a ball.
Tossing slow knucklers and nothing else he got by, inning after inning. In the sixth Beasley’s catcher sat on his glove and caught bare-handed. It’s in the book that Bud lasted to win the game, 5-1.
There was the early evening, 1951, in Cap Stadium that Bud pitched batting practice for half an hour. He worked real hard at it, too. He came in soaked with perspiration.
Then to finish off Beasley went to the outfield to do half an hour’s running. Jogging, sprinting, conditioning himself as only this old boy conditions himself.
Bill Had News For Him
Before reporting to the park that day Beasley had his usual stroll around Stanley Park. He is the all-time long distance strolling champion of the Capilanos.
Getting back to this particular game, however, Bud was still running in the outfield when Bob Brown called the then manager, Bill Schuster, into the office.
When Bill came back he was muttering and shaking his head, but he yelled for Beasley. The latter trotted in, puffing and saying he was about through for the night anyway.
“I got news, you’re pitching tonight,” said Schuster.
“That’s fine,” said Beasley, “What else is new?”
He pitched eight innings of shutout ball. He was so weary in the ninth, though leading 5-0, that he almost had to bounce the ball up to the plate. The opposition got four runs but Bud won, 5-4.
He looked the same old Bud on arrival Monday, though he may softening a bit. He drove from Reno, instead of walking.

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