Saturday, 9 August 2008

Monday, June 7, 1954

                W  L  Pct GB
Vancouver .... 25 14 .641 —
Wenatchee .... 23 18 .561 3
Yakima ....... 22 18 .550 3½
Edmonton ..... 17 14 .548 4
Victoria ..... 18 18 .500 5½
Spokane ...... 19 21 .475 6½
Lewiston ..... 19 22 .463 7
Tri-City ..... 19 23 .452 7½
Salem ........ 18 25 .419 9
Calgary ...... 13 20 .394 9

LEWISTON, Idaho, June 7—A home home, playing his first game for Lewiston, helped the Broncs to a 5 to 4 victory over the Vancouver Capilanos in their Western International League baseball game here Monday.
Ken Peterson, fresh out of the navy, handed Caps’ George Nicholas his third loss against seven wins. Peterson singled home Nick Cannuli to break a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the ninth.
Al Yaylian scattered six singles, not allowing a Capilano batter to get more than one. One of them was good for two runs by Dick Greco.
Manager Larry Barton hit a solo homer for the Broncs, while Bob Williams added a double and two singles, and Richardson doubled in a pair of runs in the first inning.
Vancouver ...... 200 000 200—4 6 2
Lewiston ........ 200 100 011—5 9 3
Nicholas and Duretto; Yaylian and Cameron.

KENNEWICK [Tri-City Herald, June 8]—Lefty Earl Lemieux, the pride of Sekonk, Mass., will make his first start for the Tri-City Braves tonight when he takes the mound against the Wenatchee Chiefs.
The game will be the second in the three-game series with Wenatchee. Tri-City won the opener Monday night 8-4 on a 13-hit all-single attack.
Starting tonight for Wenatchee will be Ted Shandor, WIL vet hurler.
Lemieux, Tri-City's only left-handed hurler, has pitched in nine games but has no record. All of the mound stints were in relief, some of them "one-out" affairs when playing manager Edo Vanni sent him in to remove a troublesome left-handed hitter.
Last season Lemieux pitched for Wausau in the Wisconsin State League where he compiled a 4-2 record but was released when his bonus came due. Because he did not play over 30 days, he is still technically classed as a rookie.
Lemieux's chance at a starting berth comes partly because of the number of left-handed hitters in the Wenatchee lineup and partly because roster cuts have moved him up where he will have to assume more starts.
Monday, Cliff Coggin, righthander, was cut from the Tri-City roster. Bud Guldborg, another right-hander, is on the temporarily inactive list which reduces the pitching staff to four starters with Jess Dobernic in relief.
However, Guldborg can be taken off the list anytime now and he is likely that he will be used for the seven-inning opener of the doubleheader at Lewiston this week.
Don Robertson boosted his record to six wins against two losses Monday night in scattering nine Wenatchee hits. He gave up single runs in the second on a single by Jake Helmuth and a double by Jerry Green.
In the third, Wenatchee scored on three singles and in the seventh a walk, fielder's choice and single brought in one run. A walk and a double by Lloyd Jenny [sic] brought in the other run in the eighth.
The doubles by Green and Jenny were the only extra-base hits of the game.
Tri-City, meanwhile, beat out a tattoo of hits for eight runs. Four of them came in the fourth inning when Vic Buccola scored the oddity of the evening by driving in three runs with a single.
The situation came aboul after a series of hits had brought in one run and left the bases loaded. There were two away and Buccola worked Keith Bowman to a 3-2 count before rapping out a blow over the second base bag.
All of the runners were off with the windup and for all practical purposes, speerty Terrance Vincent Patrick Carroll, who was on first, had passed second before the ball was hit.
Tri-City added two in the seventh when Bob Moniz singled runners in from second and third and two more in the eighth when Jack Warren brought one in on a fielder's
choice and Moniz singled another home. Moniz hit four for five.
Robertson had to bear down in the clutches in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to get the side out but in the ninth, he gave the Tri-City fans little cause for worry.
He got Laurie Monroe, the third-baseman known in the Tri-Cities chiefly for his fistic ability, to fly out, Ross McCormack to pop out, and Joe Unfried to strike out to end the game.
Wenatchee .... 010 001 110—4  9 2
Tri City ......... 000 400 22x—8 13 2
Bowman, Thompson (6) and Jenney; Robertson and Warren.

SALEM, June 7 — The Salem Senators broke a 4-4 tie in the fifth inning with two home runs and defeated Yakima 8-4 in Monday night's Western International League baseball game here.
Yakima ..... 310 000 000—4  9 1
Salem ...... 100 340 00x—8 12 0
Young, Carter (5) and Summers; Domenichelli, Johnson (1) and Ogden.

Calgary at Edmonton, postponed, rain.
Victoria at Spokane, postponed, rain.

Fate of WIL To Be Known Saturday
[Vancouver Province, June 8, 1954]
Is it financially feasible for the Western International Baseball League to finish its 1954 season?
Answer to this question will be upcoming Saturday at a special league meeting in Spokane.
League president Bob Abel had earlier scheduled the meeting for Wednesday in Yakima, but Monday he changed the time and date. It has been forced by a series of financial crises which have been undermining the league right from the opening of the season.
Trouble was first encountered in Calgary where the Stamps were uncertain starters from the beginning. Then Roy Hotchkiss announced that he was stepping down as owner of the Spokane Indians and that he was turning his franchise back to the league because of poor support and his own poor health.
“This meeting Saturday is not prompted by the Spokane difficulties alone,” Bob Abel said yesterday. “Several other teams—including Salem and Calgary—have been operating on the minus side of the ledger.”

Spokane Site of Special Meeting
SEATTLE, June 7—Directors of the financially-shaky Western International League will meet in Spokane Saturday and will decide at that time whether the baseball league will finish out the 1954 season.
Robert Abel, league president, earlier had called the meeting to be held Wednesday in Yakima, but changed the time and site.
The league first encountered trouble when Calgary ran into financial difficulty. Then Roy Hotchkiss, owner of the Spokane Indians, announced he was turning his franchise back to the league because of poor support and his own poor health.
He decided later, however, to continue to operate until Spokane interest decide if they want to take over the club.
Abel emphasized that Saturday's meeting was not prompted by the Spokane difficulty alone. Several other teams—including Salem and Calgary—have been operating of the minus side of the ledger.

By Jim Tang

[Victoria Colonist, June 8, 1954]
It’s been one financial crisis after another for WIL clubs during the past few seasons but, somehow, the league has always managed to keep things going and only last year expanded to 10 clubs with the inclusion of Edmonton and Calgary. This time, however, matters are really serious and it’s highly unlikely that Saturday’s emergency meeting at Spokane, third such gathering this year, won’t bring a major upheaval.
Just what sort of an upheaval it will be remains to be seen [sic] but it is entirely possible, although not probably, that the WIL will cease to exist. A better guess might be that it will lose two, perhaps as many as four clubs, either immediately or at the end of the first half and continue as a six or eight team league.
Ironically enough, one of the troubles at the moment is the presence of Edmonton and Calgary. They Alberta cities were brought into the league last year in the hope that they would help solve matters by turning out huge crowds. A combination of bad weather, scheduling problems in an overextended league and uninspired promotion an a bad aprk in Calgary has long since destroyed this hope and the blunt truth of the matter is that the WIL would be better off without the Prairie affiliates. For, as maters stand now, it could be that the other eighth clubs would complete the season if they didn’t face the necessity of making those costly Prairie trips.
Salem and Lewiston are in particularly bad financial condition and it has been rumored that neither intend to make the first scheduled trip to Alberta, due to start June 15 and June 29, respectively, and that that is the cause of Saturday’s meeting.
Just what to do about Edmonton and Calgary will likely be the main discussion at Spokane. If there is no other way to keep the WIL in operation there is little doubt but that a move will be made to lop off the Alberta entries.
That could turn out to be quite a problem. Both have put a lot of money into professional baseball—two combined loss might well be $200,000—and Edmonton would certainly fight any attempt at an ouster with civil action a distinct possibility.
So there it is and it’s quite a situation. There is no chance that the WIL can continue as a 10-club league through the season. It [will] suspend operation or continue without Edmonton and Calgary, or without Edmonton, Calgary and two other clubs. Or, less likely, if Calgary gives positive assurance that it can finish the season, with the two eastern clubs in and without Lewiston and Salem. The guess ere is that the WIL will battle it out to the end of the season without at least two clubs, most likely to be Edmonton and Calgary.

Boston Red Sox Sign B.C. Pitcher Ted Bowsfield
VANCOUVER, June 6 — Ted Bowsfield, 19-year-old lefthander with Penticton Athletics of the seven-team Okanagan Mainline Baseball League, Monday signed a contract to pitch for Boston Red Sox of the American League, reports reaching here said.
The contract, for an undisclosed sum, will send him to San Jose, Calif., and next year to Albany, the reports said.
Bowsfield, who graduated from high school last Thursday, has thrown a four-hitter and a three-hitter so far this year.
In 1953, when Vancouver Capilanos of the Western International League held spring training in Penticton, he shut them out in five innings he pitched in an exhibition game.
Standing six-foot-one and weighing 180 pounds, Bowsfield has a three-year strike-out average of 16 per game, his top performance being a strike-out string of 22 men in one game.
He was chosen all-star guard in the British Columbia high school basketball tournament this year while playing for Penticton High School.
In addition to Boston scout Earl Johnson, other teams reported to have looked over the southpaw include Milwaukee Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians.

The Sports Herald

[Vancouver News-Herald, June 8, 1954]
This Is An Honest Emergency
LEWISTON, Idaho—The Western International League is hurting badly, and assuredly this is not new. What is new, however, is that the league could be reduced to eight, or even six, teams when all league directors meet in Spokane this weekend to discuss “the league’s emergency.”
Six entries are broke and begging off. At least two of them, and maybe four, mean it this time, and from all indications this will have to be a meeting to end all ifs, ands and buts.
Joining Calgary, Lewiston and Spokane on poverty row are Victoria, Salem and Tri-City. It is an undesirable situation and one which will entail a lot of thinking and work to solve. The weekend meeting, let us be warned, could last for three days or more.
Since the 1954 season began, clubs have found travel expense to be their course of strangulation. The Capilanos, who can afford it, are spending about $5000 on the present tour, knowing there is no kickback this year because of the league’s [unreadable word]ed law of keeping the home gate.
The 60-40 split which most leagues operate under never seemed very good to the majority of franchises when an emergency meeting was called for Victoria to discuss 1954 plans. The town we’re in now, for instance, had drawn well in ’53 and argued they would have made a carload of money had they got all home gates. They readily voted for the switch, but they are now being choked by their own method. This, of [unreadable] is a new season and Bill Brenner is in Vancouver. Lewiston is going for broke along with five others.
Stamps Have $62 In Exchequer
The difficulties in Calgary have not lessened. When we came out Sunday afternoon, there was $62 in the Stampeders’ exchequer.
Gene Lillard, their manager and a fellow who has paid some of the shot for the Cowboys out of his own pocket, has finally given up on the task and announced he was going home. This was just before the Friday night game. Gene had made plane reservations and was all packed to leave when the Calgary officials threw a handful of money in his face [word unreadable] on reconsideration.
They paid Gene $500. It was his first payday all year, and it reduced the “loan” Gene had dished out to the club he was supposed to be an employee on, to a sum of $2000.
The prairie situation is most maddening. All considered, it boils down to this: How to eliminate Calgary [word unreadable] on to Edmonton. Answer that one and you solve 75 percent of the league’s problems.
Now, we hear that bankruptcy is not playing tag with only the franchise owners. It has apparently spread to the league’s head office.
We are told a month ago, league headquarters in Tacoma showed a $7000 bank balance. They moan which was then loaned to Calgary to get them over a May 15 payroll and meal money costs, had been repaid when two of the directors chucked $10,000 into the kitty. That $10,000, as we noted earlier, is now down to $62 and the league, meanwhile, has invaded its bank balance until it has reached [unreadable]ck proportions.
This Is Rough On Brenner
We have presented these problems to you for a reason. For they display a greatest diseased situation, one which must be treated—not by a mere surgeon, but a specialist of mightiest ability.
It is increasingly difficult, for instance, for a fellow like Bill Brenner to advertise and create publicity for a forthcoming series between his club and, let’s say, Calgary. What happens if the faith he has attempted to build up with the Vancouver public, is completely destroyed because a dis[unreadable] sheriff locks up that Calgary situation for keeps?
As long as this possibility exists, the WIL will be taunted and laughed at by an unbelieving public, which cannot see its way clear to support a supposed professional organization that operates on charitable methods.
Clubs have been subsidized and clubs have begged and borrowed—though not yet stolen—to keep alive in this first half of a baseball season. This public has been tired of reading the poverty claims and is even more weary of answering calls for “book ticket sales” and like gimmicks.
Only complete elimination of these problems will bring the Western International League back on a firm basis. Any [unreadable] which cannot operate from payday to payday without generating suspicious of collapse in its public’s minds must be [unreadable]ed.
Why just wonder if Robert Abel, the league president and supposedly the “surgical specialist” who was hired to handle such problems, has his forceps sharpened for a clean [unreadable]ring cut?

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