Monday, 4 August 2008

Saturday, May 1, 1954

               W  L  Pct. GB
Salem ........ 3  0 1.000  —
Spokane ...... 2  1  .666  1
Lewiston ..... 2  1  .666  1
Tri-City ..... 2  1  .666  1
Yakima ....... 2  1  .666  1
Victoria ..... 1  1  .500  1½
Calgary ...... 1  2  .333  2
Vancouver .... 1  2  .333  2
Wenatchee .... 0  2  .000  2½
Edmonton ..... 0  3  .000  3

SALEM, May 1 — Salem won its third straight Western International League baseball game Saturday night, defeating the fading Calgary Stampeders 12-1.
Calgary, which was deprived of its WIL franchise effective May 6 earlier in the day, was held to a single run by Jim Petersen, Salem pitcher. That came on singles by Don Lundberg and pinch hitter Al Smith. When Salem’s Connie Perez let Smith’s hit get away, Lundberg scored.
Ed Kapp, Calgary starter, and Rod Owens, who relieved him in the seventh inning, gave up 12 hits to Salem batters.
Calgary .... 000 000 100— 1 3 6
Salem ...... 202 214 01x—12 12 2
Kapp, Owens (7) and Lundberg; Petersen and Ogden.

LEWISTON, Idaho, May 1—Bob Donkersley hit a home run and Eddie Murphy singled in the winning run in the tenth inning Saturday night as the Spokane Indians handed the Lewiston Broncs a 6-5 loss, their first of the young season.
Spokane ........ 201 000 100 2—6 14 2
Lewiston ....... 020 000 002 1—5 7 2
Trautwein, Schildmeyer (9), Lawson (10) and Dean; McWilliams, Dergane (9), Tisnerat (10) and Cameron.

KENNEWICK [Tri-City Herald, May 2]—The Tri-City Braves beat the Edmonton Eskimoes 7-6 in the first extra-inning game of the season after Jack Warren tied it up with a dramatic ninth-inning homer and Des Charouhas drove in the winning run with his tailbone.
The two teams square off again today at 1:30 p.m. Bud Goldborg and Dale Bloom will draw starting roles for today's games.
The series of incidents leading up to Charouhas’ feat began in the top of the ninth when the Braves were leading, 5-2.
Then Edmonton’s Whitey Thompson, Bob Brown, John McKeown, Vern Campbell, Bob Sturgeon, and Dwayne Kling jumped on starter Walt Clough and reliefer Jess Dobernic for a series of hits to put Edmonton ahead 6-5.
The tie-breaking run was scored by Campbell on a close play at home and there is some doubt that he has touched the plate yet. In any case, Warren didn’t think so and when he came to bat in the bottom of the inning he was in a mean frame of mind.
Big Jack caught the second pitch thrown by reliefer Dale Hittle and whaled it out of the park. It evened things up for the inning and Tri-City was unable to score during the rest or the frame although the Bravos had the bases loaded when Robertson flied out.
Calgary was scoreless in the top of the tenth. In the bottom half, Vic Buccola walked, and Bob Moniz followed with a double. Pitcher Ray McNulty, acting on orders from manager Bob Sturgeon intentionally walked Wert, who had a double and two singles along with his homer in five trips to the plate.
McNulty then pitched to Charouhas. On about the third pitch, Charouhas was hit right where he normally sits down and thereby became one of the few batters who has driven in a winning run with the seat of his britches.
The force of the pitch sent Charouhas sprawling in the batter’s box but he recovered and limped down to first. Although it looked as if he might be seriously hurt the outfielder recovered quickly after the game and will be ready to play today.
Edmonton ........ 001 100 004 0—6 10 1
Tri-City ........... 103 001 001 1—7 12 2
Le Brun, Hittle (9), McNulty (10) and Self; Clough, Dobernic (9), Robertson (9) and Warren.

YAKIMA, May 1—Despite nearly freezing weather and a sparse 1,318 opening-day crowd, Yakima’s Bears pounded Vancouver for 14 hits to win their second Western International League victory, 10-2.
Summers swung the big bat for the Bears with five hits—a home run, a double and three singles, good for four runs batted in. Len Noren cleared the jammed bases with a triple in the fourth, as Yakima broke a 1-1 tie.
Dick Greco accounted for both Vancouver runs, with a homer and a single.
Danny Rios allowed nine Vancouver hits in notching the win. Vancouver starter George Nicholas took the loss.
Vancouver ...... 001 010 000— 2 9 4
Yakima .......... 010 420 21x—10 14 1
Rios and Summers, Ling (9); Nicholas, Cordell (4) and Pesut.


W-I League to Operate Calgary Team
SPOKANE, May 1—The baseball players and franchise of the Calgary team of the Western International League have been “surrendered” to the league, President Robert Abel said Saturday.
In a phone call from Yakima, Abel said the league will operate the team at least until May 6.
Meantime “every effort will be made to try to locate the team elsewhere by next Thursday,” he said.
“It is too early for me to say anything definite about it now but I would guess that Tacoma and Eugene both are very strong possible substitutes for taking over the Calgary franchise.”
“Everybody in the league has been notified that the Calgary owners are all through. I have given instructions to Gene Lillard (Calgary manager) to carry on with the team and they will go through with their games at Salem this week end and will be in Spokane on schedule to open their three-game series at Ferris Field on Tuesday night,” Abel said.
Abel did not speculate on what might happen if no owner were found immediately for the team. But as for Calgary, he repeated “That operation is all through.” He added he is reasonably confident the team can be relocated by Thursday.
He said it would be impossible for the league to continue operating the club beyond next Thursday, when it winds up an engagement in Spokane It is scheduled to move to Lewiston Friday for a four-game series there.
The possibility that Calgary might have to drop out of the ten-team league was first indicated more than a month ago when Lillard reported from the California training camp that no finances had been forthcoming to conduct the camp. However that hurdle was cleared and reports from the league indicated the club would make it through the season
Seventeen players were on hand for Calgary’s opener at Tri-City Thursday night. The Stampeders lost the opener, but squared the series with a 5-4 victory Friday night.
“It may turn out to be all for the best,” was the reaction of Roy Hotchkiss, owner of the Spokane Indians when informed of the Calgary move.
“The Calgary ball park was a bad one to play in. and while the owners had promised to make improvements they never did.”
The loss of Calgary leaves Edmonton, another of four Canadian teams in the league, alone in the far northwest comer of the league.

Lillard Hits Stamp Brass
SALEM, May 1—“Disorganization and lack of interest” were blamed Saturday by manager Gene Lillard for the loss of Calgary’s franchise in the Western International League.
“I had little hope that Calgary could remain in the circuit after noting the disorganization in the club’s front office prior to the season’s start,” he said in an interview.
“The club has eaten off the league since the start of the season,” Lillard reported. He said that when the team arrived at Kennewick, Wash., last Thursday he wired club headquarters asking for meal money for the players.
When no money was sent, Lillard said, he made arrangements with League President Robert Abel to handle the club food bill through May 4.
Lillard was critical of Norman Lacey, president of the Calgary Club, saying that he had not mailed out the players’ contracts in time. Only a few days before the contract deadline, Lacey turned the contracts over to Lillard and told him to handle the matter, Lillard said. Because of this delay only three players were on hand for the opening of the spring drills in Portervllle, Calif., Lillard added. Lillard said the club had not had a business manager since December. Lacey repeatedly told him one would be hired, Lillard said.

Tacoma Shift Is Explored
TACOMA, May 1—Steps were begun here Saturday night to explore the possibility of moving the Calgary franchise in the Western International Baseball League to Tacoma.
Clay Huntington, president of the Pierce County Baseball Assn., said immediately after learning that the Calgary charter had been taken up by the league that a meeting has been called here for Monday.
He said Robert B. Abel, WIL president, Ben Cheney, owner of Cheney Field, and others have been invited to attend. Both Abel and Cheney are out of town and it was not known whether they would be available Monday.
Cheney Field, former home the now-defunct Tacoma Tiger baseball team, is the only park available in Tacoma for professional baseball. It v.lll require considerable remodeling before again being usable.

Chiefs Get Catcher
WENATCHEE, May 1—The Western International League Wenatchee Chiefs hoped Saturday they had solved their catching problem with the optioning of Lloyd Jenney to them by the Seattle Rainiers.
Jenney hit .367 and drove in 152 runs with Tucson last year to lead the Class C Arizona-Texas League.
The Chiefs have had only one catcher this spring, Matthew Kellum-Rose, recent Oakland, Calif., high school graduate.

4 Players Suspended
[Tri-City Herald, May 2, 1954]
Eddie Taylor, general manager of the Tri-City Braves, announced Saturday he has asked that four players carried on the Braves roster and who failed to report for spring training to be placed on the suspended list.
The four are pitchers Bob Snyder, Ken Michelson, Charlie Beers and infielder Tom Marier.
Taylor said he has asked that infielder Charley Davis be put on the temporarily inactive list. Davis acquired appendicitis just prior to spring training.
Taylor indicated, however, that he may have some trouble signing Davis even when the player recovers. “I thought we had it al1 set,” Taylor said, “Then he asked more concessions."
Marier and Michelson did not reach terms. There was some talk of Michelson going to Calgary but so far he has not indicated any interest.

Sports Notes

[Tri-City Herald, May 2, 1954]
Because of circumstances, a peculiar “battle of the outfielders” is shaping up this year between the Braves and Vancouver which may mean Tri-City will give the Caps the toughest tussle of all the teams in the league this season.
The situation is this:
Vancouver, with Dick Greco, K. Chorlton and possibly Bob Wellman in the lineup, has the most powerful group of long-ball hitters in the league. Ordinarily, in almost any park except the Vancouver stadium and Sanders field, the trio would beat other teams with homers alone.
But while having the team with the punch, Vancouver also has the longest fence distances in the league. What would normally be a homer elsewhere, usually goes for a triple there. Next to the Vancouver stadium, Tri-City’s field is probably the second toughest park for long-ball hitters. Here, however, the ones that get through but not over usually go for doubles.
Defensively, It’s A Good Outfield
Now for Tri-City’s outfield. We haven’t anyone in the trio of Bob McGuire, Des Charouhas, and Bob Moniz (or Ernie Hockaday, Bob Cassidy, and playing manager Edo Vanni) who is going to set the world afire with home runs. Yet defensively, I don't think there is a better outfield in the league.
Take the first three — McGuire, Charouhas, and Moniz. All three are fast and cover a wide range of territory. All three have been around the league enough to know something of who hits, where, and how high.
That combination is going to rob a lot of hitters of extra-base blows in any park. But it is especially true when they are playing in parks the size of Vancouver’s and Tri-City’s where the outfielders have room enough to move around.
We will know, soon, how this outfield-offensive; outfield-defensive battle shapes up when the Braves play Vancouver there this week. And the odds are the Tri-City trio will have to do a lot of fly ball shagging.
Eyesight And Confidence
Probably a lot of factors enter into hitting ability but the two biggest ones seem to be eyesight and self-confidence. Babe Ruth was said to have had remarkable eyesight and could read the numbers on a license plate before his teammates could sec the plate.
Ted Williams has exceptional eyesight.
Here close at home, Jack Warren, Tri-City catcher who led the league in hitting last year, has extremely good eyesight. One day while talking with him I held up a copy of the Sporting News to show Jack the cartoon on the front. He was leaving the office at the time and was some 20 feet away. Yet without squinting, he could read the cartoon.
Back a few months ago, when the argument of whether a curve ball really curves came up for the millionth time in the last 20 years, one of the local umps expounded this theory — and one I agree with.
Yes, he said, the curve ball curves but not as much as it appears. Furthermore, it appears to curve more for some batters than it does for others.
Players with exceptionally good eyesight and that hit .400, have the ability to “Take” a lot of the “curve” out of the pitch.
Beanie Is An Example
But the hitter with the eyesight isn’t going to be worth a hang unless he has the self-confidence.
It sounds like bragging at times, but you never hear Warren say “I hope I can get a hit.”
Beanie always comes up with “I’m goin’ to get me lots of doubles.” In his mind there is no doubt that he is going to hit.
The guy is remarkable at times.
Back last year he said one time before the game, “Tonight I start hitting them through the box.”
He did.
Jack was getting three for five, two for four, three for six for a series of games and just about taking the legs off the pitcher each time he hit the ball.
Then one night he was skunked.
“Trouble is they are wise to me,” Warren concluded the next night. “They're playing me for hits through the box. Tonight I start pulling them down the lines.”
He did that, too. Not quite as high a percentage as through the box but they were going down the line.
He just goes out with intentions of “getting me lots of doubles” or “hitting ‘em through the box” and there seems to be no doubt in his mind that he is going to do just that.

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