Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Thursday, August 12, 1956

                W  L  Pct GB
Lewiston ..... 30 11 .732 —
Vancouver .... 21 15 .583 6½
Edmonton ..... 21 17 .553 7½
Yakima ....... 21 18 .538 8
Salem ........ 18 17 .514 9
Tri-City ..... 15 25 .375 14½
Wenatchee .... 12 29 .293 18

KENNEWICK [Tri-City Herald, Aug. 13]—Tri-City baseball fans who have been in hiding for the past four days can come out to Sanders Field again tonight — Vancouver's gone.
The Capilanoes left in much the same fashion that they came in Monday night. This time they waxed the Braves 16-9. The win ran the Vancouver scoring total to 51 runs for the four-game series.
Herm Besse, the veteran leftlander who absorbed the loss, was released this morning, general manager Eddie Taylor said. Taylor said the release was partly because of "economy reasons."
The Cap departure, while pleasant, is not cause for rejoicing. The team coming to Sanders tonight is the Yakima Bears and so far this season, Tri-City has been able to beat Yakima but once.
The Bears have the top defensive team and probably the best over-all pitching in the league.
Tonight will also be Labor night. At the request of the sponsoring AFL labor unions, game time has been set back to 8 p.m. Ordinary starting time at Sanders is 7:30 p.m. The various unions have a long list of prizes available for Tri-City "firsts" in the game tonight.
Saturday night Tri-City and Yakima will play a doubleheader beginning at 7 p.m. and Sunday night will be "pay-what-you-please" night. On that night, fans will be admitted free but barrels will be placed at, strategic spots for donations.
However, one more series like the last one and the Tri-City club, instead of getting any donations, will have trouble keeping someone from walking off with the barrel.
The final win of the series made it eight in a row for the Caps. However, they couldn't gain on Lewiston, which has been waxing Wenatchee with equal regularity, and in so doing has kept Tri-City from plunging into the cellar.
Tri-City lefthander Besse rode out barrage of flying baseballs totalling 24 hits. Ironically, Besse hurled a one-hitter in his last start.
Complicating matters is the "warm beer" flu making the rounds of the team. It laid Jack (Beanie) Warren low midway in the series and put Gordy Brunswick out of action prior to game time Thursday night. Ordinarily, Brunswick would have pitched part the game.
Bob Roberts, who winters in Richland, went the distance for the Caps but only because he had a 13-run lead. Tri-City rallied for six runs in the bottom of the ninth with Vic Buccola and Edo Vanni getting doubles in the spree.
But as one fan laconically commented just before a double play ended the game, "Well, gang, we are halfway there."
Big sticker for the Caps was Marv Williams who homered in the second with two on and again in the third with one on.
[WILfan notes: Roberts (with three doubles) and Neil Sheridan each had four hits for Vancouver, Bob Duretto and K Chorlton had three. Chorlton knocked out a homer, Duretto had a triple ... Chorlton, Ed Murphy and Williams were responsible for bringing home three runs each ... Bob Moniz was three-for-four for Tri-City with a pair batted in. Dick Watson, Besse and Vic Buccola each plated a pair, Buccola doubling in Besse and Terry Carroll in the ninth ... Caps turned three double plays ... Attendance was 318.
Vancouver ...... 254 120 110—16 24 2
Tri-City .......... 000 100 206— 9 14 0
Roberts and Duretto; Besse and Johnson.

EDMONTON, Aug. 13—Edmonton Eskimos defeated the Western International League All-Stars, 11-2, in a game Thursday night which produced 19 safe blows at Edmonton.
Edmonton's Ray McNulty allowed seven scattered hits in going the route against the All-Stars.
All-Stars ......... 000 110 000— 2  7 1
Edmonton ....... 000 006 32x—11 12 1
Nicholas, Carter (6), Beasley (8) and Holden; McNulty and Partee.

SALEM, Aug. 13—A total of 21 base hits was registered Thursday as Yakima Bears thumped the Salem Senators, 14-6, in Western International League play.
Yakima salvaged the final game of its series with Salem as the Bears went on a 12 hit batting spree. The winners got off to a quick lead with six runs in the opening inning, added another in the second, two in the sixth and five in the seventh for their total.
Lon Summers, Herman Lewis and Len Noren batted in a total of 12 runs between them for Yakima.
Yakima ........ 610 002 500—14 12 1
Salem ......... 100 041 000— 6  9 2
Carmichael and Summers; Franks, Johnson (7) and D. Luby,

LEWISTON, Aug. 13—Lewiston connected for 13 safeties and Wenatchee nine as the league-leaders defeated the Chiefs, 7-2, in their Western International League game on Thursday.
A slim crowd of 934 turned out at Bengal Field to see the league-leaders paste Wenatchee for the fifth straight time. Lewiston scored four runs in the first two innings and was never headed, although Wenatchee closed the gap at 4-2 in the sixth when Larry Monroe was safe on a fielder's choice and Tom Munoz followed up with a double and then was singled home. The Broncs added single scores in the sixth and eighth frames.
Wenatchee ..... 000 002 000—2  9 0
Lewiston ........ 130 011 01x—7 13 2
Waters and Self; Orrell and Garay.

Sports Notes
[Tri-City Herald, Aug. 13, 1954]
The situation as it exists at Sanders Field now is to put it mildly, a dismal one, and there aren’t any prospects for an improvement.
General manager Eddie Taylor estimates that the club will go in the hole some $10,000 before the season is out. Taylor made his estimate before the small crowds such as 393 and 491 of the last few nights, so the situation may be worse.
This isn’t one of those appeals to turn out or else but just between you and me, has anyone any ideas on how the club will operate next season if it ends up $10,000 in the red this year?
Some clubs, notably Lewiston and Wenatchee, are forever putting the bite on their businessmen and other local citizens a couple times a year. To me, personally, it isn’t worth it and if it comes to that during the winter months. Tri-Citians should be assured that there will be an overhaul in the league structure before fielding a team next year.
No Wins, No Fans
The cause of the Tri-City attendance decline, and the rise of the sea of red ink, naturally, is in direct relation to the inability to win ball games.
Back toward the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half, Tri-City was winning a fair number of games and at one time took 15 of 20 played. Suddenly, they declined and only Wenatchee’s inability to win has kept them out of the cellar. How come? What has happened to the team?
The answer, is nothing. If you will check back through the schedule at the time Tri-City was a consistent winner, they were playing what were then second-division teams such as Salem, Edmonton, Victoria, and Wenatchee.
And back then when they played Lewiston, Vancouver, or Yakima, they were seldom winning more than one for three, or occasionally two for four just as they are doing now.
Recently, Tri-City has had a run of games against that top three with only the wins over Wenatchee, a team of the “Tri-City” caliber, to offset the mounting losses.
In other words, kids, considering pitching strength, hitting, overall play, and by every other measurement, the present group of players on the Tri-City roster made up a seventh-place club when the season started and they are in seventh-place now, or would be, had Victoria stayed in the league.
So all the talk about what's wrong with Tri-City is meaningless until such time that they should happen to drop into the cellar. On the other hand, any movement upward, even to sixth-place would indicate they are playing above their heads.
It Boils Down To Money
Why is it then Tri-City (and Wenatchee, too) seemed destined to flub along in the Western International league second division this year just as last year, and if things continue as they have, again next year?
The answer is money.
Let's go back to the beginning of the season. After Taylor picked up this player and that one, and got those we already had on contract, it appeared as if Tri-City would have a fairly good team. Maybe not a pennant winner but at least a first division club.
“I thought then I was paying pretty good Class A salaries,” Eddie said, “but later I found out what I offered was just peanuts.”
Here's What It Costs
Here is what he meant and it gives a pretty good indication of what kind of club the Braves could have had if the club wanted to pay for it.
Ken Richardson, who was released by Lewiston, called collect, naturally. He wanted a $1000 bonus, a release at the end of the season, and would talk salary from there.
He wound up with Vancouver.
Marv Williams wanted transportation to and from Mexico where he plays winter ball and $750 a month. He wound up with Vancouver.
We know the story of Dick Greco and his $900 a month plus a release at the end of the season. He wound up at Vancouver.
Later on there was Neil Sheridan — at a $700 bonus and $700 a month. Now with Vancouver.
Harvey Storey was offered $650 a month and turned it down. He could make more playing semi-pro and even Lewiston outbid the semi-pros.
Guy Fletcher, Al Yaylian, Eddie Bockman, all at Lewiston, all were available for a price but by paying that price to enough of them to be a pennant winner, Tri-City’s potential draw couldn’t offset the salaries.
Others Are Subsidized
Vancouver wouldn't be able to make It now if they were not subsidized by breweries, and although Lewiston is drawing well, it could not make it without putting periodic bites in one form or another on the citizenry.
You can’t blame the players themselves for asking for good salaries. They have just a few “money-earning” years and they have to get it while they are in their prime.
Baseball-playing, unlike most forms of earning a living, is not a profession where seniority means a bigger income.
Rather, the clubs themselves are to blame for ever agreeing to pay such salaries.
The goofy policy, the lack of safeguards, and the absence of anyone to enforce the few safeguards, could only lead to the situation we have now where two clubs so far outclass the rest of the league that it is hardly a league at all, and where the doormat teams, such as Tri-City and Wenatchee, are being killed at the gate by inability to compete.
Too Late Now
It is too late to do anything about it this season, either for Tri-City as a club or the WIL as a league, but next year some changes will have to be made to square things away.
The way things stack up now, Tri-City and Wenatchee are either financially supporting a B team in an A league, or Vancouver and Lewiston are supporting a AA team in an A league.
One way or the other, it doesn’t make sense.

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