Sunday, 10 August 2008

Thursday, July 1, 1954

                W  L  Pct GB
Vancouver .... 38 20 .655 —
Yakima ....... 36 29 .554 5½
Edmonton ..... 30 26 .536 7
Lewiston ..... 31 31 .500 9
Tri-City ..... 31 36 .463 11½
Victoria ..... 28 33 .459 11½
Wenatchee .... 30 37 .448 12½
Salem ........ 29 38 .433 13½

VICTORIA, July 1 — Homers were a factor Thursday night as Victoria triumphed 8-3 over Wenatchee in a Western International League baseball game.
A scheduled day contest in the split double-header was rained out.
The Tyees picked up 12 of their 15 hits—and all their runs—in the first five innings. Seven of those, three home runs and four doubles, were for extra bases.
Catcher Don Lundberg hit two of the park and outfielder Tom Perez one.
Hal Flinn spaced 10 Wenatchee hits, allowing three apiece to Joe Unfried and Tony Rivas.
The win hoisted Victoria into sixth place and dropped Wenatchee into the Tyees' former berth, a game ahead of cellar-dwelling Salem.
Wenatchee ...... 000 110 100—3 10 0
Victoria ........... 122 120 00x—8 15 2
Waters, Richardson (6) and Helmuth; Flinn and Lundberg.

EDMONTON [Tri-City Herald, July 2]—The Tri-City Braves and the Edmonton Eskimoes play the fifth and final game of the series there today with the Braves needing a win to salvage even a fair perentage of the series.
Tri-City lost both ends of a Dominion Day twin bill there, 7-6 and 9-5, and blew all but a slim hope of making the first division before the first half ends.
After the game today the Braves travel home Saturday for the opening of a four-game series In two days against Victoria. The first game will be Sunday night beginning at 7 p.m. The second game will follow a fireworks display sandwiched in between. Monday the teams will play a split doubleheader with the first game starting at 2 p.m. and the second game starting at 7:30 p.m.
In tonight's action, likely starter for Tri-Clty will be Bill Tompkins, left-hander acquired from Calgary. Both of Tompkins wins this season have been over the Esks.
Inability of Tri-City pitchers to go the distance cost the Braves Thursday in the doubleheader. Dale Bloom righthander was driven from the mound in the first game after he hit a batter, gave up a triple, and a home run to Don Gigli for three runs.
Tri-City still led, 6-4, at that point but three runs scored off Earl Lemieux in the next frame iced the game.
In the second tilt, Dale Thomason trailed 4-3 going into the top of the eighth. The Braves scored twice then to put him out in front but in the bottom half Edmonton broke loose for five runs to take the [line missing].
Lemieux also pitched a short stint and Jess Dobernic who finished the first game was called upon to wind up the second.
In the first game, Len Tran's booming bat kept the Braves abreast of the Esks. He hit two doubles, a homer with one on, and a single in five times up.
First Game
Tri-City .......... 200 023 000—6 14 0
Edmonton ....... 000 013 30x—7  9 1
Bloom, Lemieux (6), Dobernic (7) and Johnson; McNulty and Self.
Second Game
Tri-City ......... 100 002 020—5 11 0
Edmonton ...... 011 020 05x—9 15 3
Thomason, Lemieux (7), Dobernic (8) and Warren; worth, Kimball 97), Conant (8) and Prentice.

LEWISTON, July 1—Lewiston banged out ten hits and held off all threats by Salem as the Broncs shut out the Senators 5-0 on Thursday in a Western International League game here.
Bob Williams' three-run homer in the third inning started Lewiston on its way to victory over Salem. Williams added another tally in the eighth, singling and crossing the plate on Ed Garay's double. Russ Rosburg's home run in the sixth accounted for the Broncs' other run.
Dean Kime limited Salem to four hits, two by Connie Perez.
Lewiston ...... 003 001 010—5 10 0
Salem ......... 000 000 000—0  4 1
Kime and Cameron, Garay (5); Briggs, Johnson (9) and Luby.

Yakima at Vancouver (2), rained out.

Dick Greco Traded to Salem by Capilanos

By Clancy Loranger
[Vancouver Province, July 2, 1954]
Why Dick Greco?
That’s what local baseball fans were making after Bill Brenner of the Capilanos, faced with the necessity of cutting his roster by two t get within the player limit, sold pitcher Bill Franks and outfielder Greco to Salem Wednesday.
Tub-thumpers for Greco, who so far has refused to report to the Senators, point out that the big slugger was hitting .322, had 11 home runs and 54 runs batted in, a fairly impressive record.
But here’s the other side of the story, with four reasons why Brenner chose Greco to go:
1. Greco had all 11 of those home runs at the end of May—he didn’t hit one throughout the month of June—and 40 of those RBI’s then. Hired as a slugger, Dick hadn’t lived up to that reputation in the last month. And hitting is the only thing in baseball that Greco has ever done well—he’s no base runner, and defensively he made Brenner cringe all season.
2. Although the courts ruled that baseball isn’t a business, Brenner still feels it’s good business that the other WIL teams should strengthen for the second half. The paying customers aren’t interested in a runaway race, and what better team to help than the last-place Solons?
3. The Caps had six outfielders, and naturally couldn’t sell Arnie Hallgren or Phil Marvier, both down on option. Of the others, Salem’s Hugh Luby was interested only in Greco and K Chorlton, and there’s no doubt Chorlton, having a great year, is a better all around man than Greco.
4. The Caps’ backers worry less about financial returns than anyone else in the league, but the word is that this year’s team is an expensive one, and Greco’s salary wasn’t small. And unless the weatherman changes his tactics, chances of getting back any portion of the money expended aren’t good. The Caps’ rained-out games include their last two Saturday nights, traditionally the best drawing night here, two holiday doubleheaders, May 24 and Thursday’s Dominion Day games against the second place team, Yakima Bears.
DIAMOND DUST—Replacement for Greco, veteran Eddie Murphy, arrived Wednesday and he’ll be in the line-up for tonight’s doubleheader, weather permitting … … Brenner has also scheduled a twin bill for Saturday night in this crucial series against Yakima, which could decide the first half face … Murphy, 30, a strong-armed outfielder, still holds the league stolen base record, with 90 in 1951 … With Chorlton and either Hallgren or Danny Holden, he’ll give the locals as good a defensive trio as there is in the league … Pitcher Pete Hernandez is now officially a Capilano … It was there might be trouble when Chorlton refused to report to Seattle of the Coast League, from whom Hernandez was bought, but Dewey Soriano has agreed to go through with the deal anyway … One thing about the rain: Brenner will be able to throw his top pitchers against Yakima, with his Big Four all rested … That’s Bob Roberts, Pete Hernandez, George Nicholas and Brenner himself … Sandy Robertson may get the call in one game, however, as he pitches only at home and the Caps have doubleheaders in Salem Sunday and Monday, too.

Modesto Drops Reich For SF Seal Outfielder
[Modesto Bee, July 2, 1954]
The Modesto Reds [of the Class C California League] today gave Herman Reich his outright release.
Taking over in left teld for the Reds tonight will be Gordon Brunswick, obtained from the San Francisco Seals of the PCL.
Brunswick,, a. former Washington State football and baseball star, is a power hitter. He started the season as a regular with the Seals but lately has been used chiefly in pinch hitting and running.
In Western International
A veteran, Brunswick hit .313 and .293 in two seasons with Vancouver, British Columbia, in the Western International League.
Gordy has hit six homers this year and asked the Seals to be assigned elsewhere where he could play daily. Brunswick was offered to the Reds last week. SF recalled outfielder Dave Melton from Channel Cities of the Cal League this week.

Sports Notes

[Tri-City Herald, July 2, 1954]
Vancouver general manager Bill Brenner is no doubt an honest man although hardened to the way you have to make deals to stay in organized baseball but somehow we just can’t go along with the contention that Dick Greco and Bill Franks were sold to Salem to spread some of the league strength around.
If he did, it would mark something new in baseball—yes, even such a move would call for a spot in the Hall of Fame. If such becomes the trend, any day now we could expect the Yankees to say to Baltimore:
“Now look, you boys are having a bit of trouble. New team and all. We want you to stay in the league so we just happen to have an outfielder available name of Mickey Mantle. You can have him. We got lots of strength.”
Such things aren't done — either by the Yankees or Vancouver.
No, Mr. Brenner had some other motive in selling Greco to Salem.
Fact is the Tri-City Herald carried a story June 2 saying Brenner was trying to sell Greco either to Salem or Victoria and Salem’s position in the standings then was not a matter of great concern to anyone except perhaps Salem fans.
Rather, in some way or another, Greco didn’t live up to Brenner’s expectations.
It wasn't entirely a matter of salary with the Caps either. They have more money, apparently, than a brewery has beer and any saving they might have made by selling Greco was offset by signing Eddie Murphy.
* * *
He Added Strength

Old cagey Bill Brenner sold Greco for the same reason any G.M. makes a sale. He saw a chance to strengthen his lineup with the acquisition of Eddie Murphy and cut Greco loose. And I’ll bet he didn't get any $2,500 for Greco either.
The question now is will Greco report to Salem? Originally, his stated objection to playing for Tri-City was that his wife’s family lives In Vancouver and it was his intention to make the Canadian city his home. However, money talks and a lot may depend upon the salary he can get from Salem.
Anyway you look at it, his presence with the Senators will do the gate both there and here a lot of good. Riding Greco is a grand old Tri-City custom and after the series here, the Braves management was visibly disappointed because the Braves were not scheduled to play Vancouver again until some time in late August.
Playing manager Edo Vanni cited that situation as an example of what happens in a 10-team league.
“The fans get to know some guy.” Edo said, “and what happens. You don't see him for so long they forget who the heck he is.”
* * *
Victoria Will Show

A while back, Victoria was plenty worried about Wenatchee’s financial condition. Just prior to a scheduled Wenatchee-Victoria night at Victoria, the Chiefs announced the fans would have to turn out or the team would quit.
What had Victoria worried was this. What if Wenatchee had quit before playing the Victoria series — especially in these days of a home-and-home gate.
Anyhow, Wenatchee made it and all was okay. But look at the new situation.
Victoria is scheduled to play Tri-City here in two double headers Sunday and Monday. And just the other day, Victoria announced the Tyees would have to draw 10,000 in the next few days or quit.
Tri-City general manager Eddie Taylor is not especially worried though. First of all the Victoria rosters have arrived and the team gives every intention of playing here whatever the outcome of this week’s attendance.
Furthermore, they have announced an advance ticket sake deal for the second half which gives a good indication they intend to stay in the league.
* * *
An Explosive Situation

Taylor, by the way, has been sitting on an explosive situation for some time now at Sanders Field but perhaps by now it is safe to reveal what could possibly blow up.
The situation has to do with the between-game ceremonies Sunday night at Sanders. As is usually the case, the Braves will have a fireworks display. Some time ago. Eddie ordered and bought the fireworks. Then he had to look for a safe place to store them. His first thought was the office. Finally the club house. I don’t know where he eventually put them. (I suggested under the centerfield scoreboard so if they did go off accidentally, at least the fans could see the display.)
But since there has been no shouts or explosions, presumably the fireworks are still around and will be set off in proper sequence Sunday night.

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