Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Tuesday, August 3, 1954

                W  L  PCT GB
Lewiston ..... 22 10 .688 —
Yakima ....... 17 11 .586 3½
Salem ........ 15 13 .536 5
Edmonton ..... 15 14 .517 5½
Vancouver .... 13 14 .481 6½
Tri-City ..... 12 18 .400 8½
Wenatchee ..... 9 21 .300 12

YAKIMA, Aug. 3—Yakima slugged early, but Lewiston slugged late—and more often, to pull off a come-from-behind rally and outlast the Bears 11-10 in a Tuesday night Western International League game.
Yakima scored eight runs in the first three innings but couldn't hold on for the victory. A double by the Broncs' Larry Barton scored Bob Williams with what proved to be he winning run in the eighth after Lewiston had whittled away at the lead. Barton and Harvey Storey paced the winners, each with four for five as the Broncs hopped on Danny Rios and Tom Lovrich for 16 hits.
Lewiston ...... 100 220 330—11 15 1
Yakima ........ 413 001 100—10 16 0
Yaylian, Kime (3) and Cameron; Rios, Lovrich (7) and Summers.

WENATCHEE, no story available
Edmonton ........ 120 000 000—3 7 1
Wenatchee ...... 000 100 000—1 6 0
Widner and Partee; Waters and Self.

VANCOUVER [Clancy Loranger, Province, Aug. 4]—Vancouver Capilanos play Tri-City at Capilano Stadium tonight in the third game of their current series, which they now lead 2-0. After that? They’ll know more about a Western International League directors’ meeting which is called for tonight in Seattle.
The latest in a series of “emergency” meetings was called to discuss the latest loop crisis, the foldup of the Victoria franchise Tuesday.
Although President Robert Abel came up with an emphatic “No” to speculation that other teams would follow suit and the league would call it quits for 1954, the possibility of a complete collapse can’t be taken lightly.
Victoria’s collapse did have one immediate effect, as far a the Capilanos are concerned. Outfielder Neil Sheridan, whom General Manager Bill Brenner tried to obtain earlier in the year via the trade route, got his release from Victoria and signed with the Caps as a free agent.
Sheridan, who played one season (1948) with Boston Red Sox and a long time (1943-1951) Coast Leaguer, was in right field as the locals made it two straight over the Braves Tuesday.
A four-hit, three-run seventh inning gave the Caps a 3-2 victory and pitcher Brenner his 16th win against six losses. Bob Wellman’s single off relief pitcher Jess Dobernic scored K. Chorlton with the winner.
- - -
VANCOUVER [Tri-City Herald, Aug. 4]—Nicholas Joseph Pesut, who gained a reputation for being a "nice guy" around the Tri-Cites in his three years with the Braves, did considerable damage to local pride Tuesday night when he doubled for the Vancouver Capilanoe's [sic] in the seventh inning.
The two-base blow touched off a rally which was good for three runs, and left Tri-City one short, 3-2.
Tonight, the Braves play the third game of the four-game series here, and the current hope is that Wenatchee is able to hang in the league for at least another week.
Under the present schedule, subject to almost day-by-day change, the Braves finish the four-game series with the Caps Thursday night. Then Tri-City plays cellar-dwelling Wenatchee for four games.
With the demise of Victoria, Wenatchee is the only team below Tri-City in the standings, and horrible thought, should the Chiefs fail to ride her out for another week, Tri-City would probably wind up playing the Caps for 12 straight games.
Everything was cruising serene for the Braves Tuesday night up until the time Pesut got his two-bagger. Pesut needed it since he is hitting something like .230 this season, but it came at a most inopportune time for the Braves.
For Eddie Murphy followed with another which scored Pesut, Tri-City starter Walt Clough was taken from the mound and Jess Dobernic took over. K. Chorlton touched Dobernic for a single single, scoring Murphy and Bob Wellman brought Chorlton home.
Tri-City's runs came in the fourth and seventh innings. Terry Carroll walked, moved to second on a sacrifice and home on Len Tran's single for the first tally. The second came when Tran singled and Bob Moniz hit his 35th double of the season.
Bill Brenner, the Vancouver G.M. and the league's work horse junk pitcher, went the distance for the Caps.
Tri-City .......... 000 100 100—2  8 1
Vancouver ..... 000 000 30x—3 12 0
Clough, Dobernic (7) and Johnson; Brenner and Pesut.

Tyees to Play Tonight In Final Appearance
[Victoria Colonist, Aug. 4, 1954]
Victoria baseball fans will get one more chance to see the 1954 Tyees in action and, at the same time, show their appreciation to the players of the defunct club, which turned in some interesting baseball this season.
It was announced yesterday that Salem Senators, who were left without WIL opposition for three days when Victoria forfeited its franchise yesterday morning, had agreed to play the Tyees tonight in an exhibition game for “Player Appreciation Night.”
All net proceeds will be divided among members of the Tyees to help defray their travelling expenses back to their homes.
Don Pries, manager of the Victoria club, announced that he would have all of his players, with the exception of outfielder Neil Sheridan, who has left to join Vancouver Capilanos in action. Berlyn Hodges, city-grown southpaw who is to get a chance with Portland Beavers of the Coast League, has been named to do the pitching for the Tyees.
And, best of all, Salem-manager Hugh Luby stated that he would give the Tyees another chance at Joe Nicholas, the righthander who wouldn’t pitch for them. Nicholas made one start for the Senators, beating the Tyees, 5-1, at Salem two weeks ago but the Islanders feel that they can even the count. They certainly have the desire.

Directors Of WIL In Meet
[Tri-City Herald, Aug. 4, 1954]
The remaining directors of the ursanforized Western International league tre meeting in Seattle today to plot the course for the seven remaining teams for the rest of the season.
The big problem on the agenda is scheduling, brought about by the departure of the Victoria entry.
The Victoria club is the third to turn belly up this season, and what started out to be the largest loop in organized baseball has been shrinking like a fresh-cut 1x12 ever since.
First to go were Spokane and Calgary and the double-departure then simplified scheduling problems. Now, with the league down to seven teams, it means one club will be idle every day which in turn means 18 players somewhere are being paid for not playing.
However, in Tacoma, league president Bob Abel denied that the Victoria demise means the end of the league. And here in the Tri-Cities, Tri-Clty Athletic Association directors have let it be known that the Tri-City club would finish the season even if it means going along in a four-team league.
Victoria quit the league after a meeting of its board of directors Tuesday morning. After the meeting, Bob Cox, president of the group there gave financial difficulties
brought on by poor attendance as the reason.
Victoria long has been one of the shakier ones in the shaky league. Several times the club was saved by contributions of a British "angel," a share of whose wealth now rests in the coffers of some expensive playing talent.
In an effort to forestall the inevitible collapse, the Tyee management tried several promotions to bring out crowds including selling tickets for the entire second half at 12.50 a book. None worked.
So far, there is no indication that other dubs are in serious financial straits. However, most of hem. Including Tri-Clty, are eadlng a hand-to-mouth existence and more tales of further financial woes may come out of the Seattle meeting.

Sports Notes

[Tri-City Herald, Aug. 4, 1954]
Victoria Is Kaput
Whenever things look serene on the Western International league waters, along comes something to stir things about a bit. Ever since the league got going on the second one-half schedule, it looked as if it might last at least through this season as an eight-team league.
Then Victoria chooses to do its el foldo.
The possible demise of Victoria was not entirely unexpected. Harold Matheson, president of the Tri-City Athletic association, had predicted such at the meeting of the stockholders right near the end of the first half.
And there were plenty of indications in the wind. First came the deal way last June when Victoria failed to pay its league assessments. But it got past that hump. What is not generally known, though, is that Victoria failed to pay its league assessments again since that time.
Victoria truly can be said to be a team that was "done under" in an effort to keep up with the high-spending Vancouver Capilanoes. When the Caps started loading the roster earlier this year, Victoria was one of the clubs that took more than an ordinary amount of interest in the procedure, simply because the club knew that under the natural rival system of scheduling, it was going to be playing the Caps a high-percentage of games through the year.
* * *
They Didn't [Buy] The Product

So the club that nearly folded last season, and has never drawn too well, started signing players that none but the Vancouver beer barons could afford.
Unfortunately for Victoria, it wound up paying the price but not getting the product. The difference was apparent in the two series the Tyees played here. The first time around, Victoria had a hustling club, which may have made mistakes, but at least played. The second time around, the only time some of them ran came after the final out when the team made the mad dash for the showers.
But leave us not be too general and say high-paid players don't hustle. Lewiston has a high-paid club but it hustles and what's more, I'll pick them right now to beat Vancouver in the playoffs.
* * *
Let 'Em Go

Now that Victoria has forfeited its franchise, the best thing the league can do is snap it up with a quick "thank you" and forget about the Canadian city as a possible future site for WIL baseball.
True, it will cause scheduling complications, but there is no point in trying to keep things going there for another period of time such as has been done in the case of Calgary and Spokane.
In those last two deals, the Calgary players didn't get paid, and the Spokane players got paid out of league money—a share of that bill arriving at General Manager
Eddie Taylor's Sanders Field office last week.
Furthermore, by taking quick advantage of the demise of Victoria, it may help next season if the U.S. members of the circuit want to go for the sound six-team league
This still leaves Vancouver and Edmonton to deal with, but for other reasons, either one or both may give up the WIL next year. Vancouver stands a good chance of glomming onto a Coast League franchise, if Los Angeles withdraws its permission which allows Hollywood to operate, and Edmonton may go for a prairie league of towns nearer its home stamping grounds.
All this, of course, is based on the idea that the rest of the league survives this season. Seven teams will cause no end of scheduling complications.
* * *
We Can Always Play Salem

However, we won't worry about it. As Eddie Taylor joked, "maybe we will wind up playing Salem the rest of season."
And when you think about it, that is just about what the Braves will be doing anyway.

Teams, Leagues Folding
Sad Plight of Minors Causing Concern
The Associated Press
NEW YORK, Aug. 2—The sad plight of the minor leagues is causing deep concern in the upper strata of the baseball world where it is recognized that the game cannot survive without its lower branches.
Since the start of the season, three of the 36 minor leagues have folded and the number of clubs playing minor league ball has shrunk from 268 to 249. The Florida International in Class B, the Mountain States in Class C and the Tar Heel in Class D are no more.
Maybe its rushing the coroner's report to say the Florida Int. is dead, for the two remaining teams have been given special permission to play a nine-game championship series — for the championship of Miami and St. Petersburg.
George Trautman, head of the minors, was in New York early this week for a series of meetings. Although George was trying to keep his chin up, he obviouslv was disturbed by the foldings.
“We're not going to die on the vine,” he said. “The situation is not that desperate. But obviously it is a cause of concern when you drop from 59 leagues in 1949 to 34 half-way through 1954.”
Baseball still is scared of Washington, uncertain how far it can move without being hauled up on charges of monopoly. If it were possible to take some of the money that is paid for radio and television rights and spread it among the minors, without legal complications, I am sure commissioner Ford Frick would advocate such a move. Something like that may be the ultimate solution.
Trautman hopes to escape further fatalities this year. He admits the failures did not come as a complete surprise because all three of the leagues that folded were down to four clubs. There are no other four-club leagues.
But the problems remain. In the Western Association, for instance, the Iola, Kan. franchise is operated by the league. In the Longhorn League, the Wichita Falls, Tex. club has shifted to Gainesville, Tex.
The Class A Western international started with 10 clubs but Spokane and Calgary dropped out. Augusta and Macon are reported on shaky ground in the Sally League, also Class A. Another A league, the Eastern, reports attendance down 43,000 at the half-way mark.
“About half the leagues were under last year and about half were over,” said Trautman, reporting on a late June survey. “In the leagues still operating, we're not much worse off than last year. We have some good reports, mostly from the Texas area and the Carolinas. But where we used to have 43 clubs in North Carolina a few years ago, now we hare only about ten.”

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