Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Tuesday, August 31, 1954

                W  L  Pct GB
Yakima ....... 38 24 .613 —
Lewiston ..... 35 29 .605 1
Salem ........ 33 23 .589 2
Vancouver .... 30 23 .566 3½
Edmonton ..... 28 30 .483 8
Wenatchee .... 19 36 .345 15½
Tri-City ..... 20 38 .345 16

VANCOUVER [Skip Rusk, Sun, Sept. 1]—It was photo night at Cap Stadium Tuesday but the Vancouver Caps didn’t fit into the picture which was a double feature co-starring Herman Lewis and the Yakima Bears.
Lou Stringer’s Bears destroyed Bill Brenner’s Caps twice—5-2 and 5-4—to move into first place in the Western International Baseball League, four percentage points ahead of Lewiston Broncs. Salem Senators are a game-and-a-half off the pace, while the Caps occupy fourth spot, three-and-a-half games behind the leaders.
The first 2000 fans—1500 attended the twin bill—received pictures of the Caps, courtesy of the management. And no matter how good Brenner’s boys looked in those glossy prints, they were out of the picture on the playing field.
Sandy Robertson started the seven-inning opener for Vancouver. He lasted three innings, during which time Yakima scored all its five runs. After Don Pries, former Victoria manager, singled in Des Charouhas in the first inning with Yakima’s initial run, Herm Lewis blasted a 350-foot homer over the right field fence.
Sandy managed to get through the second and gained new hope when Ken Richardson smashed a homer over the left field wall in the Caps’ half of the inning. However, the Bears bounced back in the third when Lewis whacked his second straight homer with Pries, who had singled, patiently waiting on first.
The second game started with Bears scoring three runs off Caps’ Bill Brenner, who was seeking his 23rd victory. They added single runs in the second and fourth innings, then withstood a late Vancouver rally to give John Carmichael his 19th win against 10 defeated.
Caps got one run back in the second, added another when K Chorlton homered in the seventh and had a real rally going in the ninth. First man up, Jim Clark, was safe on an error. He scored from first on Marv Williams’ double and Williams came in on Richardson’s single. Neil Sheridan singled to put men on first and second, but Dick Greco grounded to short, forcing Sheridan and the rally was ended. [Danny Rios pitched to the last two batters to save the game].
[WILFan notes: Brenner was victimised on the first batter he faced in the night game. Catcher Nick Pesut dropped a third strike on Des Charouhas. Pries, Len Noren and John Albini later singled that inning ... from Dick Beddoes’ column in The Sun after the game: The Vancouver Caps have particated in 41 baseball games this season which have been decided by one run, and have won 20 ... Ex Cap Manager Harvey Storey is getting $1,100 to play for the Lewiston Broncs]
First Game
Yakima ........ 302 000 0—5 7 0
Vancouver ... 010 001 0—2 3 2
Edmunds and Summers; Robertson, Bowman, (4) and Duretto.
Second Game
Yakima ......... 310 100 000—5  8 2
Vancouver .... 010 000 102—4 12 1
Carmichael, Rios (9) and Summers, Brenner and Pesut

LEWISTON, Idaho, Aug. 31—Edmonton Eskimos bunched four runs in the fourth inning Tuesday night to snap Lewiston's six-run winning streak with a 4-3 victory over the Western International League leaders.
The Broncs snuffed out an Eskimo scoring threat in the first inning with a double play and the game went scoreless until the fourth when Edmonton tapped Bronc hurler Guy Fletcher for four singles, which, combined with two Lewiston fielding errors, won the game. Only one run was unearned.
Lewiston countered in the bottom of that frame with one run on a double and a single, and in the eighth Larry Barton brought in two runs with a homer.
Edmonton starter John Conant was the winning pitcher. The two teams meet today for the deciding game of their three-game series.
Edmonton ......... 000 400 000—4 7 2
Lewiston .......... 000 100 020—3 8 2
Conant, McNulty ( ) and Prentice; Fletcher, Marshall (8) and Cameron.

WENATCHEE, Aug. 31—Wenatchee slammed out 13 hits off three Salem pitchers here Tuesday night to win 9-5 and even the series at one win apiece.
Jerry Green, Wenatchee lead-off better, slammed the first pitch of the game out of the park to start the winner's run parade.
Salem ............. 011 030 000—5 10 1
Wenatchee ..... 140 201 01x—9 13 0
Rayle, Roenspie (2), Johnson (4) and Ogden; Hodges, Romero (2), Waters (5) and Self.

Hemphill Released By Braves
KENNEWICK [Tri-City Herald, Sept. 1]—Tri-City doesn't play until Thursday when they journey to the Oregon capital for a four-game series there. Then Sunday and Monday, the same two teams come here for a season-ending series.
General manager Eddie Taylor said today the series here will be called "baseball appreciation nights." All passes for the two nights, except working press passes, naturally, will be canceled.
Taylor also announced that pitcher Jack Hemphill, who had a 4-8 record this season has been released.

Sports Notes

[Tri-City Herald, Sept. 1, 1954]
One of those who has passed quietly from the Western International league baseball scene near the tail end of this season is umpire Lowell Fulk of Wapato.
Fulk was dismissed recently by league president Robert Abel and although no reason was given it is generally felt the dismissal grew out of a rhubarb between the ump and Salem's firstbaseman Harry Warner.
The ruckus, which happened in a game with Yakima, resulted first in a three-day suspension for Warner, which was later cut to one day. It was charged that Warner "pushed umpire Fulk" which, ordinarily, would have resulted in an indefinite suspension. And now it is voiced around that Hugh Luby, Salem general manager, and admittedly a power in the league, pulled strings that enabled Warner to return to active duty.
This, in itself, would indicate, that WIL pennants are not decided by play on the field but rather by "politics" in league circles.
And as further evidence, one has to but cite the statement shortly thereafter of Bruce Williams, president of the Salem club and league vice president who said bluntly:
"We've had the lousiest umpiring in the history of the league this season."
But despite this, and in effort to clear any cries of "favoritism," it can be reported that the dismissal of Fulk was in the making long before the Warner incident.
And since Tri-City and playing manager Edo Vanni had a hand in the matter, it might be well to start from there.
* * *
Reached Climax In Tie Game

Now through the season, Vanni had been having rows with Fulk. This in itself doesn't mean much, because you could substitute the name of any one of the other WIL umps for Fulk, and the statement would be just as true.
However, things reached a climax when Tri-City and Lewiston played a 12-inning tie game there July 24. In one of the later innings, Artie Wilson uncorked one that called over the leftfield wall.
Fulk ruled that the ball was foul, and this brought Vanni out with a roar. Again, that isn't unusual since any time a Tri-City batter hits one foul within 10 feet of the pole, Edo is going to come out shouting, "You can never tell," he contends, "maybe the ump might give you one."
But Tri-City has other players on the roster who are not inclined to debate close calls nor see things with a distorted vision. And all will contested Artie's blow was a fair ball. So we will mark it down as just an ump's mistake.
* * *
Edo Talked Way Out Of Fine

Anyhow, since this one really was fair, and eventually cost Tri-City a game, Edo was a little more violent than usual, received the boot and was in line for a heavy fine.
However, in the communications with the league office that followed Vanni fast-talked himself out of the fine and invited league president Able to come over and see Fulk in action.
Edo even went so far as to make the impossible promise that he would be on his good behavior and wouldn't be involved in any rows, rhubarbs or ruckuses.
Abel came to Sanders for one of the games during the Lewiston series to check on Fulk. He was also treated to the spectacle of several Lewiston and Tri-City ballplayers fist-fighting around second base. The fight was touched off by Lewiston shortstop Nick Cannuli, and naturally, Tri-City's Edo Vanni.
I have no way of knowing what impressions Abel got of Fulk's ability that night, although as it was commented here before, the fight was so obviously in the making that prompt action by the ump could have presented the entire incident.
But in any case, all this shows that satisfaction with Fulk, and the events leading up to his dismissal, started long, long before the Salem Harry Warner incident,
* * *
Umps Weak Spot In Game

This business about umpires is complicated to no end but the officiating is probably the biggest weakness in professional baseball.
First off, it takes some kind of a peculiar makeup to be an ump. For what ordinary person would subject himself to a life with almost no friends, and where it may be detrimental to even have casual acquaintances, plus the prospect of being insulted by strangers, for no more pay than the average minor league scale.
Even raising the wages isn't likely to up the standards of the profession because to the average Joe, you couldn't pay him enough to take the job.
You'll have to concede the men who take the job must love the game, and they are honest, but the field to select from is so narrow, it isn't always easy to find those who are competent.
Yet so much hangs on the decisions of the ump that only the very best, from the majors to the D leagues, should rule.
* * *
Jess Said They Get Worse

Jess Dobernic, Tri-City pitcher who isn't inclined to create much of a fuss over the decision of umpires, believes the situation gets worse each year and doesn't look for any improvement.
"How can there be?" Jess asks. "They've got the same umps they've always had. All they can do is" get worse."
Jess's solution: "The only thing would be some kind of an electric eye device back of home plate calling the balls and strikes."
* * *
Victorians At Funeral

Up in Victoria, some 40 persons attended the burial ef4he Victoria Baseball and Athletic company last week. The 40 were but a small part of the 700 or so who owned stock in the defunct enterprise.
* * *
Fletcher Pitch Solved

Vanni says he has solved the mystery of Lewiston pitcher Guy Fletcher's unorthodox pitch.
"Ya notice only Ed Garay catches when Fletcher pitches? You know why Clint Cameron doesn't catch for him? Because Cameron doesn't chew tobacco and can't work up enough spit in his glove. That's how they load 'em."
What about Edo? Every time he goes to the plate at Lewiston, some individual, always wants to check up and see if he is using a corked bat.

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