Saturday, 9 August 2008

Tuesday, June 15, 1954

                W  L  Pct GB
Vancouver .... 30 16 .652 —
Yakima ....... 27 22 .551 4½
Edmonton ..... 21 18 .538 5½
Spokane ...... 25 23 .521 6
Wenatchee .... 26 24 .520 6
Lewiston ..... 23 24 .489 7½
Tri-City ..... 22 27 .449 9½
Victoria ..... 20 25 .444 9½
Salem ........ 22 28 .440 10
Calgary ...... 16 25 .390 11½

VANCOUVER [Clancy Loranger, Province, June 16]—Despite what you hear, you CAN have your cake and eat it too. Figuratively anyway.
Bill Brenner’s Capilanos proved that Tuesday night at Cap Stadium.
After modestly accepting the plaudits of the crowd that turned out to celebrate the stadium’s third birthday, they proceeded to chomp up all the goodies in sight. Victoria Tyees made the mistake of being in sight, and they got chomped up twice.
Besides scoring their fourth and fifth straight winds, by scores of 2-1 and 4-1, the Caps showed the some 1500 fans who braved the early evening showers enough off-beat entertainment and histrionics to bring the Avon Theatre scouts to attention.
A “quartet” that included five Caps and a visiting horse (which didn’t sing, some professional clowing by K Chorlton, expert throwing by Danny Holden and Arnie Hallgren, and a rousing speech by Bob Brown sent the folks home happy.
The two wins helped, of course. The Caps had to win the first one the hard way, coming from behind a 1-0 deficit to tie it in the fifth and win it in the sixth on Marv Williams’ single, a passed ball, and Dick Greco’s blow through the box.
George Nicholas got credit for the win, his ninth against three losses.
Bob Roberts picked up his sixth against three setbacks in the nightcap, which featured a two-run homer, no. 9, by Bob Wellman.
DIAMOND DUST—Localite Sandy Robertson makes his pitching debut tonight as the series with the Tyees winds up with a split doubleheader … Bill Brenner was scheduled to pitch the afternoon game … Bud Beasley won’t pitch in this series, but he gave out with a recitation of “Casey at the Bat,” and coached in his own inimitable style at firs base … Tom Lovrich has been assigned to Yakima by Seattle, and Jack Hemphill drew his release as Brenner made room for the two new pitchers … Province Stars—Bob Roberts, who missed a shutout courtesy of two infield hits … Bob Wellman, with a home run and a double … and K Chorlton, the Caps’ answer to at least three of the Marx Brothers … (And he can hit, too).
- - -
VANCOUVER [Victoria Colonist, June 16]—Victoria Tyees haven’t been getting much pitching this season but last night at Vancouver they wasted two pretty fair mound performances as they lost both ends of a double-header to the Vancouver Capilanos, 2-1 and 4-1.
The double defeat practically ended any lingering hopes that the Tyees might yet come to life and snaffle the first-half WIL title and it also focused attention on the schedule-maker, who, in the interests of economy, listed a total of 26 games between the cross-strait rivals.
That piece of scheduling might wreck Tyee hopes in both halves for the Capilanos have lived up to pre-season billing as the club to beat and their victories last night were the fifth and sixth in eight games with the Islanders.
Victimized last night by the lack of hitting support were Berlyn Hodges and Bill Prior. Hodges, who has been the club’s steadiest pitcher in the limited opportunity he has had, held the Caps to six hits in the seven-inning opener. Prior lost one of his better-pitched games over the full route, scattering 10 hits well and giving up only three walks.
Also worthy of note was the fact that Hodges didn’t give up a home run in his game, the first time in 12 games Victoria pitchers haven’t been touched for a four-base wallop. Prior yielded only one, to Bob Wellman in his game.
But the Tyees could do nothing with either George Nicholas, who won his ninth game, or Bob Roberts, who won his sixth. They picked up only three hits off Nicholas and seven off Roberts and a double by Eddie Lake was their only extra-base hit.
To further highlight the last [sic] of plate support, Prior picked up three of the Tyees’ seven hits in the second game.
The teams continue their eight-game week today with games this afternoon and evening, then move to Royal Athletic Park for four games starting tomorrow and ending with the usual split doubleheader.
First Game
Victoria ........ 100 000 0—1 4 1
Vancouver .... 000 011 x—2 6 0
Hodges and Martin; Nicholas and Duretto.
Second Game
Victoria ........ 000 000 100—1  7 0
Vancouver .... 001 200 01x—4 10 1
Roberts and Pesut; Prior and Lundberg.

WENATCHEE [Tri-City Herald, June 16]—Tri-City righthander Don Robertson will be the probable starter for the Braves tonight against Wenatchee at Wenatchee when they try to even the series with the Chiefs.
The Braves lost the opener 2-1 in the tightest game played by Tri-City this season.
Dale Bloom absorbed the loss but only because Tri-City batters were set down by the two-hit pitching of Charlie Beamon.
The win gave Wenatchee a 1-0 edge in the series and evened the season total for the two teams at two wins each.
The Braves’ chances of winning are increased considerably tonight because of two things:
1. They have faced probably the toughest pitcher on the Wenatchee staff, and,
2. Ross McCormack, Wenatchee outfielder, has been recalled by Oakland.
On the first point, Beamon, who earlier pitched a one-hitter for Oakland in the Pacific Coast
league this season, is almost unbeatable when “he is on.”
In downing Tri-City Tuesday night, only Dick Watson, .242 hitting shortstop, and Bob Moniz, who may hit anytime, could get a base blow off him. He set the rest of the high-percentage hitting Braves down in order.
Watson was sacrificed to second after his single moved to third on a pass ball, and scored on Terry Carrol’s fly ball, to ruin Becamon’s bid for a shutout.
On point 2, the recall of McCormack will hit the Wenatchee batting lineup heavily. In the game Tuesday night, he got two base blows in three times up and drove in the tying run.
McCormack has been hitting .332 this season, has 13 doubles, two triples and five home runs.
But it was Beamon himself at the plate that beat Bloom. With the score tied, and two away in the ninth Jerry Green got the eighth hit off Bloom. Then Jake Helmuth walked to put runners on first and second.
Beamon hit Bloom’s first pitch for a single to bring in the winning run.
After tonight’s game, Tri-City will play Wenatchee Wednesday night before returning to Sanders Field for a four-game series with Yakima here.
Tri-City .......... 000 001 000—1 2 1
Wenatchee ..... 000 001 001—2 9 1
Bloom and Warren; Beamon and Jenney.

EDMONTON, June 15—A two-run homer in the tenth inning by Spokane first baseman Red Robbins gave the Indians a 7-5 win over the Edmonton Eskimos in a Western International League game at Renfrew Park on Tuesday.
Spokane ...... 104 000 000 2—7  8 0
Edmonton ..... 112 000 010 0—5 14 2
Lawson, Trautwein (9) and Dean; Conant and Prentice.

Lewiston ..... 034 300 110—12 15 0
Calgary ...... 011 001 140— 8 13 4
Marshall and Garay; Stites, Kapp (4), Owens (8), Whyte (9) and Luby.

Salem ..... 401 000 100—6 13 0
Yakima .... 000 000 001—1  8 2
Del Sarto and Ogden; Schaening, Carter (1), Machado (8) and Summers.

Charouhas Sold To Yakima Bears
Money Need Is Given As Reason For Sale
[Tri-City Herald, June 15, 1954]
Des Charouhas, fleet-footed outfielder for Tri-City the past three seasons, has been sold to the Yakima Bears, general manager Eddie Taylor said today.
The sale is subject to Charouhas reporting. However, Taylor indicated Charouhas would be released should he fail to report to the Yakima club.
The sale of Des cuts even thinner the list of players who have been with the Tri-Cily club since its changeover from the ownership of a private group to a community-owned club.
When the franchise and players were bought by the Tri-City Athletic association, only Vic Buccola, Tom Marier and Charouhas were considered of caliber enough to stick in Class A ball. Marier is on the suspended list this season and Buccola is with the club.
The sale came ahout partly because of the acquisition of Artie Wilson from Lewiston and the need for cutting corners in expenses, Taylor said. He said playing manager Edo Vanni has been taken off the inactive list and will fill in if there is an injury.
Under present plans, Wilson can play infield or third baseman Terry Carroll can play outfield.
The sale cuts the Tri-City roster to 17 players including manager Vanni.
Taylor indicated he was non-too-happy [sic] over the necessity for making the sale. Although Charouhas,who once led the league in triples, was never a long-ball hitter,
his defensive play in the outfield had gone far to helping the club.
Besides his speed, this season he had acquired an ability to second guess the hitters and play them where they were going to hit.
At the plate, he has been hitting .317 in 39 games this season. His total of 44 hits includes seven doubles and one triple. He has 17 runs batted in.
In another move, Taylor announced that rookie pitcher Chris Mezich was returned from Superior, Wis. in the Northern league and released.
Mezich won one game there against no losses but came down with a sore arm. He pitched in 12 innings, gave up 12 runs and 15 hits.

Abel to Seek Trautman Aid
SPOKANE, June 15 — George Trautman, boss of baseball’s minor leagues, will be asked to state the conditions under which a Spokane civic group can take over the Spokane franchise in the Western International League.
Robert Abel, president of the WIL, said he is asking Trautman to authorize the league to set down the terms under which the franchise can be taken over.
“So far as I know, that should not go beyond payroll, travel expenses and any outstanding hotel bills for the club’s recent trips,” Abel said.
Roy Hotchkiss, who has owned the Spokane Indians since 1949, stepped out this week, and the League agreed to keep the team going for a week.
A non-profit corporation to be known as “Save Spokane Indians, Inc.,” was set up Tuesday with Mayor Arthur Meehan as president, and the group said articles of incorporation will be filed immediately.

Spokane Civic Group Tries To Save Indians
SPOKANE, June 15 — A civic group acquiring Spokane’s Western International Baseball league franchise should be responsible only for the club payroll, travel expenses and any outstanding hotel bills for recent road trips, in the opinion of WIL president Robert Abel.
Abel said Tuesday, however, he will ask George Trautman, minor league czar, for the exact terms the league can set in authorizing transfer of the franchise.
A non-profit organization called “Save Spokane Indians, Inc.,” is being set up by civic leaders to acquire the franchise from Roy Hotchkiss, former owner who gave up the operation last Sunday.
Mayor Arthur Meehan, leader of the group, asked Abel to outline the terms, saying there is some question as to obligations and encumbrances any new franchise holder might have to assume before he could operate at Ferris Field, which is owned by Hotchkiss.
Tuesday there was talk here of moving the team from Ferris Field to Memorial Stadium football field.

By Jim Tang

[Victoria Colonist, June 16, 1954]
“Why,” several puzzle observers have asked, “is it that these bankrupt WIL clubs are fighting so hard to “save” baseball in the face of the obvious certainty that there is no chance to get back money already lost and that minor league baseball can no longer pay its own way?”
Now, there’s a tough question to answer. It’s tough to answer because there’s no logical answer. Understanding is needed and it admittedly is difficult to understand something which doesn’t add up.
Professional baseball, like other professional sport, is show business and baseball men, more, perhaps than anyone else in the entertainment field, are dedicated to the belief that the show must go. Their business practices may not be the most intelligent or efficient, they may make the same mistakes year after year, they may argue and battle among themselves and cheat on the rules they make for themselves, but there is the faith that moves mountains in their abiding belief that the game must continue.
If that isn’t it, then who can explain, for instance, why Calgary Stampeders, so uninterested in their franchise they didn’t even bother about it this year until it was taken from them, stood shoulder to shoulder with Edmonton Eskimos to fight any attempt to jettison the two Alberta clubs?
Or why the Eskimos, already in to the tune of $200,000 or more and with scant hope they can get it back this season, not only fought the reputed ouster attempt but agreed to pay each of the six U.S. clubs $600 a trip to fulfil their Alberta schedule commitments and, on top of that, put up $800 to feed and house the Spokane club so it could make its scheduled trip this week?
Or why a fellow like Reg Patterson, who has turned down more lucrative employment offering much more in the way of security, keep battling to keep the Tyees—and the WIL—in operation?
Of course, behind that faith is desperate hope. The farmer who lived through the Prairie drought and planted his crops year and after only to see them blow away again, or the fellow who lost part of his pay-check in a poker game and, afraid to tell his wife, stayed in until it was all gone, would understand.
It doesn’t make sense? Of course not, but then faith and hope, and if you’re wry of mind, charity, are seldom logical to the business mind. I don’t know about the major leagues but the U.S. Supreme Court wasn’t out of line when it ruled baseball a sport and not a business.
Random Harvest
WIL directors, in session practically day and night both Saturday and Sunday, were so busy trying to straighten out the Spokane situation that they never found time to discuss the possibility of making any presidential change, although at least two clubs were anxious for it ... Babe Hollingbery, the Yakima official who wrote out a personal check for $7,000 to pay Spokane club salaries, was completely covered and in no danger of losing his money, but it didn’t look right for the league not be able to take care of the team it took over ... Victoria Tyees are still searching for pitching help and now that the WIL is apparently set for the season, some changes can be expected soon. After all, a team that scored 272 runs in its first 43 games should be better off than the Tyees, who have seen their pitchers yield 489 hits in the first 382 innings plus 237 bases on balls.

On Second Thought
[Oakland Tribune, July 16, 1954]
Financial troubles of the Western International League have Brick Laws of the Oaks worried. Laws’ concern has two origins. One, being devoted to baseball he dislikes seeing a league in such poor shape it might fold. Two, if the WIL flops there will be no Wenatchee, therefore no Northwest “farm” club for the Oaks.
Wenatchee isn't an official Acorn farm club, but a friendly agreement now sends rookie Acorns there for seasoning.
Long George Kelly, former Oakland coach, is the manager. A half dozen or more young Oakland players now are serving their apprenticeship at Wenatchee.
Should the WIL call it quits, and it might, the Oaks still would have two “farm” clubs for their youngsters. They are Albuquerque of the West Texas-New Mexico loop and Modesto of the California league. Neither loop is prosperous, although the California circuit is in the best financial shape.
Laws confesses to surprise that Spokane, in former seasons considered one of the strong links in the WIL chain, now is the weakest.
In the pre-war era Spokane, whose park was better than some in the Pacific Coast League and still is, drew big crowds. The Oaks often played exhibitions there en route to Portland and Seattle. Laws can't understand the present public indifference. Neither can other baseball men.
Until the WIL mess was aired it was thought by profound baseball thinkers that if the Coast League folded Seattle and Portland would become part of a new Northwest loop including Spokane.
Now everyone is confused.

Sports Notes

[Tri-City Herald, June 16, 1954]
Back shortly after World War I in the U.S., when the post-war generation was pretty well convinced it was the “lost generation” and all the world should feel sorry for it, there sprang a school of thought known as debunkers.
These cynical groups used to make some frequently asserted and generally accepted political or social concept and tear it to pieces. Sometimes I think the baseball moguls in the minor leagues could use a baseball “debunker” or two around just to see if they are thinking in terms of “what the public wants” or just in terms of what they think might save them money.
For example, throughout the financially-pressed Western International league, these assertions arc commonly made and accepted:
1. Baseball fans don't like to see the old goats (that’s anyone over 24 years old.) They want to see young players on the way up.
2. All you have to do is get a working agreement to help pay part of the expense. Without one you can compete without spending yourself into ruination.
3. If the league drops to a lower classification, then expenses will be cut, salaries will be reduced, you will have just as good a game, and you will come out ahead.
Fact is, in most circles, these contentions arc so readily accepted the old baseball men look at you with suspicion should you make any assertion to the contrary or should you even hint that the thinking might possibily be along the wrong lines.
Has The Field Been Checked
It is a peculiar situation but baseball is probably one of the few businesses in the U. S. that doesn’t use some scientific soundings out to find out just what the public does want. By this I don't mean letters to the editor, questionnaires passed out at the game, or word-to-mouth-in-an-on-the street interviews consisting primarily of asking loaded questions.
But rather the type interviews conducted in much the same manner as the Gallup poll in which professionals do the job and get opinions from not only those who do go to baseball games but those who don’t as well.
Any successful firm marketing a product, including a newspaper, depends upon information gathered in that manner. Sure, the percentages are off some but the pollsters at least can get an approximate figure.
Well, Would They?
Now, without trying to prove things one way or another, but just to show you that some of the accepted contentions are questionable and would make a good subject for a poll, let’s bounce back to the three “accepted” facts listed above.
First of all, the idea “that the baseball fan likes to see young players on the way up.” Undoubtedly some baseball fans like to see young players on the way up.
But I always notice that when baseball promoters think of having a special night for a player, they always have it for one of the “old goats” because those special nights are held with an eye toward upping the gate. And I also notice that the gate increases around Sanders Field when some old codger such as Lewiston’s John Marshall is slated to pitch.
Personally, I think fans do like to see young players on the way up but they like to see certain ones of the old boys, too. Most of all, though, they want to see players who are familiar to them, whether the guy is 17 or 70
* * *
They Never Check Falling Gate

Secondly, “all you have to have is a working agreement.” Ah, yes, here’s one the baseball brass finds easy to accept. The figuring goes along these lines — without a working agreement, you pay $40,000 in salaries, finish in eighth place, and have a gate of $40,000. If the higher classification club paid part of the salaries, only a small part, you would break even, and better yet, the higher club will send you players of better caliber which in turn will up your position in the standings and you will make even more money.
Harold Matheson is on the committee.
Yet, everyone with a working agreement in the WIL is either subsidized or going broke and no one apparently questions the system.
Fact is, they don’t even check up to see if the gate began to sag the first season the working agreement went into effect.
* * *
That Drop In Classification

And now point three. At the recent league meeting, a committee was appointed to study the possibility of a drop in classification. There arc hundreds of fans, of course, that will be just as happy with Class C or D ball as they will with Class A.
Yet, in following the fortunes of our pitcher on option, Chris Mezich, I notice where the business manager at Superior. Wis., in the Northern league said the team will have to draw 20,000 fans in thc next 12 home dates or go broke.
Now that roughly is what Tri-City has to draw in its remaining home games.
Superior is in an area about the size of Yakima. The team currently is in third place in the standings. The league is Class C yet the team has to draw like Tri-City or go broke. How come?
* * *
Overhead Is Just As High
Probably because of this: Any saving by being Class C comes almost entirely in players’ wages. Overhead costs such as lights, telephones, bats, ushers, baseballs, printing and advertising, travel, laundry, taxes, park depreciation, legal bills, insurance, etc., etc. aren’t any cheaper in Class C than in Class A yet these items make up two-thirds of the cost of operating a club.
So whatever you save will be the reduction from Class A salaries to Class C salaries. This in itself would be a sizable item but balanced against it arc these factors.
Will he public pay as much to see Class C as Class A baseball. (The usual class C charge is 75-85 cents. If not, the theoretical saving is even less.
And will the public come out in sufficient numbers to see Class C at any price?
Maybe. But the average draw at Class C league fields last season was 50,000. At the same time, the WIL averaged 70,000.

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