Monday, 4 August 2008

Tuesday, May 18, 1954

                W  L  Pct  GB
Vancouver .... 13  8 .619  —
Lewiston ..... 11  9 .550  1½
Spokane ...... 11  9 .550  1½
Victoria ..... 11  9 .550  1½
Yakima ....... 11 10 .524  2
Edmonton ...... 8  8 .500  2½
Wenatchee .... 10 10 .500  2½
Salem ........ 10 12 .455  3½
Calgary ....... 6 10 .375  4½
Tri-City ...... 8 14 .364  5½

KENNEWICK [Tri-City Herald, May 19]—The Tri-City Braves and the Vancouver Capilanoes go at it again tonight even up with one baseball win apiece and a draw in a one-fall special, five-minute time limit grappling brawl.
Tonight's starter for Tri-City will be either Don Robertson, with 4-1 record, or Cliff Coggin with no record. Both are righthanders and two of the best playing manager Edo Vanni has to go against the Caps.
The Braves found out Tuesday night that the powerful array of Caps can be beaten by good pitching and running them off the basepaths.
The pitching performance was turned in by Walt (Deacon) Clough, righthander, who won the second game as he calmly set the Caps down on three hits and shut them out. 7-0. Clough didn't walk any one but he hit the mighty Dick Greco twice.
The first pitch to Greco's back came in the seventh inning. It annoyed the big outfielder, delighted the fans but nothing happened.
When he was hit with another of Clough's pitches in the ninth, Greco charged out to the mound and touched off the biggest ruckus seen at Sanders since the night of the "Big Bear Rassle" in 1953.
Greco himself had cooled off by the time Clough side-stepped him out on the mound but third-base coach George Nicholas jumped Clough from behind. This brought players from both benches streaming out on the field and for five minutes there was a tangle of Tri-City and Vancouver uniforms.
Like most ballplayer brawls, the fray became a stumbling grappling match with no one being seriously hurt. Tri-City pitcher, Jack (Beanie) Warren leaped in the middle of the fray, glove and all, and afterwards joked that he pinned both Greco and Vancouver catcher Nick Pesut.
Greco, a former Tri-City player who had never worn a Tri-City uniform, got a piece of one just as the melee ended. In the confusion, he lost his cap and Warren lost his. After some checking up. Greco found he was wearing Warren's cap and Warren had Greco's.
The brawl itself, and especially since it involved the much-berated Greco, came as on extra-bonus for Tri-City fans who felt they had their money's worth just watching the pitching of Clough.
Bill Brenner, the Cap manager, tried to show his charges what was expected of them when he hit a line single in the third inning. With the exception of K. Chorlton, the rest of the team failed to benefit by the lesson.
Chorlton hit one down the third base line in the fourth inning and was later cut down in a double play. The other hit, by Bob Wellman, was a scroungy infield bouncer that Clough couldn't quite get to and third baseman Sam Kanelos didn't have time to field.
With the exception of the three hits, the twice-hit Greco, and Pesut's getting in on an error, no other Cap batters reached first. None of them got beyond that point.
With Clough setting the Caps down in order, the game was a short one lasting but one hour and 35 minutes plus five minutes for grappling.
Tri-City jumped on John Cordell, Vancouver starter, for four runs on three hits and error and Bob Moniz' double in the second inning.
Brenner took over in the third and gave up single runs then and in the fourth and seventh innings.
Vancouver .... 000 000 000—0  3 2
Tri-City ........ 041 100 10x—7 12 1
Cordell, Brenner (2) and Pesut; Clough and Warren.

SPOKANE, Wash., May 18—Wil Hafey and Eddie Murphy both had something special to celebrate Tuesday night and they did it with fine ball playing as Spokane whipped Lewiston 6-3 in the first game of their three-game Western International League baseball series.
Murphy, playing his 1,000th game of professional baseball, came up with two spectacular catches in the outfield. Hafey, celebrating his birthday, led off the Spokane scoring with anothee run in the second inning.
Pitcher John Anderson chalked up his fifth straight win in going the distance for Spokane. Grumpy Guy Fletcher was the losing pitcher.
Lewiston ...... 000 100 002—3 5 1
Spokane ...... 022 011 10x—6 8 2
Fletcher, Kime (7) and Garay; Anderson and Dean.

YAKIMA [Victoria Colonist, May 19]—Victoria Tyees, led last night by manager Don Pries, continued their early-season superiority over Salem by handing the Senators a 5-3 setback at Salem.
It was the fifth win in six games with the Oregon club this season and it moved the Tyees into a three-way tie for second place, a game and a half behind the leading Capilanos.
Lanky Hal Flinn struggled through the full nine innings for Victoria as he scattered 11 hits well enough to spread the Salem scoring over three innings. He hooked up in a keen pitching duel with Gene Johnson.
It was 1-1 after six innings, the Tyees scoring on an error and hits by Steve Mesner and Tom Perez. Victoria went ahead in the top of the seventh, managing one run on three bases on balls and a hit batsman—and missing a chance to tie it up.
Senators got that one back in their half but Pries tripled in the eighth and scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2, and then doubled with the bags loaded in the ninth to drive in what proved to be the winning run. Salem got one back in the ninth.
Victoria .... 001 000 112—5  8 2
Salem ...... 010 000 101—3 11 1
Flinn and Martin; Johnson, Borst (7) and Heisner.

CALGARY, May 18 — Two home runs by first baseman Jim Wert paved the way Tuesday night for the Calgary Stampeders to defeat Yakima, 12-6, in a Western International Baseball League game here before 800 fans.
Wert hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to cut Yakima's lead to 6-3 and then unloaded a grand-slam homer in the fifth to give the Stamps a 7-6 lead.
Dennis Luby boosted the Calgary lead with a two-run homer in the sixth inning.
Bill Stites, who came on for starter Rod Owen in the second, came through with a great relief job to gain the victory.
Yakima ...... 042 000 000— 6  7 2
Calgary ..... 010 244 01x—12 13 1
Wulf, Schaening (5) and Albini; Owen, Stites (2) and Luby.

EDMONTON, May 18 — The Wenatchee Chiefs edged the Edmonton Eskimos, 7-6, Tuesday night in a marathon three-hour baseball game which officially opened the Western International League season here. A first night crowd of 3,437 took in the game.
It took nearly an hour to play two innings and two more hours to finish the game.
Outfielders John McKeown and Andy Skurski were the big guns at the plate for Eskimos. McKeown blasted a three-run homer in the first inning and Skurski followed with a circuit clout to give Edmonton a 4-0 first inning lead.
Wenatchee got two runs in the top of the second only to have the Eskimos regain the four-run lead with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Chiefs hog-tied the Eskimos after that and gradually chipped away the lead to tie it up at 6-6 and win with a run in the top of the ninth when Joe Unfried, who had doubled with two out, scored on Don Farber's single off Art Worth.
Wenatchee ..... 021 210 001—7 12 2
Edmonton ....... 420 000 000—6  8 0
Bowman, DeCarolis (2), Thompson (6) and Jenney; McNulty, LeBrun (2), Worth (5) and Prentice.

From Our Tower
[Vancouver Sun, May 19, 1954]
Dick Greco Eyes Record
DICK GRECO, Vancouver Caps’ heavy-hitting, slight-fielding outfielder, is unafraid of left-handed pitchers. “Lefties don’t bother me none,” he says, “as long as they’re only allowed to throw one ball at a time.” Greco has hit seven home runs this summer, 36 less than the all-time Western International League record of 43, set by Jim Warner at Wenatchee in 1949.

Sports Notes

[Tri-City Herald, May 19, 1954]
It's a heck of a situation in the baseball world.
Tri-City general manager Eddie Taylor spends winter and spring hassling and rassling around trying to get players to sign. Then comes June and a good number have to be sold, traded or released.
Right now some of the players on the roster have about as much security as a top dog in the Kremlin and on almost any gathering of fans, the question is Who are they going to cut loose?
There will be cuts in other positions, but the pitching staff is the number 1 group under discussion. The Braves have nine pitchers which is not a healthy situation. First of all, with a 17-player limit, a club can't carry that many. Secondly, there is the matter of extra salaries.
Most of all, though, it means that by using all nine from time to time, your better pitchers are not starting and not pitching enough games.
In the majors, some of the old boys are only effective if they pitch not more lhan once a week. But here, those boys have to go every fourth day or they won't do so well.
So even without league limits, the Tri-City pitching roster would have to be cut. So — Which ones? A glance at the records would indicate the job of selection to be relatively easy. But the glance at the records isn't enough. Frequently, those guys with lousy early season records are rhe ones that shift to other clubs and then come around and beat you five times in the middle of August.
* * *
It's Problem For Brass

The problem is one for Taylor and playing manager Edo Vanni so I won't second-guess them. But all the pitchers have some points for 'em and some points against em. Here's the list. You can take your choice.
* * *
Don Has Been Effective

First off, Don Robertson, the mosl proven performer on the staff this season. He is the only one to win consistently and has four victories to his credit. He is the only one to pitch two complete games. Don is pretty secure and any move from here probably would be a move up.
* * *
So Has Bloom

Dale Bloom - Dale hasn't won as many games but he probably has pitched just as effective ball as Don in early games this season. Like Don, any move from here would be up.
* * *
Savarese Has Troubles

Ted Savarese — Ted has had a rough time this season losing four games in four starts. One however was one of those we "shoulda won" losses. In his favor is the fact he is the only veteran lefty on the roster. Also, Ted has performed effectively in former years and it may be that he is just getting a slow start.
* * *
And So Has Guldborg

Bud Guldborg — Bud's another having a rough time although he has won one. However, Bud was a proven, performer in this league before and is probably feeling that absence of a year from organized ball. Control seems to be his big problem. He has walked 16 in 18 innings. At the same time, he has struck out eight which is the highest percentage of strikeouts per inning, pitched for Tri-City hurlers.
* * *
Clough Looks Better

Walt Clough — Walt had his troubles earlier this season — then came through with seven innings of good pitching and his first win. Going the distance seems to be his major trouble and he probably will be stronger in future games. Also, don't forget Walt had a fair Coast league record last year — pitching in 135 innings and having an ERA of 3.79. This wasn't the best but it was still better than records of Tom Lovrich at Seattle, Dick Waibel at Portland, and Ted Shandor at San Francisco. (Note: This was written prior to his 7-0 win Tuesday night.)
Most of Walt's Coast league pitching was in relief and the desire to be a starling pitcher is one of the reasons why he is here.
* * *
Coggin's Arm Is A Worry
Cliff Coggin — Coggin has pitched but 12 innings but has proved to be pretty effective. Last season in the Coast league, Coggin had an ERA of 3.33 which put him up with the best. He would be there yet except he has had "sore arm" trouble. In this league, he will do exceptionally well if the arm doesn't act up or give out.
* * *
Thomason Moves Up

Dale Thomason — When Vanni outlined his plans for a pitching staff, he wanted four starters, another to go the "middle distance" whenever a starter was pounded off the mound in the early innings, and a relief man to go one or two innings at the end of the game.
Thomason was the boy Edo had in mind for the middle distance, but Dale's pitching lately has been good enough that he may soon be given a crack at a starting role.
* * *
Earl Is Special Situation

Earl Lemieux — Earl has pitched the least of any on the team and at first glance would be one to cut from the roster. But don't let that first glance fool you. Earl is a rookie, has a lot of possibilities and what he needs most is experience. Edo figures he can get pitching experience in those games where the Braves are behind 13-2 at the end if the third inning. That way the Braves can develop a pitcher, yet the guy isn't costly enough to break the club. Earl has a good chance of sticking with the club or at the most, being optioned out.
* * *
Jess Will Do Better

Last of all, Jess Dobernic — Right now Jess's stock is at a pretty low level—even to the point where the fans hoot when he comes out to the mound. However, last season Jess had his troubles in the early part of the season, and it was to be expected this year. He will undoubtedly save games when the weather warms up, but if he doesn't—look out. Jess's salary is one of the larger ones and Taylor may feel it is worth keeping in the till.

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