Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Wednesday, August 18, 1954

                 W  L  Pct GB
Lewiston ...... 32 17 .653 —
Yakima ........ 27 19 .587 3½
Edmonton ...... 25 18 .571 4
Vancouver ..... 25 19 .568 4½
Salem ......... 22 18 .550 5½
Tri-City ...... 15 29 .341 14½
Wenatchee ..... 15 32 .313 16½

LEWISTON [Vancouver Province, Aug. 19]—Vancouver Capilanos ended even in their four game crucial series with the Lewiston Broncs as they beat the league-leaders 8-4 in Lewiston, Wednesday night.
However, the Caps needed more than a split with the red-hot Broncs if they expect to win the second-half crown with any appreciable ease. Wednesday night’s win leaves Vancouver a full four-and-one-half games off the pace with time rapidly running out.
Third sacker Ken Richardson wielded the heavy wood for Vancouver last night, slamming out a home run, two doubles and a single.
Richardson singled and scored one of Vancouver’s two runs [in the second inning]. He hit his homer in the fourth, doubled and scored in the sixth and drove in two more runs with a double in the Capilanos’ big four-run sixth inning.
Lewiston starter Guy Fletcher was chased from the mound in the eighth and was charged with the loss. Veteran George Nicholas, also relieved in the eighth, picked up the win to make his record 15-10.
The Broncs threatened often but were unable to take advantage of most of their 12 hits as Nicholas and reliefer Pete Hernandez were tough in the clutch.
The Capilanos return home today and will play an exhibition game with Burnaby Athletics in Cap Stadium Friday night. Monday through Thursday, the Caps will host the third-place Edmonton Eskimos.
[WILfan notes: Bob Duretto had three singles and batted in two runs, including Richardson in the second … Aside from Bob Williams’ double, the remaining 11 Lewiston hits were singles].
Vancouver ...... 020 101 400—8 15 1
Lewiston ........ 000 010 210—4 12 3
Nicholas, Hernandez (8) and Duretto; Fletcher, Kime (8) and Cameron.

YAKIMA, Aug. 18—The Yakima Bears staged a four-run uprising in the seventh frame, then held off a late Wenatchee rally to win 8-7 Wednesday and take a 2-1 lead in their series with the Chiefs.
Wenatchee ...... 000 140 002—7 13 1
Yakima ............ 010 102 40x—8 12 2
Shandor, Tierney (7) and Self; Rios, Schaening (9) and Summers.

Salem at Edmonton, postponed, rain.

KENNEWICK [Tri-City Herald, Aug. 18]—You can take it from the guys who play baseball for a living — Bill Griffin, the recently-graduated Richland lefty, has got "good stuff."
Griffin was beaten in the exhibition game against the Tri-City Braves Wednesday night at Sanders Field, 6-4, but the loss from his Walla Walla Bears in no way dimmed his pitching.
After the game, the Tri-City players were high in their praise of the 18-year-old lefty.
It isn't often you can find a lefthander throw that hard and have control." Jess Dobernic, a pitcher of some repute, said. "That kid had good stuff and he was getting the ball over."
Edo Vanni, playing manager, put it bluntly: "He can play on my team anytime."
Griffin's control left him in the seventh when he walked three batters and then came Bob Moniz' single which cost him the game. Altogether, he walked eight, which would be slightly high but not out of the ordinary in Class A ball. Bob Greenwood, now with the Philadelphia Phils, for example, averaged that many per game.
Probably unknown to Griffin, Vanni and the Braves subjected him to a few tests just to see how he would react. Twice they tried stealing third on him and both times the runners were thrown out.
"Once in a while when you find a pitcher wearing glasses like that, he'll have trouble watching to see if a runner is going into third," Vanni said. "But that kid didn't have any trouble."
Griffin found Artie Wilson and Bob Moniz were the toughest pickings. Each got two hits, and one of Wilson's was a triple. Jack Warren got a double off him but Rube Johnson and Vic Buccola, both of whom have trouble with most any kind of lefty pitching, could get but one hit between them.
The big blow of the game came when Dick Fain, the Walla Walla centerfielder who leaves for the Navy today, homered in the third inning off Gordy Brunswick. Fain hit a high towering one in the ninth that was just a few feet short of going over.
Brunswick, getting his first work out since coming down with the flu, pitched the first five innings. Dale Thomason, recently returned from the Bob Abel All-Star lineup, pitched two and Jess Dobernic pitched two.
Walla Walla .... 101 010 010—4 9 1
Tri City ......... 202 012 020—9 7 1
Griffin and Hamper; Brunswick, Thomason (6), Dobernic (8) and Johnson.

Sports Notes

[Tri-City Herald, Aug. 19, 1954]
Baseball promoters at Walla Walla are casting covetous eyes on the Tri-City territory. They figure, and logically too that if the Tri-Cities didn't have professional baseball, then they would have semi-pro, with two or more Tri-City teams in a league with Walla Walla.
Because of the limited travel, and the natural rivalry stirred by high school basketball and football, they feel, also logically, that games between teams from the two areas would generate considerable interest.
Hence, the numerable questions pertaining to the financial status of Tri-City when the Braves played there this week. But to dust that off in a hurry:
Although Tri-City isn't rolling in financial clover, it is making the grade. And with league reorganization next year along the lines proposed by Tri-City Athletic Association president Harold Matheson, there is no reason why Tri-City shouldn't field a professional team in 1955 and even come out financially ahead.
What the citizens of Walla Walla don't know, perhaps, is that while they are looking toward Tri-City for possible league expansion, the Willy league directors have often brought up the question of fielding a pro team in Walla Walla.
Some Tri-Citians feel, as one association director put it, "Walla Walla is the city of the living dead," but others out the population of Walla Walla is as great if not
slightly greater than some of the towns with teams in the league.
* * *
City Size No Measurement
Technically, that is true, but the size of a city's population is in no way a measurement of its potential draw at the gate. To arrive at a more accurate set of comparative figures, I looked up the retail trading zone totals for some of the cities in the league. These figures, ordinarily used by advertisers, take into account not only the city's population but the suburban and rural population count of an area which ordinarily transacts its business with the central city.
The figures show that Walla Walla, if fielding a team in WIL, would be in about the same basic class as Wenatchee and it also shows why towns the size of Lewiston apparently have more money for its team than tha city popuation would indicate.
Here are the figures (which are slightly old, so don't get angry. They could be off a thousand one way or another.):
Team                Pop. Zone   Pop.
Lewiston .......... 10,500      136,986
Salem ............. 30,908      134,944
Yakima ............ 27,211      144,420
Wenatchee ......... 11,620       97,372
Walla Walla ....... 11,620       69,746

Obviously, then, although Salem and Yakima boast almost three times the city population, in terms of available gate potential, they are no better off than Lewiston. And also obviously, because of the sparsenass of the rural and uburban population, Walla Walla is a doubtful place to field a WIL team.
* * *
There Are Other Factors
There are, of course, other factors that will work into any situation and which would be difficult to figure here.
First off, the presence of TV kills any area as a baseball spot. Other factors, including plain old "baseball interest," must be considered. And living under the gun of a Coast League club means no minor league baseball in that spot.
Finally, there are the odd cases such as Spokane, where apparently everything is ideal for fielding a pro team. But if anyone can figure out a way to do it in the Inland Empire city, they should tell some of the baseball-supporters there. No one has come up with an answer yet.

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