Monday, 11 August 2008

Wednesday, July 28, 1954

               W  L  Pct GB
Lewiston .... 16  9 .640 —
Yakima ...... 14  8 .538 ½
Salem ....... 14  8 .638 ½
Edmonton .... 11 12 .478 4
Vancouver .... 9 11 .450 4½
Tri-City .... 10 13 .435 5
Victoria ..... 7 10 .412 5
Wenatchee .... 7 17 .292 8½

YAKIMA, July 29—After dropping two games to the Bears Tuesday night, the first half WIL champions, Vancouver Capilanos, came back Wednesday night with a 19-5 victory which snapped Yakima’s win streak at eight games.
The Caps, who have had trouble getting started in the second half, suddenly found the range and teed off on three Yakima hurlers with a 20-hit attack.
Danny Rios was the first Bear hurler to go, bowing out in favour of Don Carter in Vancouver’s four-run first inning. Bob Young replaced Carter in the third (when the Caps scored seven times), and remained for the rest of the massacre.
Leftfielder K Chorlton led the Capilano attack with five-for-five, including a double and a home run, and scored five runs. Kenny Richardson also homered for the winners and Marv Williams had a four-for-five night.
Pete Hernandez went all the way for the winners, picking up his fifth win in seven decisions.
The two teams exchanged four-run first innings, with the runs off Hernandez being unearned. Des Charouhas led off with the single, the first of three of the game, and after an out, first baseman Bob Wellman was charged with an error which allowed Herm Lewis to reach base. Noren singled in a run, Yakima manager Lou Stringer tripled in a pair and scored on Charlie Mead’s single.
Noren and Mead each had a pair of hits, Mead singling in John Albini in the eighth.
Vancouver .... 407 030 173—19 20 1
Yakima ........ 400 000 010— 5  9 2
Hernandez and Duretto; Rios, Carter (1), Young (3) and Albini.

LEWISTON, no story available
Salem ......... 000 020 210—5 9 1
Lewiston ..... 000 000 000—0 4 2
Domenichelli and D. Luby; Fletcher, Martin (9) and Garay.

VICTORIA [Jim Tang, Colonist, July 29]—Victoria Tyees last night took back the game they handed Edmonton Eskimos on Monday night as they scored three runs in the ninth inning to tie and four in the 11th to squeeze out a 5-4 victory at Royal Athletic Park.
Victory gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead in the four-game WIL series, which concludes tonight. Hal Flinn is the probable Victoria pitching choice while Edmonton-manager Bob Sturgeon has nominated Ken Kimball to do the heavy work for his club.
Mel Stein, a quiet hustler who joined the Tyees on June 22 as their first baseman and who has given his best in every game, was the hero of the comeback last night in a game which started out in dullish fashion and wound up as one of the season’s most interesting displays.
Stein broke the spell veteran righthander John Conant had been weaving around the Tyees with a lead-off home run in the eighth inning. Then he kept the tying rally going in the ninth with a single before breaking it up in the 11th with his second home run of the game and sixth of the season. It was a solid smash which cleared the centre-field fence with plenty to spare and gave Bill Bottler the victory.
Bottler took over from Bob Drilling, lifted for a pinch hitter in the ninth, and turned in two scoreless and hitless innings. Drilling, trying for his 12th win, was the victim of some loose defensive play as the Esks scored twice in the first inning and later gave up home runs to Roy Partee and Vern Campbell.
Campbell, however, gave the Tyees a helping hand in the ninth when he muffed a line drive from the bat of Steve Mesner, hitting for Drilling with the bags loaded, two out, and the Tyees trailing by two runs. The tying runs scored on the play as what should have been a merited decision slipped from Conant’s grasp.
Dain Clay started the ninth with a rousing double but hope faded as Bill Prior grounded out and Don Lundberg skied out. But Milt Martin plated Clay with a sharp single and Eddie Lake and Stein followed with hits to load the bags. Then came the muff by Campbell, who has turned in several sparkling catches in the three games this week.
But while their victory was tinge with luck, the Tyees turned in some fine play as they found themselves after a sluggish start. Lake made two fine plays at shortstop, one spectacular stab of a smashing bid for a hit by Andy Skurski which was turned into one of three Victoria double plays. And Don Pries took a hit from Whitey Thomson in the ninth to convert it into an inning-ending out with a runner on his way to the plate from second base.
And the Tyees won this one without clean-up hitter Neil Sheridan in the line-up after the fourth inning. The big fellow tossed his bat in disgust after being called out on strikes and was politely asked to leave the premises by plate-umpire Art Jacobs.
The win failed to move the Tyees from seventh spot but the league race tightened as both Lewiston and Yakima, the one-two clubs, lost. The Tyees are five games behind the Lewiston leaders but only one game out on the losing side. Yakima and Salem, tied for second place, have lost only two fewer games that Victoria and it wouldn’t take too long for the Tyees to get back into contention if they keep on winning.
Edmonton ...... 200 000 101 00—4 10 2
Victoria ......... 000 000 013 01—5 10 1
Conant, Manier (9) and Partee; Drilling, Bottler (10) and Martin, Lundberg (10).

KENNEWICK [Tri-City Herald, July 29]—Tonight when the Tri-City Braves and Wenatchee teams play the fourth and final game of the current series, fans will honor Vic Buccola, the “oldest” of the Braves from the standpoint of service and “oldest” In the league from the standpoint of games played.
Tonight's game will be Western International league contest No. 1,186 for Buccola but it will take a few yards of Trainer Doc Hoyt's tape for the player to make it.
Buccola pulled a leg muscle while at bat in the seventh inning of Tri-City's 10-0 victory over Wenatchee Tuesday night and was taken out of the game. It was the first time he has failed to complete a game in more than two seasons.
Buccola was not the only player injured during the tilt. Bob Moniz, who made probably the most outstanding circus catch of a fly ball seen at Sanders, and thereby saved pitcher Don Robertson's bid for a shutout, was hurt on the play but will be back in the lineup tonight.
The Moniz catch came in the last of the ninth. Robertson had pitched himself out of tight spots throughout the game but in the final frame gave up a single and a walk, while getting but one away.
Then Tony Rivas rapped one out into short right-center field and it had base-hit written all over it. Moniz cut in, took the ball in backhand at his shoetops, and rolled over twice coming up with it.
Catcher Rube Johnson came on to play for Moniz but Robertson got Ross McCormack to fly out to centerfield. fortunately, to end the game. It was Robertson's 13th win, or 13½ if you want to figure in the Lewiston tie and get him past the jinx number.
It was his first shutout this season.
Robertson gave up seven hits—all well-scattered, but walked seven which is a high quota for him. His shutout was endangered in the sixth when McCormack led off with a triple. But then he got the next two batters to ground out, struck out the third and McCormack died on base.
Tri-City took advantage of Charlie Beamon's 10 walks and two Wenatchee' errors to score its 10 runs. In the second inning, Beamon walked four, and an error and a double by playing manager Edo Vanni did the damage.
In the fifth, Tri-City got four singles, plus a walk and another error for five more runs. Beamon was taken out for Don Stanford.
The lone seventh inning run came on Gordy Brunswick's single, a wild pitch, and Terry Carroll's single.
Wenatchee .... 000 000 000— 0 7 3
Tri-City ......... 040 005 10x—10 9 0
Beamon, Stanford (6) and Self; Robertson and Warren.

Vic's Consecutive Complete Total Stopped At 282
[Tri-City Herald, July 29, 1954]
When Vic Buccola, Tri-City first baseman, was taken out of the game with Wenatchee in the seven-inning Wednesday night, it snapped his consecutive complete game total at 282 games.
The last time Buccola failed to play a complete game was Aug. 6, 1952. On that day, a pulled neck muscle kept him on the bench and Bob Rittenberg, who was sold to Wichita the next day, played first base. Tri-City lost the home game to Lewiston, 17-4.
Counting seven innings played Wednesday night, Vic's consecutive total is 2,545.
Vic ran up his complete game total with 53 games in the remainder of the 1952 season and added 136, or all of them, in 1953. This season he played in 93 complete games up to Wednesday night.
His total of games played in the Western International league exceeds that of all active players. He has been listed in the boxscores 1,185 times, or 1,186 when he takes to the field tonight. His nearest competitor in that department is Charlie Mead of Yakima who has played in a dozen or so less.
Vic's WIL career started in 1942 at Spokane when he played 23 games for the Indians. He added 142 the following year and then was in the U. S. Coast Guard for 3½ war years.
Returning in 1946, he played 79 games with Victoria and from then through part of 1948 he was with Oakland in the Pacific Coast League and Atlanta in the Southern Association.
He played 133 games with Victoria in 1948 and 143 with the Tyees in 1949. Since then he has been with Tri-City.
Vic has led the league defensively in four years, 19-18, '49, '51 and '53.
Since coming to Tri-City for the 1950 season, he has walked to the plate officially 2,470 times and 743 of those times, he got a base hit.
Since joining the Braves, he has circled the basepaths for a total of 495 runs which is nearly equivalent to running from Sanders Field to Connell. And the figure doesn't include the number of times he has got on base and died there while playing with teams notorious for letting runners die on base.

Sports Notes

[Tri-City Herald, July 29, 1954]
A couple of years ago, when Fritz Bremmer was honored as the Braves’ Most Loyal Fan, he was asked which player was his favorite.
Fritz thought it over for a while, and said: “Well, I kinda like Buccola.”
And there are hundreds of other fans throughout the Tri-Cities who feel much the same. Tonight at Sanders Field, those fans will get a chance to honor Vic Buccola, the Tri-City regular, for his performance with the Braves since the team came here from Wenatchee in 1950.
One of the odd things about baseball thinking is the attitude toward firstbasemen and his role in the defensive lineup. It usually goes something like this: “We have eight ballplayers and a guy on first base.”
Some teams, even major leagues, ask nothing more than that the guy be able to slug the ball. Yet, next to the catcher and pitcher, the firstbaseman is going to make more catches, and more throws than any player in the lineup.
So despite the assertions of the rest of the boys, a good defensive firstbaseman is going to help any team — and Vic has done just that.
At the plate, Vic keeps his average well up in the .330's and is a genius at drawing walks. He is currently leading the league in that department which is a pretty good indication he has a “good eye.”
Vic Could Still Hit Homers
Incidentally, a few years ago Vic rapped out some 15-16 homers and some have asked why he hasn't been able to knock too many out since. Vic has an answer for that.
“Sure, I could hit a lot of homers again. But I’d find my batting average down around .200. I'd rather get the hits and stay up there. It does more good.”
And as much as the Tri-City fans would like to have a home run hitter, it probably does more good. Vic leads the team in scoring and scoring wins ball games. True the mighty blast at the dramatic moment provides a big thrill but its that old day to day grind around the basepaths that helps keep your team ahead of the next one.

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