Sunday, 10 August 2008

Wednesday, June 30, 1954

                W  L  Pct GB
Vancouver .... 38 20 .655 —
Yakima ....... 36 29 .554 5½
Edmonton ..... 28 26 .519 8
Lewiston ..... 30 31 .492 9½
Tri-City ..... 31 34 .477 10½
Wenatchee .... 30 36 .466 12
Victoria ..... 27 33 .450 12
Salem ........ 29 37 .439 13

WENATCHEE, June 30—Wenatchee piled up a four-run lead in the first three innings and added what proved to be the clincher in the fifth in a 5-4 win over the Yakima Bears in a Western International League game here Wednesday.
Yakima hacked away at the lead, scoring two runs in the fourth and singletons in the fifth and eighth, but couldn't come up with the winning punch.
Wcnatchee's first two tallies were on Tommy Munoz' second inning homer, his llth of the season.
Yakima ........... 000 210 010—4 9 3
Wenatchee ..... 022 010 00x—5 8 1
Carter, Lovrich (3) and Summers; Beamon, Shandor (4) and Helmuth.

EDMONTON [Tri-City Herald, July 1]—The Tri-Clty Braves and the Edmonton Eskimoes are playing a doubleheader on Dominion day in Edmonton today but one thing is certain — neither one is going to win any first half title.
For the two clubs, that was pretty apparent a long time ago but now it is almost a cinch no other team but Vancouver is going to have a hand in. Although the Caps were idle by rain Wednesday night, they gained another half game on second-place Yakima when the Bears fell to Wenatchee, 5-4, at Wenatchee.
Tri-City, meanwhile, has its six-game win streak snapped by Edmonton, 6-5, in a game that went 11 innings. And error and a double by Edmonton's Augie Morena [Amorena] in the bottom of the 11th brought in the winning run.
Walt Clough went the distance for Tri-Clty. For Edmonton, Dick Kimball started but was taken out in the eighth when a Braves' uprising brought in three runs and tied the score 6-6.
In today's action, Jess Dobernic is pitching the afternoon game and Dale Bloom is slated to pitchthe nightcap.
Tri-City ......... 001 001 030 00—5 13 2
Edmonton ...... 010 031 000 01—6 10 1
Clough and Warren; Kimball, Conant (8) and Warren.

Wenatchee at Victoria, postponed, rain.
Salem at Vancouver, postponed, rain.

Capilanoes Sell Dick Greco To Salem
Braves Fall, Caps Near Half Title

[Tri-City Herald, July 1, 1954]
Dick Greco, the outfielder who didn’t want to play for Tri-City and bought his release to sign with Vancouver, has been sold to the Braves’ “natural rival,” the Salem Senators.
The sale of Greco was not unexpected. More than a month ago the Tri-City Herald reported Greco was on the block but no club then wanted to pay the price or his salary.
At the recent meeting of Tri-City Athletic Association stockholders in Richland, Harold Matheson, president, reported Vancouver was asking $2,500 for Greco. He bought his release here for $2,500.
An Associated Press story reported the sale of Greco was designed to bring better balance in the league. Manager Bill Brenner, the AP said, “should help Salem to bring out the fans.”
From the standpoint of Tri-City, Greco will probably bring out Sanders field fans, too. On what was the equivalent of “Down with Dick Greco Night” at Sanders field earlier this season, 2,100 Tri-Citians turned out to boo the outfielder following a player gang fight of the night before.
Although the present league schedule for the second half has not been set, Tri-City will again be paired with Salem as “natural rivals.” This means that Greco’s appearances at Sanders field will be more frequent during the second half of play.
Although Brenner implied the sale of Greco was part of a generous gesture on the part of the Capilanoes, records indicate the Cap general manager may have taken the action for other reasons.
First of all Greco’s home run production has not reached the heights originally hoped. In the series against Tri-City, he blasted out one four-master for his tenth of the season. Since then, he has hit one more to bring his season total to 11.
The elimination of one outfielder from the Capilano roster was made necessary by the acquisition of Eddie Murphy, formerly with Spokane. Murphy, although lacking the long ball punch, will lend considerable defensive strength to the Capilano lineup and is one of the better leadoff men in the league.
Murphy was released by the Philadllphin Phils following the folding of Spokane and his shift to that team through a “sale” arrangement. He offered his services to other teams in the league, including Tri-City, for a price that none but Vancouver felt they could afford.
K. Chorlton, the outfielder who could hot come to terms with the Seattle Rainiers following his recall last week, will probably shift to left field and Murphy will take center. Arne Hallgren is the other Cap outfielder.
Along with the Greco sale, the Capilanoes also sold pitcher Bill Franks to Salem. Franks had a 3-3 record for the first half.
Meanwhile in another league development, Victoria complained of financial troubles. Unless 10,000 fans turn out for the weekend scries with Wenatchee, the management warned, the Tyees may be forced to join Spokane and Calgary on the sidelines.
The financial troubles of Victoria were predicted by Matheson at the recent stockholders’ meeting.

No Go For Clow
VICTORIA, June 30 — Infielder Elmer Clow's life as a Victoria Tyee has been brief. The Western International Team released him on Wednesday, after he played third base on Tuesday night for the Tyees.
Clow had played shortstop for Calgary this season, and signed as a free agent when that team folded at the beginning of the month.

By Jim Tang
[Victoria Colonist, July 1, 1954]
Bases on balls drive fans away from baseball parks and managers to early graves or best homes. And no wonder. Checking through my scorebook on the first 24 home games played by the Victoria Tyees brought proof positive that the importance of bases on balls certainly has never been exaggerated.
A total of 288 players received bases on balls in those 24 games and 107 of them managed to score. In addition, 31 other runners were moved into scoring position so that actually 138 runs have been scored off bases on balls, an average of close to six a game. And, to top that off, 55 run-scoring innings for a total of 106 runs were started by a walk. On the basis of those kind of figures one can’t help but wonder why so many pitchers fiddle around with “junk” instead of trying to improve their percentage of tosses through the strike zone.
At the same time this research disclosed the effect of lack of control. It also furnished first-hand evidence that Royal Athletic Park is a hitter’s paradise.
Victoria baseball fans have seen an average of 25 hits and 15 runs per game this season with a grand total of 593 base hits and 386 runs in the 24 games. Only four games have produced less than 10 runs and in only five has the number of hits been below 20.
The Tyees have done exceptionally well at the plate in their home park with a rather amazing team batting average of almost .330. But results haven’t been so good with the club only holding a 13-11 record. Opposing teams have combed Victoria pitching for a .317 average and have been getting more bases out of their hit.
Home runs are the big difference. The Tyees have hit 17 for 30 runs and have been victimized 34 times for 58 runs.
In addition to the 51 home runs, 22 triples and 90 doubles have been hit at Athletic Park this season. That makes for a total of 880 bases. Add to that 288 bases on balls and 100 errors and it’s easy to see how they came up with those lacrosse scores. It’s certainly true at Athletic Park that the ball game is never over until the last man is out. In fact, in Tuesday’s game, it wasn’t even over then.
Random Harvest
Milt Martin will be lost to the Tyees longer than expected. The hustling catcher has a stubborn back injury which will take time to heal.

Sports Notes
[Tri City Herald, July 1, 1954]
A welter of information came out of the recent Tri-City Athletic Association stockholders’ meeting, some in pretty disjointed fashion, but it appears that a larger group in the Tri-Cities now know some of the problems involved in operating a ball club.
In talking with Eddie Taylor, the general manager, and Harold Matheson, president of the association, day after day you are conscious of the situation itself but it is hard to get it across to the general public.
How many times have I heard the question start out, “Why don’t we—?” And how many times have I given an answer which usually is summed up with “Where you goin’ to get the money?” and have had that shoved aside as if it were no answer at all.
But when the stockholders hear it straight from the brass, they are inclined to understand.
For example, the club seems to be, operating somewhere along a precarious middle — paying its bills but having nothing, left over. Matheson brought out that the Vancouver
payroll is almost double Tri-City’s. (K. Chorlton turned down a coast league spot. The Rainiers don’t pay enough.)
Vancouver is in first and Tri-City is in fifth. Now is it worth it to “go so far in the hole just to move up four notches in the standings? And is it worth it when any kind of a large debt this year means no club at all the next season?
My personal feeling is the same as Matheson’s. “We will field the best team we can afford,” and if it’s a cellar-team, okay, but it’s still better than none at all. And especially if it means the men who run the team do not have to put the bite on every businessman and citizen week after week in order to stay in the league.
* * *
I’ll Keep Our Team

Personally, I wouldn’t trade the present Tri-City ball club for any team in the league. I might make a swap or two here and there, if such deals were possible but for the overall structure, I'll take ‘em the way they are.
They have been beaten, sure, but every team that plays them is in for a battle. They have proved again and again that you have to get them out for nine innings before the game is over.
The team has a right balance of old geezers and young upstarts with the nucleus of regulars in between. Some have a chance to move up, and more important, they have a strong desire to move up. Yet, if those younger ones do move up, they will remember this area as a “good baseball town” and not as some kind of a “Hell-hole where I put in my bush-league time.”
Like Kipling’s “single men in barracks,” ballplayers are not “plaster saints” and occasionally you run across one which is an outright bad apple — the drunk, the carouser, and the money moocher.
We have had one or two here but they have never lasted long. Even if they had been top grade players, some way would have been found to dispose of them.
On the whole, this gang we have representing the area in the Western International league is a pretty clean living bunch of boys, and that’s important, too.
* * *
Promotions Help Needed
There has been some written and much said about this business of having good promotions but until the meeting little was said about how to carry them out.
Promotions, even minor ones, take time and money. Ideally, I suppose, a ball club should have an office staff of about four — a general manager, an office gal, a promotions man, and a bookkeeper. There would be enough work to keep them all busy but what Class A club has the dough to carry such a large staff?
Tri-City has two and a bookkeeper on a part time basis.
General manager Eddie Taylor concedes himself “I am not a Barnum and Bailey man” and it was probably this feeling more than anything else that led to his offer to quit.
But it’s been my observation that if you get a guy good at promotions, he is incapable of knowing the value of a ballplayer or he can’t control the purse strings of the club. And despite Eddie’s offer, the complete combination of promotions-business manager all in one bundle isn’t going to be found in one man.
The best bet then is to get some volunteer help from someone interested, although maybe not directly connected with the operation of the club.
Ray Mussleman and his idea on promotional letters is one example. And I’ll bet Ray’s idea and work produces some results.
* * *
Lots Of Hits, No Runs

Question of the day? How can Don Robertson, Tri-City right-hander, give up 11 hits, four of them doubles, and but one measly run?
(That’s nothing. His wife tells me he once pitched a 12-hit shutout.)
Taylor explains it this way.
“Some pitchers have an ability to pace themselves, giving up hits but getting the side out. Then, when they get into trouble, they have that reserve to call upon and bear down.”
If Don wins one during the upcoming doubleheader here at home, his wife will be certain of being at least half-right. Last winter Mrs. Robertson boldly and confidentally predicted Don would win 20 games. Don has nine wins now.
If he can rack up a win during the coming home series, it will give him half of that 20 before the first half ends.

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