Saturday, 9 August 2008

Wednesday, June 9, 1954

                W  L  Pct GB
Vancouver .... 25 15 .625 —
Wenatchee .... 24 19 .558 2½
Yakima ....... 23 19 .548 3
Edmonton ..... 18 15 .545 3½
Spokane ...... 22 21 .512 4½
Lewiston ..... 20 22 .476 6
Victoria ..... 18 21 .462 6½
Tri-City ..... 20 24 .454 7
Salem ........ 19 26 .422 8½
Calgary ...... 14 21 .394 8½

SPOKANE, Wash., June 9—Spokane took both ends of a split Western International League baseball doubleheader against Victoria here Wednesday, winning the nightcap 9-4 after Ralph Romero hurled a no-hitter in the first game for an 8-0 victory.
A mere 600 fans showed tip for the evening performance which saw Spokane's Will Hafey rap out his third straight home run in as many games to boost the Indians to their 9-4 win.
And only 500 watched big Ralph Romero pitch his no-hit, no-run game in the opener to beat the Tyees 8-0.
Romero, who has only a 2-5 record now, officially faced only 27 men in the afternoon game of a split doubleheader. He walked three and fanned four. His team made three errors.
The Indians weren't long in giving him a cushion, though, scoring four runs in the third inning and winding up with three in the eighth.
Home runs played a role, as Charlie Ruddock and Will Hafey each connected with two runners aboard. His was the 46th home run off Victoria pitching this year.
Romero, 26, pitched another no-hit game in 1951 for Salt Lake City of the Pioneer League against Ogden. His only previous victory this year was a three-hit shutout against Lewiston.
He was mobbed by his teammates when he cut down the last hitter, Dain Clay, on strikes. Clay protested the called strike, then tipped his hat at Romero. It was only then he realised he had thrown a no-hitter as he had thought a questionable play in the sixth inning had been ruled a hit.
It was the first no-hitter by an Indian since 1940 when Bob Kinnaman, killed in the 1946 Spokane bus crash, tossed one in a seven-inning game against Salem.
First Game
Victoria ........ 000 000 000—0  0 1
Spokane ....... 004 010 03x—8 13 1
Bottler, Prior (4) and Lundberg; Romero and Sack.
Second Game
Victoria ....... 001 012 000—4  9 1
Spokane ...... 003 040 02x—9 12 1
Flinn, Prior (6) and Martin; Giovannoni, Lawson (6) and Dean.

EDMONTON, June 9—Pitchers held the batting spotlight Wednesday night as Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos split a Western International Baseball League doubleheader, the home club taking the first game 4-1 but dropping the second 10-3.
Eskimos Ray McNulty, in winning his fourth league game, clouted a one-run homer in the fourth inning of the first game to end scoring. He held Stampeders to eight hits, but was relieved by Art Worth in the seventh inning, the last, with the bases loaded and two out.
Calgary third-sacker Rocky Tedesco and Eskimo catcher Tommy Self both hit three-for-three in the first encounter.
With Edmonton leading 2-1 going into the seventh, of the second game, Calgary hurler Joe Orrell tripled home the tying and leading runs before playing manager Gene Lillard hit a two-run homer.
First Game
Calgary ......... 000 100 0—1 10 0
Edmonton ...... 003 100 x—4  8 0
Schultz and Luby; McNulty, Worth (7) and Self.
Second Game
Calgary ......... 010 000 612—10 16 0
Edmonton ...... 001 100 001— 3 11 1
Orrell and Lillard; Conant and Prentice.

KENNEWICK [Tri-City Herald, June 9]—While talk of reorganization, disbanding and reformation on the league level go on, the Tri-City Braves are taking the day off today before the opening of the three-game series with Lewiston.
But after Wednesday night’s 5-6 victory over the Wenatchee Chiefs, 880 Tri-City fans who trooped to Sanders Field are going to be mightly unhappy if baseball leaves the area. For the Braves never looked better than they did that night.
The fans saw their cleanup man, Jack Warren, really clean up in dramatic fashion when he singled in the first inning, driving in both runners on base, and then wipe the sacks clean In the second with a bases-loaded borne run.
They saw their outfield, Bob Moniz, Des Charouhas, and Bob McGuire rob the Wenatchee hitters of sure extra-base hits with running catches that were enough to take the heart out of any hitter.
They saw Tri-Clty play errorless ball and wind up the show with a fast double play.
Had it not been for the steady beat of Braves’ bats, the opposition could have given Tri-City a rough time. But the Tri-City players have long known "you have to get to Charley Oubre in a hurry or he will shut you out."
The Braves got to the starter in a hurry. Warren’s two first inning RBI’s marked the beginning.
His grand-slam came after Tri-City had rapped out four other hits and got a walk to bring in three runs and set things up for the big blast. Oubre never started the third frame.
One of the second inning blows was a double by Des Charouhas who has suddenly decided to go for the extra bases again. In the sixth he clouted a triple — his first this season. Charouhas once led the league in that department.
He finished up his times at bat with a single in the seventh and another in the eighth to give him four for five for the night.
But it was the defensive play cf the outfield that brought the cheers from the crowd, especially two catches by Moniz. Once he seized one going full speed and back to the right in what the fans were convinced was a sure hit.
On another time, he ran back to the wall and stood there as he were resigned to watching the ball go over the fence for a home run. Then, liming himself perfectly, he shot straight up and pulled the ball in with one hand.
Even when the outfielders tried but were unable to get to those dropping close in, one would make the desperation try while the other backed him up to take the ball in the first bounce and prevent the runner from getting extra bases.
Wenatchee ..... 200 021 001— 6  9 0
Tri-City .......... 270 002 13x—15 19 0
Oubre, Bowman (3) and Jenney; Clough and Warren.

First Game
Yakima ...... 200 000 0—2  2 1
Salem ....... 003 020 x—5 12 2
Edmunds and Summers; Briggs and Ogden.
Second Game
Yakima ..... 000 000 003—3 8 0
Salem ...... 000 001 100—2 9 1
Schaening and Summers; Roenspie and Ogden.

Vancouver at Lewiston, rained out.

Page Turns to Victoria
PORTLAND, June 9—The Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League optioned pitcher Phil Page to Victoria Wednesday.
Page, a lefthander, was signed by the Pacific Coast League club after his graduation from Stanford University. He saw no action with Portland.
His acquisition means the Tyees will eventually have to slice one player to stay within the league salary limit, but not until manager Don Pries comes off the disabled list.

Abel’s Wire Starts WIL ‘Fold’ Rumors
Weekend Parley Will Decide

[Vancouver Province, June 10, 1954]
Is the 10-team Western International League about to fold its wildly-flapping tent and steal into oblivion?
First suggestion that the Class A league’s much publicized financial troubles might lead to this came Wednesday through the offices of President Robert B. Abel.
Already on the books for Saturday at Spokane was the latest in a series of “emergency” meetings called by Abel to thrash out all the league’s woes.
But Abel, a notorious “wolf” cryer, caused a new panic by sending a lengthy telegram to all league teams which stated:
“Before situation becomes hopeless I accept my responsibility under the by-laws of the league and declare as a whole facing insolvency and direct that it cease to operate as of June 14, 1954.
“This is subject to directors’ action at called Spokane meeting, at which time they can approve, disapprove or recognize the league in any manner they see fit in accordance with the by-laws of the league. The entire question is now before you as No. 1 item for your Spokane meeting.”
The “confidential” telegram, first made public at Salem, and subsequently aired elsewhere around the circuit, really didn’t change anything—it merely stirred up new rumors. Bob Brown, Vancouver’s ex-WIL president, denied that Abel could fold up the league, and Abel even denied it today. He stated in Tacoma he was merely “directing the owners’ attention to a very serious financial situation.”
What is the financial condition?
There’s no doubt that it is a serious one. Most important, probably, is the fact that only Vancouver and Edmonton have been sending Abel’s office the approximately 9 percent of each gate that the league requires for operating expenses. And it’s known that Vancouver has loaned the league monies on occasion to keep Abel’s office running.
Some franchises are in sad financial condition, thanks mostly to their own action in voting that each team keep its home gate this season. In past years, the home team has received 60 percent of each gate, the visitors 40.
That can lead to a situation like this: When Vancouver Caps went of their last road trip, which took then to Calgary, Edmonton and Lewiston, they had to put up something like $3000 for transportation, meals, etc. They picked up exactly nothing in return.
Shakiest franchises, it is said, are those of Salem and Lewiston. Calgary has had trouble, of course, but there’s money there. It’s just a question of whether the owners want to spend it on a ball team or sink another oil well.
So what’s likely to happen on the weekend at Spokane? Informed sources say it’s unlikely the league will fold entirely. There’s a distinct possibility, though, that the league will cut down to eight teams, or maybe even six, with a return to the 60-40 split and possibly a transportation pool to help ease the pain.
Bob Brown, who’s been through all this for 50 years, wasn’t nearly so pessimistic as Abel and other officials around the circuit.
“We’ve had this sort of trouble for years around the northwest. But we’ve weathered worst storms than this. I think there’s far too much fuss being made about this thing,” he said.

Reformed Loop Only Hope For Tri-City
May Lose $10,000 This Year

[Tri-City Herald, June 10, 1954]
The disbanding of the Western International league and the reformation of another smaller circuit seems to be the most likely bet to come out of the meeting of directors Saturday at Spokane.
And if the league doesn’t cut down and reform, Tri-City stands to lose as much as $10,000 this year and will not operate next season, Harold Matheson, president of the Tri-City Athletic association said today.
The present far-flung circuit is now facing insolvency and league president Robert Abel of Tacoma has directed that disbanding be No. 1 topic on the league agenda at the meeting.
Although a telegram from Abel to league directors said, he “directs that it (the league) cease to operate as of June 14,” Abel denied calling for the end of the league.
He told the Associated Press that it was his responsibility to direct the owner’s attention to a very serious financial condition in the league. He emphasized that the president can under no circumstances disband the league.
Matheson said the Tri-City club will vote to stay in as long as we can. “If they close up, we will go for a four, six or eight team league to finish the season,” he said.
“However, if they keep the present 10-team set-up, Tri-City stands to lose $10,000 and we will not be in the league next year.
“We have enough money to meet the June 15 payroll but that July 1 payroll has us stumped. We have but three home dates and what hurts is that Calgary and Edmonton trip. It will cost us $1,500 and we won't get a dime back.”
Matheson said the most likely possibility, and one he favors, will be the disbanding of the present league and the reformation of another composed of the six teams in the United States.
He pointed out it would be almost impossible to lop Edmonton and Calgary from the present league.
“It takes the vote of eight of ten directors,” he said. “Furthermore, we were all in favor of that at last winter’s meeting at Yakima but the Edmonton directors pointed out they have $263,000 invested in their club. They just laid the tab out on the table and said, ‘Okay, boys, you cut us out and you pick it up.’ ”
Matheson said if the league disbanded and reformed the new loop would not be responsible for Edmonton’s investment.
Matheson pointed out that no one can do a “cockeyed thing” until some one actually hollers that they are hurt.
“That's why Abel’s hands are tied now,” he said. “Some keep crying ‘wolf, wolf’ all the time but nothing happens. Unless they lay a franchise out on the table and say they are through, the league can't take any action.”
Matheson indicated the Athletic Association directors will favor a drop in loop classification next year in any case.
“If we had rigid control over salaries, then you could operate Class A here. But we can't buck the competition of Vancouver.”
The Vancouver Capilanoes, currently the league leaders, are backed by large sums of money from coastal beer barons. They have high-priced talent which other teams in the league couldn’t afford.
Some of the teams can trace their financial troubles directly to an excess of spending in an effort to keep pace with the Capilanoes.

Kanelos Released Wilson May Sign
[Tri-City Herald, June 10, 1954]
Sam Kanelos, Tri-City infielder, received his outright release from the Braves today and the signing of Artie Wilson, formerly with Lewiston, is expected to take place Saturday when the Braves play there.
Kanelos said he will return to his California home and give up baseball, “This time I’m through,” he said.
“Kanelos is a good team ballplayer.” playing manager Edo Vanni said today, “It’s just too bad the league isn’t in shape so the team could carry him.”
Kanelos, although weak with the stick hitting but .230, was able to get hits when they counted. He had 20 RBI’s or almost as many as some of Tri-City’s over .300 hitters.
Wilson, a former outfielder who played infield for Lewiston earlier this year, hit .311 last season. He probably will be used at third base.
There is a possibility that the league directors may vote a cut in the size of team rosters at the Spokane meeting. In that case, Wilson may not be signed and Vanni, who recently said he was in shape and about ready to play will lake over an outfield spot and Terry Carroll will stay at third.

Broncs Sign Bockman
LEWISTON, Idaho, June 9 — Eddie Bockman, third baseman recently released by Sacramento of the Pacific Coast Baseball League, has been signcd by Lewiston, Tom Tabor, business manager, announced Wednesday.
Earlier, Tabor disclosed the Western International League Broncs had given two players their outright releases. They were infielder Artie Wilson and pitcher Don Tisnerat.
Tisnerat had been under suspension and not Wilson as the Associated Press erroneously reported Tuesday.

Sports Notes

[Tri-City Herald, June 10, 1954]
Recently the George Weiss News Agency which compiles the averages for the Western International league came up with a press book designed to provide background information for newspaper and radio men.
Press books are the usual thing from most universities and leagues but this seems to
be the first time the Western International has had one. It didn’t come about because of additional service by Weiss but rather the league called for one at its meeting last winter.
That was one of the things designed to up the attendance at baseball games because
WIL, like every other sports group, goes along with the peculiar belief that “publicity” is the sure cure for anything.
Never-the-less, the press book has some interesting information and odd facts —
some about the Tri-City players that I hadn’t heard of before myself.
For instance, did you know that Vic Buccola has topped the league in fielding not only last year but in 1948, ‘49, ‘51, as well as 1953.
Or Terry Carroll’s complete name is a thunderous Terrance Vincent Patrick Carroll? Or that Des Charouhas signed to his first contract by Clark Griffith?
Or that Rube Johnson caught every game played by Las Vegas in 1950 in the Sunset League? Or that Sam Kanelos is a bartender in the off season? Or that Lefty Lemieux
pitched a two-hit shutout in the 1950 GI World Series at Munich Germany? Or that Bob McGuire was signed to his first contract by Eddie Taylor?
Among other things we find Don Robertson has witnessed four no-hit games in professional baseball, Edo Vanni was a chief petty officer during the war, and Jack Warren lists his home as Kennewick.
Golf, Hunting, Fishing Popular
Of those who listed hobbies, five marked golf, five marksd hunting and four marked fishing. Others listed such indefinite things as “all sports” and those who didn’t list anything usually were three-and-four-sport stars in high school. Some listed three or four things but Dick Watson, shortstop, is the only one who likes to play tennis.
Rube And His Nag
One player listed “horses” as his hobby and it doesn’t take three guesses to tell which one. Fact is Rube Johnson, whose Old Buck was turned into fox food last winter
hove into camp from the Salem series towing a trailer containing a bay mare.
Rube has the animal pastured south of Kennewick and intends to cut its weight by some 200 pounds or so.
“That horse looks like I did at the beginning of the 1952 spring training,” Rube said.
Robertson Almost Kaput
Robertson, our winningest pitcher, thought he “had it” in the first game against Wenatchee. Along toward the end of the game, Don reared back to pitch, let the ball go and slid into a hole out there on the mound.
He explains it as feeling about the same as when you think you have walked down all the steps in a dark cellar only to find there is one more.
“For the next three or four pitches, my shoulder was numb,” Don said. “That’s what accounts for the one I threw in the dirt.”
The shoulder injury isn’t serious but it gave Don a scare. A similar incident, while pitching for Toronto in the International League, benched him for quite a time and is one of the reasons why he didn’t stick in triple-A ball.
Ray Is Playing Again
Len Tran said the other day that brother Ray has arrived and is playing for Brandon in Manitoba.
A letter to Len said the weather there is cold and three of the regulars are on the bench because of various aches and pains.
Brandon is in a fast semi-pro league.
They Call Him Canvasback
Tri-City players have nicknamed George Nicholas, the battling third-base coach, “Canvasback” Nicholas because in his two most recent encounters, he wound up lying on his back and getting the heck whaled out of him. In fact, pictures of Len Tran on Nicholas as taken by Tri-City Herald photographer Ralph Smith and one of John Conant on Nicholas as taken by the Edmonton Journal photographer look almost identical.
In the melee with Conant, Nicholas come out one ball glove short. It was the second time in WIL history that Nicholas lost a glove during a brawl. While playing against Spokane a few years ago, he lost his old mitt.
Vanni, who was with Spokane at the time, recalls it was slashed by a razor and dropped from the Spokane players’ bus.

The Sports Herald

[Vancouver News-Herald, June 10, 1954]
1954 Caps The Greatest Yet
LEWISTON, Idaho—We have had the opportunity on this trip of watching the Vancouver Capilanos in a []ater, and more revealing, light. During the evenings, we have spent the evening on the bench trading lies and []gs with the players.
As a result, we can report that this is not just a very good ball club—which everybody knows, anyway—but it is a great ball club, probably the best of all the class A clubs we have seen.
This thinking is not founded on the fact that Dick Greco leads all WIL home run hitters, that K Chorlton leads several other offensive departments and that Bill Brenner is the league’s best pitcher. Those things help, mind, but it is the intangibilities which make this club something we haven’t seen before in 15 years of reporting basehits and errors.
The team, as a whole, hustles and it thinks. It manoeuvres from one situation to another trying to catch the opponent off-balance, and it rebounds from defeat with an intensity which is fearsome.
The team has a manager, Brenner, but it also has many more thinkers besides. Brenner is on record. He told his men long ago tat he may “foof” an obvious play, and as a result he asks that they loan him their thinking at games. After all, Bill reasoned, the are all in the business for essentially the same reason—to win.
Every Player A Second Manage
An indication of why Bill meant took place in that 7-6 Vancouver victory in Calgary last Saturday.
It was the seventh inning, the last scheduled inning of the game, and Calgary had a runner on base with Don Hunter, a dangerous long ball hitter in that small Calgary park, at bat. Hunter is a left-hander who pulls most everything to right field.
Brenner was watching relief pitcher Rod MacKay work []ly—seeking a sign of weariness or a hitch which could []e that Rod needed help. Just as MacKay was about to throw to Hunter, the Vancouver third baseman, Ken Richardson, called time and came toward the dugout.
“How about Danny Holden for Dick Greco in right Bill,” he asked, “this guy might pop one out there.”
Brenner quickly made the change and moments later, Dan made a difficult catch of a twisting fly ball against the fence for the third out. Could Greco have made the same play?
Maybe, but the fact remains that Holden makes a place on the club because he is adaptable to defensive situations with a good throwing arm, better than average running speed and a good judgment of the fly ball. Brenner forgot it for the moment, but the club won anyway because it possessed intangibles.
Besides the hustle and thinking, there are other intangibles present which might please fans even more. There is a belief, for instance, that this club doesn’t have to win with the consistency it has shown in this first days in order to attract people. It has color to fill in for other deficiencies.
Already there have been two fights in the WIL campaign and Capilanos have been in both of them. Fighting is not an important ingredient of the national pastme, but in this day of added attractions, it is an extra something that costs a fan no more at the game, yet increases his lust []rn by at least 50 percent.
Variety Show Will Be Just That
Then, there is the very personnel of the team.
Sometime this summer, Brenner is going to stage a kind of “variety night,” we would suggest that when it is held you take the night off from television and be there.
You will listen to a quartet of singers who are amateur in name only. When K Chorlton, Bob Wellman, George Nicholas and Bob Duretto put their lungs together, the Andrews Sistes are apt to thank goodness they got started years before.
Nick Pesut and Brenner will wrestle a tag-team match with two unnamed opponents. Unnamed, quite naturally, since body has been brave enough to offer themselves in sacrifice.
There will be many other activities—one of which will really be a hit will be that Chorlton fella’ again and his funny stuff.
Confidence is yet another intangible we haven’t mentioned. It is evident in almost every member, but best personified by Richardson, who has been playing third base as long as the bag has been in baseball.
“Shake hands, podnuh,” Kenny begins with his favorite routine. And when you do, the fella’ look you right in the eye and says:
“Brother, you are now holding the greatest arm in baseball.”

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