Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Wednesday, May 19, 1954

                W  L  Pct  GB
Vancouver .... 14  8 .636  —
Lewiston ..... 12  9 .571  1½
Victoria ..... 12  9 .571  1½
Yakima ....... 12 10 .545  2
Edmonton ...... 9  8 .529  2½
Spokane ...... 11 10 .524  2½
Wenatchee .... 10 11 .476  3½
Salem ........ 10 13 .435  4½
Calgary ....... 6 11 .353  5½
Tri-City ...... 8 15 .343  6½

KENNEWICK [Tri-City Herald, May 20]—The Tri-City Braves are getting a day off today before the opening of the four-game series with Spokane at Spokane.
While most of the players go fishing, General manager Eddie Taylor is totaling up the amount of badly-needed lucre brought in by the 2,187 fans Wednesday night.
It was the largest crowd at Sanders Field this season—even exceeding the opener by some 300—but as is frequently the case, when the mob gets there, the Braves play their poorest ball.
Tri-City's running attack, which doesn't always win but usually makes things interesting, never got started with Vancouver's Bob Roberts pitching four-hit ball and almost shutting Tri-City out, 7-1.
The Braves longest blow of the game was Terry Carroll's double in the eighth inning. He then scored on Vic Buccola's single.
Ther were several reasons why the crowd was the largest of the season—the Braves have won a few lately, the weather was good, but the big attraction was Vancouver's 6'-4" Dick Greco who is rapidly proving to be the most financially valuable man Tri-City ever had on the roster.
Big Dick and the fans had at it all night. Whenever he came to bat, the fane booed and howled. After striking out in the first inning, to the delight of all 2,187, Greco homered in the second to the delight of Greco.
As the big outfielder circled the basepaths he vented his feeling toward the fans with several arm gestures commonly used in Latin countries as a symbol for a vulgar if not obscene trio of words.
When Greco struck out the third time up, hundreds in the Tri-City crowd returned the Latin salutation.
The fourth time up, Greco almost hit into a double play but made it to first on a fielder's choice. Then he was thrown out trying to steal.
And as if the Greco's appearances were strictly for dramatic effect, he came up in the top of the ninth and ended the inning by grounding into a double play.
All in all, besides the treatment from Tri-City fans, Greco has a rough time at the plate at Sanders Field. He got three hits in 12 times up—but two of the blows were homers.
Greco's four-base blast Wednesday night was but one of three hit off losing pitcher Cliff Coggin. Marv Williams, Cap second baseman, hit one in the first with one on and the veteran Ken Richardson hit one in the fifth with none on.
Both Greco and William's [sic] blasts cleared the 400-foot centerfield fence with plenty of room to spare.
Vancouver's fourth inning run came on a triple by Arnie Hallgren after Bob Wellman singled. A sacrifice fly by Frank [sic] Duretto brought Hallgren in.
They scored a lone run in the eighth when Richardson double and scored on Wellman's single.
Roberts, who frequently blows up along in the sixth to eighth inning, had the Braves eating out of his hand all night. He walked one and gave up a single in the second but got Dick Watson to ground out and end the inning.
In the third, he gave up two walks and the runners advance on a sacrifice. However after a fly ball, Hallgren pegged to Duretto who tagged Coggin trying to score from third.
After walking two in the fourth, Roberts set the Braves down—seldom using over six pitches in the process.
Vancouver .... 201 210 010—7 13 1
Tri-City ........ 000 000 010—1  4 1
Roberts and Duretto; Coggin, Bloom (8), Savarese (9) and Johnson.

SPOKANE, May 19—The Lewiston Broncs scored six unearned runs in the fifth and coasted to an easy 12-5 victory over the Spokane Indians in a Western International League game Wednesday.
Five errors were logged against the losers.
Veteran southpaw Al Yaylien pitched one-hit baseball for seven innings and got the win. Jack Trautwein was the loser.
Lewiston .... 000 062 121—12 13 2
Spokane ..... 010 000 022— 5 10 5
Yaylian and Cameron, Garay (7); Trautwein, Closs (5), Aubertin (6) and Dean.

YAKIMA [Victoria Colonist, May 20]—Victoria Tyees, with Bill Bottler in a five-hit performance, completed a clean sweep of their three-game series with the Senators last night by scoring three runs in the ninth inning at Salem to post a 5-3 victory.
The win balanced their record for the 10-game road trip at 5-5 and kept the club in a second-place tie, only a game and a half behind Vancouver Capilanos.
That set up the four-game series against the league leaders, which opens tonight at Royal Athletic Park. Pitching selections were not available last night but it is probably that Bill Prior will get the Victoria call with either George Nicholas, winner of his first four games, or manager Bill Brenner going for the Caps.
Bottler, who appears set for a big season, got quite an argument from John Briggs before he copped the decision. Briggs allowed only five hits and it was a 2-2 game going into the ninth. Then Briggs walked [Tom] Perez and Eddie Lake and filled the bags by hitting Joe Joshua. Art Seguso hit an infield grounder but the play was made at second and Joshua beat the throw.
That scored one run and manager Don Pries, for the second straight night, produced the winning runs with a two-run single. Salem threatened in their half of the ninth, when two bases on balls and a hit batter produced a run, but Bottler choked off the attempted rally to get his third win.
It was the sixth win in seven games with the Senators, who have been doing much better against other WIL opposition.
Victoria ...... 100 001 003—5 5 2
Salem ........ 010 010 001—3 5 3
Bottler and Martin; Briggs, Roenspie (9) and Heisner.

CALGARY, May 19 — Three runs in the top of the third proved enough Wednesday night to give Yakima Bears a 3-0 victory over Calgary Stampeders in a Western International League baseball contest before a small crowd.
With two on base, third baseman John Catron drove one out of the park for the three runs that meant victory.
Stampeders could do little against the slants of Danny Rios on the mound for Yakima, Rios tossed a neat five-hitter, struck out four and walked three. He aided his own cause by hitting two-for-four, as did Catron aad Len Noren.
Yakima ..... 003 000 000—3 10 1
Calgary .... 000 000 000—0  5 1
Rios and Albini; Orrell, Kapp (9) and Lundberg.

EDMONTON, May 19 — Edmonton Eskimos crushed Wenatchee Chiefs 13-6 Wednesday night in a Western International League Baseall game here before 836 fans. The victory evened the teams' current three-game series at a game apiece with the rubber match to be played Thursday night.
Lefthander Larry Richardson, who went the route for the Chiefs, was tagged for 12 hits and issued 10 walks.
Edmonton playing coach Bob Sturgeon hit-three-for-four, as did Joe Unfried, Wenatchee centre-fielder and clean-up batter, who slammed a triple.
It was the fourth victory against two losses for Jack Widner. He helped his own cause by belting a three-bagger in the sixth inning, scoring a run. He crossed the plate himself later in the inning.
Wenatchee .... 102 000 100— 4  6 2
Edmonton ..... 504 013 00x—13 12 1
Richardson and Jenney; Widner and Self.

Lewiston Baseball Club Needs $13,000 To Continue Playing
LEWISTON, Idaho, May 19 — The Lewiston Baseball Club of the Western International League needs $13,000 by the first of the month to keep going, Tom Taber, the business manager, said Wednesday.
He said the money is needed to keep the team on its second road trip of the season, to meet the payroll, to pay for purchased players and to per certain bonuses that are due.
Ha told a breakfast meeting of 66 fans of the seriousness of the situation and plans were made for a $20,000 ticket sale. One two-man team came back later in the day
with $675 worth sold.
"It wouldn't be so bad," Taber said, "except that we have no revenue from our Bengal Field game programs and billboards coming in until after June 1."
He said he has found it necessary to advance the club $4,500 from his own pocket since the season started. Attendance at games here has been down.
James B. McMonigle, the club president, agreed the situation is serious, but predicted "we'll be all right financially after June 10."

Lovrich Won't Be Cap
SEATTLE, May 19—Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League have optioned Long Tom Lovrich to Vancouver of the Western International League.
Lovrich has refused to report, so he has been given permission to make a deal for himself.
He appeared in 51 games for the Rainiers last season, winning eight and losing four. In 1952, he broke into professional baseball with a 9-6 record at Vancouver.

By Jim Tang
[Victoria Colonist, May 20, 1954]
There’s always one thing you can say about the Western International Baseball League. Come high water or red ink, its member clubs never skimp when it comes to putting the best possible team on the field.
It’s the same story this season. Despite the fact that it took two emergency league meetings to keep Calgary Stampeders in the fold and that several clubs started out with little but hope, the annual rat race is on to see who can build the strongest club.
Vancouver Capilanos, determined to have a winner this season, are probably the most to blame for starting it all. There may have been more expensive clubs in the WIL than the 1954 Caps but it’s doubtful. Whether they pay it in salaries or in bonuses to get around the salary limit, the Caps are certainly paying plenty for such high-priced performers as Dick Greco, Bob Wellman, K Chorlton, Jim Clark, Ken Richardson, Marv Williams, Nick Pesut and George Nicholas, to name most of them.
That’s quite an impressive array of talent and every other club in the WIL has been trying to match it by signing any high-priced player available. The hope is that these players will boost the club up to the top of the league table and thereby boost attendance to the point where receipts are large enough to take care of the extra salaries and bonuses. The big flaw in this type of reasoning is that there can be only one winner and that sometimes the cost can be so great that winning is decidedly unprofitable.
This season has already produced at least one good example of what this kind of competition does to reason. Lewiston Broncs yesterday announce they had to raise $13,000 by June 1 to keep going and business manager Tom Taber stated that he had already advanced the club $4,500 out of his own pocket. The seriousness of this situation must have been evident to Taber and his associates a week ago. Yet it was only a week ago that the Broncs went out and signed southpaw Al Yaylian and righthander Guy Fletcher, a couple of ex-Coast League veterans who most certainly cost a pretty penny.
* * *
One result of the scramble has been a considerable boost in the calibre of WIL baseball. It’s this opinion that the league is stronger than it has been for several years and that some interesting baseball is in prospect.
Vancouver, although somewhat held down by erratic pitching and the strengthening of other clubs, still appears to be the team to beat. But Lewiston has put together quite a ball club, Edmonton has spent a lot of money for a hoped-for contender, Spokane Indians are tougher than expected. So are Yakima Bears and Salem Senators and Wenatchee Chiefs. And Tri-City Braves have picked up a player or two and should be quite troublesome.
Where does that leave Victoria Tyees? Well, they should be right in the thick of the fight and with the expected addition of one or two good players, could be good enough to get on top in at least one half of the split season.
Most cheering note about the Tyees has been their ability to avoid any semblance of a losing streak and to stay above .500 in early-season play. Starting play after a short training season in what proved to be disappointing weather and with pitching a definite question mark, it had been feared that they might get away to a bad start although their line-up indicated considerable potential. Tyees did lose three of their first four games but they have been hanging tough ever since.
Another cheering note is the fact that they have been tough despite the fact the club has not yet produced its best play. At the start, neither manager Don Pries or Steve Mesner could find the range at the plate. Now that they appear to have snapped out of it, the club has been hurt by Eddie Lake’s migraine headaches, which have handicapped the hard-hitting shortstop no end, and a slump by Dain Clay. But the club has spirit and with Tom Perez and Milt Martin the steady men, someone has been coming up with the big hit, the clutch defensive play, or the fine relief pitching often enough to keep it in competition. The Tyees will be tougher when the club shakes down and if they should come up with a pitching leader and a hard-hitting outfielder to free Perez for infield duty, who knows?

Sports Notes

[Tri-City Herald, May 20, 1954]
Every once in awhile, some incident happens on the ball field and it is followed with words exchanged between two players. From the stands, it looks as if one is really telling the other off. Ever wonder what the player, says?
Well, here is an example.
In the third inning of the game Tuesday night, Jack Warren was at the plate and Bill Brenner of Vancouver was pitching. Warren caught hold of one of Brenner's pitches and sent it back through the mound so hard it was a good thing Bill got his glove in the way or he would have been missing the lower part of hs anatomy.
Then in the top half of the inning, Brenner came to bat and turned and exchanged words with Warren, obviously over that liner to the pitcher's mound.
What did Brenner say?
Well, at this point it is necessary to go back a bit. About a week ago, Warren's registered boxer gave birth to some pups. Brenner, too, owns a boxer, but it is a male. He wants a female so he can go into the boxer breeding business.
So upon his arrival here, he heard Jack had five pups for sale went to his home, and agreed to buy a female when the pups were old enough.
Now comes Tuesday night's ball game and the series incidents mentioned above. When Brenner came to bat he told Warren:
"You hit another one like that and I won't buy one of your pups."
Warren didn't take Brenner's legs off again so he has but four pups' left for sale. Jack had eight originally but three have died.
Edo Stalls For Time
Even the jawing at the ump may have some other purpose than "telling him off" or trying to get a decision changed.
In the night of the big ruckus, Dick Greco, Vancouver's outfielder who had touched off the fray after he was hit by a pitch, was permitted to stay in the game.
Then Tri-City playing manager Edo Vanni protested long and loudly to the umpire — all for nothing. Did Vanni want Greco out of the game? Heck, no. Greco is one of the slowest runners in the league so why give Brenner a chance to put in a fast pinch runner.
Vanni may have gone out just to keep things lively a little longer but the chances are this is what was behind his reasoning. The entire scrap, and the sight of that big outfielder charging out to the mound, undoubtedly had an unsettling influence on Clough.
By arguing with the ump, Vanni gave the pitcher an extra minute or two to get settled down.
There Was No Reason To Boot Greco
When the umps failed to boot Greco, it brought a howl of protest from the pro-Tri-City fans but looking back on it, there was no reason for kicking him out. First of all, Greco didn't hit Clough, or anyone: else, nor lay a hand on anyone until the big rassle started. Maybe he was angry enough to swing at Clough when, he left the batter's box but he cooled off and slowed down before he got halfway to the mound. After he got there, he said:
"What the heck are you throwing at me for? You got the game won."
The whole ruckus probably would have ended there had those in the coaching boxes stayed out of it But when George Nicholas jumped in, so did Len Tran and that's where the fist swinging came in.
Grappling Was Horseplay
As for the grappling matches between Greco, Warren and Nick Pesut, it turned into horse-play more than anything else. Doc Hoyt said all three were rolling around laughing.
Warren managed to get both of the big guys down. K. Chorlton was back of Warren saying:
"Let him up, Beanie, Dick's all right."
"We are all all right," Warren replied as he continued to hold 'em down, "but spread 'em out before someone gets hurt in this mess."
Pesut finally said:
"Let me up, you big ox. We don't want to fight."
That ended it except Vancouver trainer Harold Yonkers came out looking for some missing Vancouver headgear and got into an argument with Ted Savarese. Challenges were flung and Ted wanted to meet him outside after the game. But nothing came of it although Ted was present for any impending duel.
Yonkers said afterward:
"Don't talk about that night. I look for equipment and happens. I get challenged."
Players Avoid 'Em
Like most all ballplayer scraps, it was more sound and fury than anything else. Tempers flare a bit and a couple go at it. The rest of the mob usually is pulling teammates apart.
Players generally try to avoid such shenannigans because someone is liable to get hurt and serious injury may mean the end of a ballplayer's career. The greatest danger isn't in the flying fists or the grappling but the possibility of spike wound.
Fletcher Signed; Broncs Need Cash
This might be classed as a peculiar coincidence.
A short time ago, a story came out of Lewiston saying that the Broncs had signed Guy Fletcher, the former Pacific Coast league pitcher.
Tuesday a story came out of Lewiston saying that the Broncs had to get $13,000 soon or drop out of the league.
Remember Guy
Ah, yes, the Tri-City Athletic Association remembers Fletcher well. Back when the association first bought the club, Guy was one of the applicants for the general manager's job. The association board even Invited him up for interviews and he came as far as Klamath Falls.
Then he was delayed by bad weather but the board talked business with him via telephone. When they got to matter of salary, Guy named his figure, and the discussion was over. He wanted a salary that was equal to about half the price Tri-City paid for the club.
Fletcher never came any further than Klamath Falls.

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