Thursday, 7 August 2008

Wednesday, May 26, 1954

                W  L  Pct GB
Vancouver .... 18 11 .621 —
Edmonton ..... 13 10 .565 2
Victoria ..... 15 13 .536 2½
Lewiston ..... 14 13 .519 3
Yakima ....... 13 13 .500 3½
Spokane ...... 14 14 .500 3½
Tri-City ..... 14 16 .467 4½
Wenatchee .... 12 15 .444 5
Salem ........ 13 17 .433 5½
Calgary ...... 10 14 .417 8½

VANCOUVER [Clancy Loranger, Province, May 27]—Vancouver Capilanos’ series with Edmonton Eskimos proved one thing to General Manager Bill Brenner: his pitching staff, or at least a portion thereof, isn’t as awful as earlier returns might have indicated.
On the other hand, it was also proved that the Caps’ array of sluggers are just as susceptible to top notch pitching as any other group of hitters. The net result: the Caps lost the series, two games to one, their second series loss of the season.
The locals divided a split doubleheader Wednesday, taking the afternoon game 5-2 behind Brenner’s fancy six-hit pitching job, and losing an evening thriller, 3-2, as ex-Coast Leaguer Ken Kimball bested Bob Roberts. Edmonton won another well-pitched battle Tuesday.
Only his usual bad support cost Brenner a shutout in the afternoon, Edmonton scoring both their runs in the sixth after two errors. Neither run was earned. It was the boss’ fourth win against three losses, and those five runs his team got were two or three more than he’s used to.
In the night game Roberts appeared to have his sixth straight victory tucked away as he went into the ninth inning leading 2-1. He hadn’t allowed a hit since the third inning and his control was good.
But successive singles by Bob Brown and John McKeown, a sacrifice, and Augie Amorena’s single scored two big runs. The Caps got a runner aboard in their half, but Kimball, who’s developed an excellent curve ball to replace his waning speed, struck out Dick Greco to end it.
Tonight Calgary’s nearly homeless Stampeders, featuring various ex-Caps and almost-Caps like Don Lundberg, Gale Taylor, Elmer Clow and Chuck Lundgren, move into town. Tom Lovrich will make his first home start since joining the team on option from Seattle.
PROVINCE STARS – All three of the pitchers, Brenner, Roberts and Kimball, who proved this isn’t necessarily a hitters’ league.
First Game
Edmonton ..... 000 002 000—2 6 1
Vancouver .... 120 011 00x—5 9 3
McNulty and Prentice; Brenner and Pesut.
Second Game
Edmonton ..... 100 000 002—3 7 3
Vancouver .... 000 100 010—2 8 0
Kimball and Prentice; Roberts and Duretto.

SPOKANE, May 26—Spokane rebounded from Tuesday night's 6-0 shutout to
edge Wenatchee 8-7 Wednesday, but it took the Indians 12 innings to subdue the stubborn Chiefs in a Western International league baseball game.
Two runs in the seventh inning ended the Indians' 17-inning scoring famine. They tied the game 8-8 with four runs in the bottom of the ninth then won it in the 12th when Bob Donkersley singled home Ted Hesse.
Wenatchee .... 102 011 001 010—7  9 2
Spokane ........ 000 000 204 011—8 12 3
Waters, Thompson (7), Shandor (9) and Jenney; Anderson, Lawson (8), Closs (12) and Dean.

KENNEWICK [Tri-City Herald, May 28]—The Braves and the Salem Senators
have played four games this season and one thing is already apparent — Tri-City isn’t the “cousin” of Salem this season.
The Braves took two more from the Senators Wednesday night at Sanders Field, 9-2, 9-6, to give them three straight wins in the current series.
Tonight the two teams go at it again at Sanders Field in the fourth and final game beginning ut 7:30 p.m. Thursday both teams travel to Salem for a four-game series.
The Tri-City victories lifted the Braves to within a striking distance of Spokane and Yakima who are tied for fifth place. It gives Tri-City six wins in the last seven starts.
It was a cold, windy night at Sanders but 856 fans turned out to see the players in action. They didn’t go home disappointed.
Tri-City got some breaks, especially in the second game when an insignificant speck of Columbia Basin real estate caused a bad bounce on a sure out and enabled the Braves to score the winning run.
But on the whole, Tri-City played baseball better than they ever have before. Defensively, Len Tran took honors for the night with some remarkable catches and fielding plays at his second base spot.
The top achievement of the night was his over-the-shoulder catch of what looked to be a sure hit in the first game. Then wheeling quickly and throwing while off balance, he was able to double a runner off first.
Altogether in the first game, there were five separate times when Tri-City players made putouts of the “sensational” variety — or putouts where a scorekeeper could not logically call on error had the play failed.
In the long-ball department, Jack Warren got his second homer of the season in the first game but in the second, Dale Bloom stole the show. He clouted a 370-footer over the Tri-City Herald sign in leftfield.
It was Bloom’s third hit of the season, his first home run in professional baseball, and probably the first in his life.
The value of the four-master was offset some in the bottom half of the inning, though, because the young pitcher was so elated he had trouble settling down to the business at hand — getting the ball past Salem batters.
He walked the first man up and an error put another runner on. A sacrifice, a hit, and another walk brought one run in and Harvey Storey to the plate.
Storey, the Salem manager, who long has had a habit of hitting doubles, clouted one out to the left field wall to score two more runners. Bloom then settled down to get the last man out.
Despite the trouble in that inning, and similar but more serious trouble in the top of the eighth when Bloom wns taken out, Tri-City’s pitching staff had the upper hand through the night.
With none away and the bases loaded, lefty Earl Lemieux came in to pitch to left-hand hitting Harry Warner. Warner forced a runner at second with one run scoring. Then the veteran Jess Dobernic came in to pitch to the righthanders. An error brought the tying run in but he got the next batter to pop out and struck out the next to end the inning.
Tri-City came back for three runs in the bottom half when pitcher Larry Borst gave up two walks and reliefer Gene Roenspie followed with another before getting two away.
Then came the speck of real estate and its vital role in the game. Sam Kanelos hit a slow bouncer to Warner at first. It was the kind any fielder could handle with his eyes shut but just before the ball got to Warner, it hit a clod, rough spot, or hole and suddenly bounced past him a good three feet to his right.
Two runs scored and it went as a hit for Kanelos.
Des Charouhas followed with a single on a well-executed hit-and-run for the third marker. In the top of the ninth, Dobernic threw eight pitches, but one of them a ball, to end the game.
In the first game, Cliff Coggin won his first game with the Braves in giving up but five hits. Salem put a double and a single together for a run in the second and another double and single for a run in the seventh.
Tri-City scored in every inning of the seven-frame game. With the exception of Warren’s homer, all Tri-City hits in that game were singles.
First Game
Salem ........ 010 000 1—2  5 1
Tri-City ...... 122 112 x—9 15 1
McFarlane, Rayle (3) and Ogden; Coggins and Warren.
Second game
Salem ........ 004 000 020—6 5 1
Tri-City ...... 111 003 03x—9 13 2
Johnson, Borst (5), Roenspie (8) and Ogden, Heisner (6); Bloom, Lemieux (8), Dobernic (8) and Johnson.

Yakima at Lewiston, rained out.
Victoria and Calgary not scheduled.

VICTORIA [Colonist, May 27]—Second place in the WIL will be at stake at Royal Athletic Park tonight when Victoria Tyees and Edmonton Eskimos tangle in the first game of a four-game series.
Tyees, who have won their last two games, are only a half game behind the Esks, who trail Vancouver Capilanos by two games.
Tonight, lanky Hal Flinn will try for his fourth win for the Tyees while Jack Widner, one of the Edmonton aces, loos as a likely choice for the Eskimos, who are managed by Bob Sturgeon, one-time Victoria manager.
The Tyees, however, may be without Joe Nicholas, the sidearming righthander who was supposed to have tightened up their pitching, for the series. Nicholas, a 23-game winner for Salem last season, has so far failed to report after being optioned by Portland and the Coast League club announced last night that he had been placed on the suspended list.
Nicholas had requested permission to fly to Oakland and drive back to Victoria with his wife but agreed to report immediately. It is not definitely known whether or not he intends to report later. He had won two and lost two with Portland this season.

By Jim Tang

[Victoria Colonist, May 27, 1954]
Pitching, it has been claimed, is as much as 75 per cent of baseball but while there may have been a day when that statement was absolute fact, it isn’t always the case in the modern game. It is true that most pennant winners have at least fair pitching but the accent on the home run and legislation giving the edge to the hitter have made it possible for a team to go further with good punch and little pitching than with good pitching and little in the way of hitting.
Vancouver Capilanos and Victoria Tyees are two good examples in the WIL. The Caps have been getting only mediocre pitching most of the time but their hitting has carried them to the top of the league table. And close behind are the Tyees, who won 15 of their first 28 games although the 54 pitchers they used have given up 191 runs—which is an embarrassing average of almost seven per game…
One of the most amazing things in the WIL this season has been the way the umpires have been permitting filthy language to get by unchecked. There has been some particularly-foul wordage at Royal Athletic Park this season and it hasn’t always been the visiting players who have mouthed it. League-president Bob Abel has issued instructions to curb it but, it appears, that’s as far as it has gone. There should be an automatic fine and ejection from the game for any audible word which doesn’t comply with the standards of common decency and club owners should insist on enforcement. They’re having enough trouble filling parks as it is without having their players chasing customers away … Several members of the Glasgow Rangers [in Victoria for an exhibition soccer game] were a bit shocked when told approximately what WIL players get paid. It came to about three times what they earn and it must be remembered the Rangers are big league … Don Pries is, in this book , the best Tyee base-runner from first base around. The Victoria manager has good judgment and it doesn’t take much to send him from first to third. He scored all the way from first Tuesday night on a single by Milt Martin. Pries, incidentally, has also been the club’s best hitter in recent games. Since snapping out of his early-season slump, he has made 20 hits in 46 trips and batted in 15 runs in his last 12 games to tie Martin for the club lead in this important department.

Sports Notes

[Tri-City Herald, May 27, 1954]
The Tri-City Braves haven’t had a great deal of luck with their rookie contingent this year. Or perhaps one for four is doing okay.
First off was Bob Cassidy, infielder who was released. Now Miles McCarroll, catcher who was optioned to Superior, has been released. McCarroll was in a tough spot to crack in the lineup. The manager there is Walt Novick, former Yakima pilot and a catcher himself. However, even that could have been adventageous to McCarroll to work under a veteran catcher-manager but anyhow he didn't make the grade.
Don Estabrook was the third Tri-City rookie who, although not offically released because he was not officially signed, was cut from the roster.
The only one left (not counting Earl Lemieux who is still with us) is Chris Mezich, pitcher on option to Superior. It looks as if Chris might stick. He has won one game
there but was waxed in a hurry in another start. It didn’t go for a loss because the Superior team seems to have a hitting lineup an strong as Vancouver’s and they went on to win the game from Aberdeen, 12-6.
* * *
Choices Facing Brass

Sometime ago, this column disgressed on the pitching situation and the tough problem confronting the Braves management which must turn two loose.
Elsewhere on the team, a similar situation exists.
Let’s take a look at the lineup. Assuming the Braves carry seven pitchers and two catchers, that leaves eight for other positions. Right now we have five outfielders counting playing manager Edo Vanni, and five infieldcrs.
If Vanni plays, (and he isn’t paid to play this year), one has got to go. Okay which one?
If anyone of them was a home run hitter, the choice of who would stay is quite simple. But of the five, not one has homered this season.
And The Outfield
Now for those other than Vanni:
FIRST OFF, TERRY CARROLL — Terry, as Edo puts it, has been hitting the heck out of the ball. He also has speed which is something the Braves are relying on this year. In addition, Carroll can, if necessary, play infield. Points against him—little outfield experience and lack of ability to hit the long ball.
DES CHAROUHAS — Defensively, probably the best of the lot. Anything within range seems to fall in Charouhas’ glove. He has good speed and has been known to get a high number of triples although not many homers. Points against — His batting average is lowest of the bunch (which doesn't mean too much. Right now you have to hit .320 on that club to even rate.)
BOB MONIZ — Defensively as good as any. Bob also has the highest slugging percentage of anyone on the team and seems pretty secure. Bob is out of the lineup right now because of a sore arm. It came as the result of throwing too hard at Spokane and probably will be okay in a few days.
BOB McGUIRE — Like the other three, Bob is whopping the ball. But like the others, he hasn't shown the ability to clout one out of the park. Bob also has the speed Tri-City needs this season. Working against him is the necessity for teaching school and arriving Fate for the season. It isn’t a serious situation, though, and he will soon be with them for regular duty. However, there is always next year and the next to worry about.
* * *
We'll Skip Buccola

And thats the outfield. You can take your choice. Now for the infield:
We can skip Vic Buccola in a hurry. He is set.
LEN TRAN — Len clobbers the ball too hard not to have in the lineup. Any changes made concerning Len probably will be a position shift, unless, of course, some one wants to pay a price.
DICK WATSON — The youngest of the lot, the poorest hitter, but a boy who has done a lot to shoring up the Tri-City infield. Dick is also becoming a favorite with the fans which is something that could work in his favor. Dick makes errors, sure, but a heck of a lot of them come because he is fielding balls that would have been base hits. His hitting weakness may hurt him but even there he has shown that he gets his hits when they count.
SAM KANELOS — Sam’s fielding isn't the best but at this point it might be well to inject a few asides. Tri-City may never have a top fielding thirdbaseman because of the peculiar situation around that hot corner. That third base sack is quite a bit below home plate and the ground there makes the ball do peculiar things. Also some of Sam’s earlier errors came as the result of a little “muscle adjustment” when he shifted from winter work to ballplaying. Since then his throwing error total has gone down.
Sam isn’t hitting high in batting percentages but he manages to get lots of distance out of his hits. Not homers, unfortunately, (although he has one of Tri-City’s six) but doubles and triples.
CHARLIE DAVIS — Charlie is the question mark. He missed spring training but has worked out regularly since then. Just what kind of condition he is in, no one knows — not even Charles himself.
On the basis of last season’s record, Davis isn’t an exceptionally good hitter but does well enough at the plate for a shortstop. He hit .247 and got 14 doubles, three triples and two homers.
Defensively, last season, he was among the top half-dozen in the league, both by percentages and observation.
Possible Lineup Shifts
So that’s the infield but here you have several possibilities to consider. One is to continue with Len at second, Watson at short, Kanelos, at third, and Davis utility (or perhaps cut.)
Another is Davis at short, Len at third and Watson at second, and Kanelos utility (and likewise maybe a cut.)
Or, another is just pull Watson out and put Davis in.
* * *
The Hunt Goes On
Despite all this discussion, though, the brass may have other things in mind. For example, the who-to-cut problem can be alleviated but not solved by shifting this player or that one to the sick list.
And maybe we are talking about players who won’t even be ihere in a few days. General manager Eddie Taylor is still seeking players for just about every position.
He was in quest of an outfielder the other day and early this week seemed to be quite interested in Ron Jackson, a secondbaseman, offered for sale by Victoria.

The Sports Herald
[Vancouver News-Herald, May 27, 1954]
The good wives and the bad
Wives don’t get on base too much, and not many of them can hit the curve. Still, they are an integral part of baseball—be that part be good or bad.
Can a wife drive a ball player into a hopeless slump, or inspire him to a Frank Merriwell performance.
Once, a few years ago, the Capilanos had a centre fielder who had the tools to become a major leaguer. He had the speed of a lusty gale, the eye for a pitched ball and a rifle dangled from his right shoulder and dared runners to try for the extra base, too. He had a wife, too—a pert little blonde who was a former softball player before marriage. In California, she had been one of the best, and the sports writers had said nice things about her just as they were beginning to about the husband.
Mrs. Whosit lived with a memory. Each time she read about her husband, she remembered the earlier days in California. The combination of past achievements and her husband’s new career had made an expert out of her.
She reasoned, for instance, since her husband was a left-handed hitter, he could not hit left-handed pitching. Somewhere she had read a line or two about that difficulty in the “book.”
Eventually, the missus got her point across and, indeed, the husband did not hit left-handed pitching. In fact, he became a veritable maniac when he discovered a wrong-sider was starting for the opposition, then resigned himself to a shrug of the shoulders and an ough-for-four evening.
Snyders lived like a “wimpy”
One thing led to another. The missus told her man one night he had thrown to the wrong base. Another time, he should have been swinging at a two-and-nothing pitch—yes, even despite the fact the manager had ordered the “take” sign. After all, what did the manager know about all this?
In short, the prospect became excess baggage. He retired from baseball, divorced the wife and forgot the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers.
Luckily, this type is rare.
The ordinary baseball wife is best depicted, in our minds, by Mrs. Bill Brenner (Nancy) and Mrs. Bob Snyder (Eileen).
Mrs. Snyder, first and foremost, was a baseball fan. She was superstitious, vindictive to all who would deny her husband his winning right, and a frustrated bundle of nerves the nights Bob had to pitch. In fact, Eileen rarely saw any of the games Bob performed in. She refused to put herself through the torture of riding with every pitched ball.
Superstition played an important role in the Snyder’s life. The year Bob won 21 games for the Capilanos, he began on one June day with his fourth victory and amassed 10 straight successes before losing.
The Snyders had hamburger steak for dinner that June night. And they had hamburger steak more 10 more repasts until Mr. Snyder eventually lost. Nobody knows to this day if the loss was just one of those things, or a planned Snyder manoeuvre to relieve his stomach of this tortuous monotony.
Every family has at least one
Mrs. Brenner has it easy now. Bill has turned to pitching and when things are going well, he appears only once in four evenings. Three years ago, William was a catcher, a guy who had to work every day for his living.
Back in 1947, Bill’s first full length season as skipper of the Capilanos, the leader found himself a “cousin” in a Spokane left-hander named Jack Teagan.
The first two times up, Brenner homered, once to left field and once to right. The third time, Brenner molested another fast ball over the right-centre field fence and as he trotted around the bases, Mrs. Snyder, turned to Mrs. Brenner—who had been busy with her knitting—and exclaimed, “Nancy, that’s Bill’s third home run! Isn’t that wonderful?”
“Wonderful?” Nancy [answered. “Why, it’s] just unbelievable. Bill told me he wasn’t even going to play tonight.”
In baseball, as in other methods of employment, wives form an interesting cross-section of human nature. Brenner, who admits nothing really bothers him, probably explains their existence most expressively.
“Wives,” he figures, “are all right. No married man should be without at least one.”

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