Monday, 1 September 2008

Elimate WIL from Vancouver


[Vancouver Sun, Sept. 25, 1954]
It’s Vancouver’s tragedy that this city of ours, possessor of one of the finest minor league baseball plants in North America, should be condemned to membership in the Western International League—without fear of challenge the leading bush league in George Trautman’s vast domain of minor leagues.
This revolting and for Vancouver humiliating situation has never been more evident than today on the eve of the annual WIL meeting in Seattle today.
Just what could come from this meeting is wide open to speculation.
It could be that the confab will mark the last rites for the WIL as we have known it for a number of years.
It could be that some of the little towns with the little men who head clubs will form a new league and play among themselves in Class C competition.
The club owners will cry about the adverse weather which cut their crowds and made them lose money.
They’ll Blame Abel, Too
Some will accuse others of spending to much money on players which as a result produced great pots of red ink.
Others again will blame president Robert Abel, the Tacoma law purveyor.
But one thing is sure not a single club official will look into the hotel mirror and say: “You’re to blame.”
Even if the WIL is a bush league the owners didn’t have to behave like bush leaguers.
The yapping emenating from various WIL centres since the season closed is absolutely disgraceful.
Club officials didn’t even have the common sense of keeping their grievances—if they are such—to themselves and air them in the comparative privacy of Sunday’s conference room.
Lewiston directors popped off and demanded Edmonton and Vancouver be kicked out of the league.
Tri-City followed suit.
Now Wenatchee comes along and wants Abel fired.
Not only do the Chiefs want Abel fired but they have the man to succeed him.
You guessed it—a Wenatchee man.
As I say it’s difficult to predict what will happen on Sunday.
But somehow one comes to the reluctant conclusion that, perhaps, Vancouver would do better off to get out and let the little towns with the little men play a little baseball among themselves.
It has been our contention for several years that Vancouver fans would prefer to watch local semi-pros in action than the hired men from such hamlets as Lewiston, Yakima, Wenatchee, and Tri-City, etc.
A Baseball Tragedy
Of course, it’s ridiculous that we should not be in the Pacific Coast League.
Obviously that will never come about until we can enjoy Sunday baseball.
Therein lies the tale of our baseball tragedy.

WIL Brass In Seattle; Meet May Wax Hot
SEATTLE, Sept. 26—The Western International Baseball League will meet today in Seattle to discuss plans for 1955 and at least two member teams will file for the divorce of Edmonton.
Arguing that the long haul to the Alberta oil capital is too expensive Lewiston and Tri-City said they would seek a more compact loop. Tri-City also wants Vancouver, B.C. included out.
The league has lost three cities— Spokane Calgary and Victoria— this year will be seeking some plan to bolster the remaining teams few of which did more than break even in 1954.
Several sports writers around the league have urged the loop to drop from Class A to a lower classification in order to obtain younger players and lower more easily-met payrolls.
Club officials in most cases have said they would insist upon retaining the A classification.
But there will be a strong move to place a limit on the number of veterans permitted each team and to lop off bonus payments to [unreadable] old players.
The loss of three teams left the WIL seven-club circuit. Those in the States have become community projects funded by public subscriptions. Most of these appear anxious to continue the league even if it means a slight annual loss.
There were indications Friday night that the Sunday meeting may not be one of smiling faces. It shaped up in advance as anything but a harmonious get together.
Red Burnett, secretary of the Wenatchee Chiefs issued this implied warning.
Actions taken on league policies at the Sunday meeting will determine whether Wenatchee will operate in the WIL in 1955.
Burnett’s words apparenty were an offshoot of an announced Wenatchee decision to seek the removal of Bob Abel of Tacoma as president.
The Chiefs directors planning then stand at the meeting here heatedly denied they had mentioned the name of Arthur Pohlman, former president of the Wenatchee club as a possible successor to Abel.
The Chiefs said they had suggested in letters to all members of the loop that the present officials be replaced and that they had a man in mind for the job.
But they said they had not mentioned Pohlman.

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