Monday, 1 September 2008

Top WIL Pitcher Called Up to PCL

Seattle Signs Brenner As Pitcher and Coach
Ex-Cap Manager’s Knuckle Ball Figured To Win in Coast Loop

[Vancouver Province, Oct. 23, 1954]
CLARKSTON, Wash.—Can Bill Brenner win as a pitcher in the Coast League?
Baseball people have been saying for three seasons that he can, and Dewey Soriano thinks he should get a chance to prove it.
The Seattle general manager will announce this weekend that he has signed Brenner, his Vancouver Capilanos counterpart last summer, to pitch for the Rainiers in 1955. Brenner will also likely double as a coach, but Soriano says he’s leaving that up to Freddie Huthcinson, his field manager.
Brenner, now 34, has had offers before to try out his tantalizing knuckle ball in Coast League company, but as a general manager in the Western International League, he couldn’t afford to accept the offers.
But with the Vancouver WIL entry folded up and the city’s Coast League prospects just that, Brenner was temporarily “at liberty.” So when Soriano made him an attractive offer, he grabbed it. Brenner, who managed Vancouver to a pennant in the season just passed, will continue to handle the Caps’ affairs until the end of the year.
Soriano is convinced the big righthander, whose brilliant and tricky knuckleball made him one of the WIL’s top pitchers for three years, can win in the Coast League—and as a starting pitcher, too.
“I’ve watched Bill for three years,” Soriano told The Province recently,” and I’m sure he can do better than some of the pitchers currently in the Coast League.”
Brenner, who turned to pitching seriously at Lewiston in 1952 after a dozen years as a catcher, won 64 games in his thee years on the mound, he had 21 and 22 wins for Lewiston, and won 21 for the Caps this summer.
Four of the players Brenner bossed to the ’54 WIL pennant will probably get a chance to join him on the 1955 Rainiers. Look for Marv Williams, the league’s top hitter, shortstop Jimmy Clark, outfielder K Chorlton and pitcher Pete Hernandez to be at the Rainiers’ training camp next spring.

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