Monday, 13 August 2007

Monday, May 15, 1950


Bolstering of Sagging A's Imminent
VICTORIA [Jim Tang, Colonist, May 16]—Admittedly displeased at the showing of several players who were expected to do much better, the [Victoria Athletics’] management is definitely planning some changes. Negotiations are already under way for the acquisition of a player from another W.I.L. club and business-manager Reg Patterson evinced considerable interest in the report that Bob Hedington is hoping to play again in the W.I.L.
Hedington, a hard-hitting player, who can perform either in the infield or outfield, could prove to be a valuable addition and would give the A’s an excellent utility man. He played most of 1949 at Salem and wound up hitting .277. He hit .290 in Spokane in 1948 and had his best season with Tacoma in 1947, hitting .339 and batting in 115 runs.
However, until new players are obtained, there will be no changes. When infield Al Smith was released over the week-end, it broughr the club down to the league limit of 17. Any changes will be made to correct glaring weaknesses that have cropped up defensively and on the mound and, if possible, to take some of the offensive load off Gene Thompson by the acquisition of another long-ball hitter.
Meanwhile, other clubs were making player moves. Vancouver Capilanos, floundering almost as badly as Victoria, received a decided boost with the news that Seattle was returning outfielder Dick Sinovic and that Jim Keating, missing flyshagger, was en coute to their new club. The Caps also cut two players off the roster, Outfielder Ev Pearson and Pitcher Steve Kuljis to San Bernadino.
Wenatchee Chiefs sold Outfielder Jim Daniels and Pitcher Alton Lee to Globe-Miami and are seeking an outfielder as their 17th player.

KENNEWICK, Wash., May 16—In another move to strengthen their pitching staff, the Tri-City Braves today announced the acquisition of hurler Gene Roenspie from Colorado Springs. Roenspie, owned by Sacramento of the Pacific Coast league, is coming to the Braves on option, said Dick Richards, general manager of the club.
Last week the Braves purchased pitcher Jim Olsen from Victoria. In his first appearance in a Brave uniform Olsen defeated the Vancouver Capilanos 8-4 and also hit two home runs.
Roenspie, a young 19-year-old right hander won 20 while losing 11 last year with San Bernardino of the Sunset league. This is his third year in professional baseball. During his freshman year, also with San Bernardino, the slim six footer won 15 and dropped 17. He weighs 165 pounds and also hits from the right side of the plate.
Simultaneously with the announcement of the new pitcher, Richards reported that Les Logg, husky young right hander from Kennewick had been given his unconditional release.
Thus far the Braves have made two changes in their pitching staff since the season opened. Previously they announced that Chuck Stiglich, hefty portsider, had been released.
With the deadline Wednesday for paring the roster to the league maximum of 17 the Braves are now right on the line. Unless further deals are made as the season progresses the present lineup will continue.

Salt Lake Players Released
SALT LAKE CITY, May 15—The Salt Lake City Bees of the Class C Pioneer League have moved three players to the Western International league, a class B circuit. Outfielder Bob Adelstein was sent to Yakima for reassignment. Howie Davis, a righthander who didn't see action with the Bees, and first baseman Bob Goldstein, were returned to Wenatchee.
Both were with the Bees on a 15 days trial basis.

Seattle Trade Fails
SEATTLE, May 15, —An infield trade which would have sent Leon Mohr from the Seattle Rainiers to the San Diego Padre for Frank Zak fell through today General Manager Earl Sheely said. The deal folded when Zak said he would not report to the Cellar Seattle club.
WILFan note: Because of the failed trade, Mohr will be assigned to Spokane this week.

TACOMA, May 16—Glen Stetter, Tacoma outfielder, has returned to the top of the Western International League batting heap figures released by the league offices disclosed today.
Stetter dropped to .425, one point off his last week's average, but remained ahead of Nini Tornay, Yakima catcher who led the pack the previous week. Tornay dropped from .453 to .414 to remain in second place, while Gene Thompson, hard-hitting Victoria outfielder, vaulted into third spot among the regulars with a .404 mark.
Thompson was also the top man among the circuit's home run hitters, knocking out two during the week to bring his total to four for the young season.
In the important runs-batted-in division, Tacoma's Wimpy Quinn and Tri-City's Neil Bryant were still out in front with a total of 23.
Averages through games of Sunday, May 14.:
                G  AB  H RBI HR Ave
Stetter, Tac .... 24 80 34 21 2 .425
Tornay, Yak ..... 20 70 29 14 0 .414
Thompson, Vic ... 24 89 36 21 4 .404
Bryant, T-C ..... 26 109 39 23 1 .358
Sheets, Tac ..... 19 68 24  8 0 .353
Hjelmaa, Wen .... 25 94 32 15 0 .340
Wasley, Salem ... 24 80 27 17 3 .338
Chorlton, Vic ... 24 101 34 19 2 .337
Wilson, T-C ..... 26 93 31 16 0 .333
Greco, Tac ...... 24 87 29 16 1 .333
Zurcher, Sal .... 20 64 21 10 0 .328
Mead, Van ....... 24 87 28 18 3 .322
Bartle, Sal. .... 22 88 28 10 0 .318
Catron, Tac ..... 24 86 27 15 0 .314
Worth, Spo. ..... 10 13  4  0 0 .308
Fracchia, Wen ... 15 49 15  1 0 .306
Cheso, Yak. ..... 25 49 15  1 1 .306
Cameron, T-C .... 15 46 14 12 2 .304
Drew, Wen. ...... 20 82 24 10 0 .293
Cherry, Salem ... 48 14 10 1 .292
Buccola, T-C .... 26 107 31 10 2 .290
Spaeter, T-C .... XX 108 41  8 X .287

[Vancouver Daily Province, May 16, 1950]
“See that right field fence?” . . . We’re gonna shove that back 20-30 feet. Push the left field fence way back in toward the road . . . and y’know that tall steel fence like the one around the Calgary park? . . . Well, we’re gonna start one right there . . . that old stand there’s coming out and we’re taking these concrete stands right around to . . .
Mr. Grimston, standing right smack on the first-base line, was in form.
Doug, in fact, was doing a magnificent job of romantic balladeering. But in this case, truth was stranger than romance, and his accompaniment, the busy staccato rattle of drills and hammers, was the prefect moody music. Around us, the brand new Westminster Queens Park Stadium was rising impressively out of the old.
• • •
While Vancouver and Co. has spent the last several months squatting uneasily on its $300,000 brewery deal that will eventually result in a ball park, the Royal City STO’s (this is Fraser Valley French for “Small Time Operators”) have shyly plunked down $50,000 for a new “ball plant,” have dug the foundations, poured the cement. They are now in the final stages of rehearsal for opening ceremonies May 20 that will unveil the first permanent concrete unit of a stadium that will seat a minimum of near 7000 fans—NEARLY ALL COVERED.
Permanent (initial unit) seating in the to-be-erected Cap Stadium will house the fantastic figure of 6500—NONE OF THEM COVERED.
But then of course we can hardly expect Vancouver, a struggling frontier village of 400,000 to keep pace with New Westminster, a roaring, money-glutted metropolis of 33,000!
It will take all of a five-year plan period before the new Queens Park Stadium is completed. At the moment, a new 2000-seat unit stands behind home place and stretches down the first-base line. Of these, 1200 will be covered immediately with a cantilever roof. This augments the old wooden-covered stand alongside the third-base line (seating 900) to give immediate cover for more than 2000 fans. There are, of course, at the moment also several thousand wooden bleachers, all of which will be replaced as, piece by piece, the concrete stands stretch out to the fences on either side.
• • •
Already, courtesy the energy and foresight of the New Westminster Park Board, Dean Freshfield’s Royals of the N.W. Semi-Pro League find themselves just about the best-housed semi-pro ball club in the country.
All this is bound to give a local “sleeping” issue a sound prod in the britches. Meaning the mooted entry of New Westminster into the Western International League, alongside Vancouver. It is no secret that Vancouver brewery baron George Norgan, owner of the PCL Portland Beavers and the WIL Salem Senator, would like nothing better than to move his ailing Salem franchise into New Westminster.
“I’m definitely getting out of Salem,” says Norgan, and he means it.
It is also no secret—fully confirmed to yours truly by the party concerned—that Capilano business manager Bob Brown is violently opposed to a WIL move to New Westminster. “Would Norgan give me have his brewery interests?” snorts Robert.
On Brown’s side is Commissioner Happy Chandler, with the rule that no club in organized ball can operate within 10 miles of the city limits of another club’s area—without the unanimous consent of the league’s owners. On Norgan’s side is the fact that New Westminster wants WIL baseball, and the fact that with Salem and Wenatchee both gigantic busts at the box office and with Tri-City’s future uncertain, the WIL is a very sick league.
• • •
And it may just be that Norgan can convince the majority of WIL owners that New Westminster, with a potential area draw of 200,000, would help make it well.
And although Bob Brown will roar that this is not so, there are folks who will tell you that the finest thing that could happen to pro baseball hereabouts is a WIL version of the traditional Vancouver-Royal City feudin’ and fightin’ that so profitably and colorfully graces the sports of hockey, basketball, lacrosse, etc.
In the meanwhile, says Grimson, Norgan is sending the Royals club some Salem rookies. Once upon a time, there was an Arab out on the desert with a camel . . . You know the rest.

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