Monday, 13 August 2007

Thursday, May 18, 1950

Western International League
By the Associated Press
Team           W  L  PCT GB
Tacoma ...... 19  7 .731 —
Salem ....... 17  9 .654 2
Wenatchee ... 15 12 .556 4½
Yakima ...... 14 13 .519 5½
Tri-City .... 14 15 .483 6½
Vancouver ... 10 15 .400 8½
Spokane ..... 10 17 .370 9½
Victoria ..... 8 19 .296 11½

KENNEWICK, May 19—Some weird happenings took place at Sanders Field last night.
Fans who streamed out of the park when the Braves were on the short end of a 7-4 count in the eighth inning got home in time to hear the Tri-City team win, 8-7. Apparently they thought the second game was going to be a repetition of the first when the Braves blew a 6-0 lead in one big inning to lose 8-6.
Just about everything happened in the ninth inning of the nightcap. Victoria used three pitchers, but the second one, John Marshall, did the damage when he uncorked a wild pitch to score Bob Felizatto from third with the tieing run. Marshall raced to the plate to take the throw from catcher Al Ronning and sprained his ankle when Felizzatto went into the plate underneath him.
The Braves pulled even in this game after two were out and with some of the fans on their way out of the park. Jim Warner singled with two out to score Al Spaeter from second for the first run. Then Clint Cameron singled to move Bryant to third and Felizatto came in to run for Cameron. Neil Bryant drew a base on balls to load the bags and that was all for pitcher Alton Wilkie. John Marshall, who won the first game for the Athletics, came in to pitch. He walked pinch-hitter Nick Pesut, Warner scoring. Then Marshall cut loose with his wild heave and Felizatto romped in to knot the count.
Gene Roensple, making his first appearance in the Braves uniform, held the Athletics in check in the top of the tenth, but the game was nearly over. Jim McKeegan opened the last frame with a single and took second when Edo Vanni let the ball roll through his legs in left field.
Charlie Petersen rapped a sharp blow to the second baseman and the play [sic]. Then Al Spaeter's high fly to right scored McKeegan after the catch for the ball game.
It was a big inning in the first game that cost the Braves what seemed to be a cinch win. Jim Olsen hurling his second game of the season had a two-hitter going into the sixth, but that's when everything happened at once.
Pinch-hitter Marty Krug, Jr., drew a free pass. Then Olsen gave up four successive singles to Vanni, Jim Moore, K. Chorlton, and Gene Thompson. Another free pass to Jim Wert and a double by Al Ronning brought the score to 6-5, with the Braves edge in serious danger. Vanni's double off reliefer Dick Stone cleaned the bases and won the game.
For the Braves Neil Bryant got his second successive triple in the opener driving in two runs in the first inning. Jim Warner added a pair of RBI's when he singled in Olsen and Spaeter in the fourth.
Manager Charlie Petersen said he would open against Wenatchee tonight with Cy Greenlaw. "Bullet" Joe Orrell will follow Saturday, with Dick Stone and Gene Roenspie on tap for Sunday's double-header.
- - - - - -
KENNEWICK, May 18 (AP)—The Tri-City Braves put on a late rally tonight to beat Victoria 8 to 7 in 10 innings and earn a split of a Western International league double header. The Vics won the opener 8 to 6 in seven innings.
The score tied at three Jim McKeegan scored the winning run for the Braves on Al Speater's outfield fly. He had opened the inning with a single.
Victoria scored eight runs in the sixth to win the opener.
The Braves' Jim Olsen had blanked Victoria on two hits and wascoasting along nicely with a 6-0 lead before the roof fell in with only one frame left in iie seven-inning opener.
Marty Krug, a pinch hitter, started the sixth for the A's with a base on balls. Then in rapid fire order, Edo Vanni, Jim Moore, K. Chorlton and Gene Thompson socked singles to score three runs. Al Ronning followed with a double and more were in.
Out come Olsen and in went reliefer Dick Stone for the Braves at this point.
The A's loaded the bases and with two out Vanni smashed a long double that scored three more runs and put Victoria ahead to stay, 8 to 6.
John Marshall got credit for the win although Ronnie Smith worked the last two innings for the A's.
The second game started at 9 p.m.
First Game
Victoria ......... 000 008 0—8- 8-1
Tri-City ......... 200 400 0—6-10-0
Marshall, Smith (6) and Ronning; Olson, Stone (6) and Pesut.
Second Game
Victoria ........ 030 000 040 0—7-11-2
Tri-City ........ 000 310 003 1—8-12-2
Wilkie, Marshall (9), Jensen (9) and Weatherwax, Ronning (8); McCollum, Roenspie (10) and McKeegan, Pesut (10).

WENATCHEE, May 18 — Southpaw Tom Breisinger pitched his second two-hit game in a row to lead the Wenatchee Chiefs to a 4-0 win over the Salem Senators here Thursday night.
Also for the second game in a row, the little lefthander didn't allow a runner to get beyond second base. He struck out nine and walked four men.
Salem's two hits were an infield roller by Hal Zurcher in the third and a solid double by Dick Bartle in the sixth. Breisinger helped his own cause by scoring once and tripling home another run.
The series, was completed at one game apiece.
Salem .......... 000 000 000—0 2 4
Wenatchee ... 101 100 10x—4 6 1
Stevenson and Beard; Breisinger and Len Neal.

TACOMA, May 18—Tacoma swept an abbreviated league series by defeating Yakima 5-2 here Thursday night behind the four-hit pitching of Bob Kerrigan. Only two games were
played in this series, Wednesday night's game being rained out, Tacoma winning both.
Three of the Yakima hits came in the first inning and accounted for the two Yakima runs. All the blows were singles by Reno Cheso, Al Jacinto and Jim Westlake, with a walk by Willie Tiesiera sandwiched in. Jacinto also got Yakima's other hit.
Successive runs by Dick Greco and Dick Wenner put the Tacoma Tigers ahead in the sixth. The win was the sixth straight against no defeats for Kerrigan, Tiger left-hander.
Yakima ..... 200 000 000—2 4 1
Tacoma ..... 000 103 10x—5 9 3
Bradford, Rial (8) and Tornay; Kerrigan and Sheets, Fischer (5).

Vancouver at Spokane, postponed cold.

Propst Rejoins A's To Bolster Mound
[Colonist, May 19, 1950]
Welcome news for disappointed supporters of Victoria's beleaguered Athletics was the announcement last night by Business Manager Reg Patterson that Jim Propst is rejoining the club.
Patterson disclosed that the slim southpaw had been purchased from the New York Yankees organization and would join the A's over the week-end. he will likely make his first mound appearance in one of the May 24th games at Royal Athletic Park.
Propst was sent to Portland on a "look" basis as part of the Yankees agreement with the Beavers. When cutting down time came in the Coast League, the Beavers sent him to the Kansas City Monarchs, who farmed him to Quincy of the Class B Three-I League. Propst expressed a desire "to come home" and asked to make a deal for himnself. Granted permission by the parent Yankees, he immediately contacted Patterson by phone. Patterson arranged his purchase through Joe Devine and the deal with approved by Lee McPhail last night.
Propst joined the A's on May 31 last year and compiled an imposing record of 17 victories against six defeats in 25 starts, 20 of them completed games. He led the league with 192 strikeouts, gave up 126 walks and had an earned run average of 3.35 for 188 innings. In his first season with the A's in 1948, he appeared in 35 games, five complete, and posted a 12 and six won and loss record. His earned run average was 3.75 for 168 innings with 135 strikeouts and 107 walks.

Includes games of Wednesday, May 17.
                     G   AB H RBI HR Ave
Stetter, Tac ....... 25  85 35 22 3 .412
Tornay, Yak ........ 21  71 29 14 0 .408
Thompson, Vic ...... 25  94 38 21 4 .404
Bryant, T-C ........ 27 113 40 27 1 .354
Chorlton, Vic ...... 25 105 37 20 2 .352
Sheets, Tac ........ 20  72 25  9 0 .347
Runs batted in (top six)— Bryant, Tri-City, 27; Quinn, Tacoma, 26; Warner, Tri-City, 23; Stetter, Tacoma, 22; G. Thompson, Victoria, 21; Cheso, Yakima, 21.
Home runs (top six)— G. Thompson, Victoria, 4; Stetter, Tacoma, Mead, Salem [sic], Warner, Tri-City, Rossi, Spokane, 3 each.
Pitching—Tierney, Salem, 6-0; Kerrigan, Tacoma, 5-0; Loust, Tacoma, 5-0.

Alf Cottrell
[Vancouver Daily Province, May 19, 1950]
WENATCHEE—Taking a breather in this bustling little city Thursday night before resuming the drive to Spokane, it struck me that George Clark, the general manager of Wenatchee’s baseball club, is the Branch Rickey of the Western International League.
It was Branch who introduced colored Jackie Robinson to organized baseball and it was George Clark who this spring signed Larry Neal, the first colored athlete to play regularly in the WIL.
Coming down through high scenic Stevens Pass on Thursday, we had been talking about Neal, of how when Wenatchee opened the season in Vancouver, the 19-year-old had been given a friendly welcome at Capilano Stadium, and had then been accepted as just another ball player. Which is the way it should be.
But that was in Canada, which has no racial problems. How was it with Larry and the Wenatchee club management on their own side of the 49th parallel?
• • •
We had been in town long when we got our answer. In the lobby of one of the town’s hotels we ran into Buddy Hjelmaa, who plays second base to Larry’s shortstop every night.
“Neal? He’s hitting about .320 and you know how he can field,” said Buddy. “He doesn’t give anybody any trouble, and nobody gives him any, he’s just like the rest of us.”
That was a pretty big speech for Hjelmaa, who never was very vocal.
So we button-holed Clark, the general manager of the Chiefs. He is a well-built fellow with a squarely built face very young as front office officials go. He obviously has two useful qualities, personality and drive.
• • •
Has the presence of Neal on his ball club created any special problems?
“Quite the contrary,” he said, as if glad I brought the subject up.
“In the first place, he got along with all the players. In fact, he was one of the most popular players on the club, with fellow players and fans alike.
“When the club is at home, the kid stays with a colored family in Wenatchee, a family which is very well thought of in the town, and the family thinks highly of Neal.”
On the road, to date, he has stayed everywhere the club has stayed, Clark said. If any problems had arisen in that respect he has failed to notice them. And he would have noticed them quicker than anyone, aside from the party of the first part, Mr. Neal.
• • •
“There has been absolutely no segregation anywhere,” he said. He had heard of a lot of gloomy predictions, he admitted. But now, he sometimes wonders what all the shouting was about.
As for Neal’s brand of short-stopping, it was at least up to the best Western International League standards. Probably a notch above it, and at that he was just a teen-agers fresh out of Santa Monica Junior College.
Down there in California he had been a letterman in baseball, football, basketball and track. And he had been given one nice boost, the position of captain of an all-star all-southern California baseball team.
“He is happy about the way things are going, and I believe he is ambitious,” said Clark. I guess he never expected any carpet to be laid out for him to walk on in this league, he isn’t the kind of guy who would want one laid out for him. It is ready to make good the hard way.”
Clark, too, expected to walk a rough rode before his innovation was accepted. And like Branch Rickey in the case of Jackie Robinson, he is still supposed to find that what he told himself would surely be the outcome now is the outcome.

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