Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Another Tri-City Preview

Former Chiefs On Tri-City Club Roster
LINDSAY, Calif., April 13—Down here in the land of slightly frosted oranges a guy named Charley Peterson has been building a brand new team for the Western International League, but it sounds sorta familiar.
Boss Peterson is head man afield for the Tri-City Braves, who will represent the Pasco-Richland-Kennewick community this year. It's a new home town and a new name but folks from up north say the team roster reads a lot like the Wenatchee Chiefs of 1949.
And it should. When the owners of the Chiefs switched cities they took along Peterson and the nucleus from the team that finished fourth last season. If there's a really new club in the loop, it's Wenatchee, which had to build from scratch.
Hammering Clint Cameron, the league's top hitter last year, is a for-instance. Slugging Jim Warner is another. Burly catcher Nick Pesut has stretched a new "Braves" uniform around a figure once dedicated to the "Chiefs". Pesut has been knocking down the fences here in spring training.
Mound Flinging Staff
In the flinging department the Braves have a battle-proven quartet in Cy Greenlaw and Lou McCollum, and Bill Caplinger and Bullet Joe Orrell. The latter, a former Detroit speedburner, spends a lot of time tossing a three-pound iron ball from hand to hand. When he gets hold of a baseball it feels (to him) like a feather and looks (to the batter) like a navy bean.
New moundsmen indude Charlie Steglich, Dick Stone and Ted Hussey, with more likely to come down from the Sacramento Coast league team, big brother to the Braves.
The team picked up Vic Buccola, a proven first sacker, from Victoria and now appears well set in the infield.
Peterson is high on his rookie shortstop, Arite Wilson—no relation to the Oakland short-patcher of the same name. Neil Bryant, an ex-Chief, is at third, and Al Spaeter was obtained from San Diego to handle second.
Tough For Busher
With all the veterans around it's tough for a busher to crack the lineup, but several home-town products are making the try. Heading the list—and likely to stick—is Johnny "Suger" Scherger, getting a late start but still a rookie. Scherger was a football hero at Pasco high school about a dozen years back. An outfielder, he has been showing lots of spirit and swinging a wicked bat.
Pitcher Les Logg and infielder Jim Doyle are others the home fans will be watching for when Tri-City opens its season in its own brand new park next Tuesday against Vancouver.
There may be additions to the roster before that time Dick Favor is due to join the club any day and should crack the starting outfield lineup.
While most managements are highly optimistic at this time of year, business boss Dick Richards won't go overboard—aloud—for his potent looking Braves. Vancouver and Victoria will be better and "you can," he says, "count on Alan Strange to come up with a contender in Spokane."
The champion Yakima Bears, farm team of Lefty O'Doul's San Francisco Seals, has everything — says Richards — "except O'Doul's upper plate."

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