Sunday, 19 August 2007

Tuesday, June 20, 1950

              W  L  Pct GB
Tacoma ..... 35 23 .603 —
Yakima ..... 34 27 .557 2½
Wenatchee .. 33 27 .550 3
Tri-City ... 33 29 .532 4
Salem ...... 28 31 .475 7½
Victoria ... 28 33 .459 8½
Spokane .... 26 36 .419 11
Vancouver .. 24 35 .407 11½

YAKIMA, June 20 — Nini Tornay, the Western International league's top batter, doubled in the last of the ninth inning to drive in the winning run as Yakima moved to within 2½ games out of league-leading Tacoma by edging the Tigers 9-8 in the first of a crucial three-game series here Tuesday night.
Deway Soriano, Yakima club president, made his second appearance of the season on the mound and was credited with he victory. Soriano went into the game in the seventh to halt a three-run rally that pushed the Tigers ahead 8-7.
Yakima was bolstered by a first inning triple play.
The defanged Tacoma Tigers now have lost five games in a row; Yakima, defending champion, boasts a six-game win streak.
Tacoma ..... 000 500 300—8-12-3
Yakima ..... 106 000 002—9-12-1
Walden, Knezovich (3), Carter (7) and Sheets; Larner, Savarese (7), Soriano (7) and Tornay.

SALEM, June 20 — Salem's Senators pounded 16 hits off three hurlers Tuesday night to whip the Vancouver Capilanos 11-7 as the teams opened a three-game Western International series.
Ray McNulty, coasting much of the way, gave the Caps 10 blows, as he notched his second straight victory.
Reg Clarkson homered with the bases empty in the third to make it 3-0 for the visitors but Salem exploded for eight runs over the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. The Solons slashed out eight hits during that three-frame uprising including a three-run homer by Mel Wasley in the fifth.
George Nicholas, Cap starting hurler, was routed in the sixth and Kevin King replaced him. King gave way to Bob Brunner in the seventh. Brunner yielded three more tallies in the eighth.
Vancouver ..... 201 000 004— 7-10-2
Salem ........... 000 233 03x—11-16-2
Nicholas, King (6), Brenner (7) and Brenner; McNulty and Beard.

KENNEWICK, June 20—Double-headers every Wednesday.
That's the new setup with the Tri-City Braves who got rained out of their opener of the three-games series with Victoria tonight. Two weeks ago Vancouver's team had to idle around their hotel for two days because of rain before they were able to get around to playing. Wednesday night, weather permitting, and that includes rain, or high winds, the teams will try again with a double-header scheduled at 7 p.m.
Charlie Petersen, manager of the Braves, said Lou McCollum (8-6) would go the nine inning route with Joe Orrell (5-5) as the most likely starter for the seven inning contest. McCollum was scheduled for the mound duty tonight.
Jim Propst (3-2) will start again for the A's said Marty Krug, Victoria pilot, with Ronnie Smith (5-4) getting the nod for the other half of the twin feature.
Everything went wrong tonight. Even a horseshoe flower wreath that was to be draped around the neck of the Brave manager at home plate almost misfired. However, the game was held up long enough to carry through with the ceremony. Commented Petersen after he had been kissed by the two pretty girls, "this is the best way to start a ball game." The flowers were presented to him by the Athletic Boosters club.
Approximately 1,000 eager fans shouted 'play ball' as they sat in the stands waiting for tonight's rain to stop. The game was halted midway in the first inning with the Braves due at the plate. But a sudden down pour sent the players hurrying to the dugout. While the loyal fans shouted "play ball" as they and everyone waited.
Finally umpires Jacobs and Pearson decided to try once more. Al Spaeter led off with a rifle shot single down the third base line and Vic Buccola popped a double making fly before the players were washed off the field for the second. . .and last time.

Spokane at Wenatchee postponed, wet grounds.
Doubleheader Wednesday night.

Fate of Suspended Game Decided—Again
TACOMA, June 21—Robert B. Abel, president of the Western International League, said today that a curfew called game between Yakima and Tri-City, would be finished when the teams meet at Tri-City on July 5. The game, play ed May 6, had been called by the umpires at the end of the fifth inning because of a league curfew rule. Since that time the rule pertaining to this situation has been repealed.
Abel said that the lineups would be the same as when the game was called. If players have left the club since that time, Abel added, the new players will play the position held by the player they have replayed.
Yakima was leading that game 9-8 when it was halted.

TACOMA, June 21—A pair of late starters, Vancouver's Sandy Robertson and Trl-City's Gene Roenspie, are the Western International league's new pitching pace-setters.
Each matched the other's progress last week by achieving two victories, and their won-lost record remained identical at 5-0, elevating them to the top of the heap.
Next in line with an 8-1 season's performance—he dropped his first start and subsequently has copped eight straight—is John Marshall, veteran Victoria right-hander.
Additional statistics released today by the office of Robert B. Abel, league president, showed Bob Kerrigan of Tacoma (10-2) and John Tierney of Salem (11-4) as the occupants of the fourth and fifth spots, respectively, after Kerrigan was tagged with one more defeat and Tierney dropped a pair following the last compilation.
Lloyd Dickey, the Yakima southpaw fireball artist, retained his league strikeout lead with 93 in just 83 innings, having added nine more whiffs in a single appearance, while Wenatchee's two deceivers, Tom Breisinger and Don Ferrarese, were next in line with 90 and 87, respectively. Breisinger has hurled 100 innings and Ferrarese 94.
Ferrarese, having issued 87 walks in 94 innings, remained the league's leading philanthropist, while Dickey was keeping enemy batsmen footloose with 77 passes in his 83 innings of toll. Tierney had given free transportation 81 times, but had pitched a total of 110 innings of while Breisinger had issued 75 walks in 100 frames.
                       W L SO Pct
Roenspie, T-C. ....... 5 0 20 1.000
Robertson, Van. ...... 5 0 20 1.000
Marshall, Vic. ....... 8 1 61 .889
Kerrigan, Tac. ...... 10 2 38 .833
Tierney, Salem ...... 11 4 53 .733
Ragni, Wenatchee ..... 8 3 69 .727
Stone, Tri-City ...... 7 3 30 .700
Loust, Tacoma ........ 8 4 24 .667
Ferrarese, Wen. ...... 8 4 87 .667
Bradford, Yak. ....... 6 3 60 .667
Hedgecock, Vic. ...... 6 3 33 .667

By DON BECKER, Herald Sports Editor
[June 21/50]
There's a revolution going on in the Western International league. With little noise and less fanfare the league is now reaching the other end of the pendulum. And it isn't only within the past few weeks that what many players have suspicioned for a long time is becoming more and more apparent with every passing game.
The league is using a 'dead' ball this year. No, that's not a bunch of .200 hitters complaining, even the pitchers will admit it. Add to this wrinkle much tighter pitching throughout the WI in general and you now have a pitcher's league . . .not the hitter's league for which it was long famous.
A glance at the league statistics appearing here yesterday shows 16 players that are hitting with a .300 or better average. That's not very many you'll agree, and these are all regular players. We're not shoving in pitchers or pinch hitters with one or two trips and as many hits. That 16 represents the players that are on the field for a big majority of the games.
A check of last year's statistics reveals a total of 60 that finished with .300 or better. However, by combing the list until we pare it down to those with 300 or more times at bat we still have 41 players that ended in that 'magic circle', topped of course by Clint Cameron's .380. We believe you'll agree that any player that made at least 300 trips to the plate is entitled to keep a good average if he compiles one, Subtract 16 from 49 and you'll see why this is a hurlers heaven now.
There are two factors that account for this wholesale changeover within the league. One is better pitching, and the other is a 'dead' ball. Nearly all the leading hitters agree that the pitching this season is tighter, better balanced than it has been, disregarding the first games of the season, of course.
The earned run averages of our own pitching staff is a definite sign post. The three lowest averages would place those pitchers among the top eleven the way the league ended last season. So there you have it ... that's pretty definite proof about better hurling.
Now what about this dead ball issue? Well, there are no facts or figures available that we can cite. But it is a different one than was used last season. Last year's bore the Wilson label, but now the league is using the Spaulding manufactured baseball.
However, a survey of some of the current top hitters, and some league leaders from last year, seems to bear out the players contention that the ball is not as lively as it used to be. There's a very definite sound, they say, when the bat meets the ball. . .a sharp crack. But today these hitters will tell you the sound is different. It lacks a distinct 'ping' the other had. Although the pitchers could sit idly back and say the hitter's were just 'beefing' and thus gain greater laurels for themselves, they're not doing it. And when a pitcher admits that the hitters are right, that the ball is 'dead' then you've got to sit up and listen.
What will be the effects of this? For one thing there won't be as many .300 hitters as last year, that seems pretty obvious. For another, pitchers are going to get a lot more recognition than they have in the past. And when you realize that most players are bought out of the record book, then you can look for a substantial margin of hurlers to move up to higher classifications. What about the young hitters who are going to be penalized by the dead ball? There isn't much that can be said. They won't appear as powerful as players of other years, and whether the higher leagues will recognize why is a moot point.
Today we want to introduce to you the newest member to join the Braves, Merle Frick. This 21-year old, better than six-footer, joined the Braves pitching staff in Tacoma. He's a right-hander and played with this team last year when they were in Wenatchee. He comes to the Braves from Memphis of the class A Southern Association.
During the 1949 year Frick had a (12-6) record striking out 121 and issuing 160 free passes. He gave up 147 runs of which 108 were earned for an earned run average of 5.68. Frick appeared in 25 games and completed 13. While with Memphis he had been bothered by a sore arm as a result of a cold which lodged in it. However, it's much better now, as he says. “I threw about 20 minutes during hitting practice over in Tacoma and my arm felt fine.”

It Beats Me
By Jim Tang
[Victoria Colonist, June 21, 1950]
A class “A” Western International League, including the thriving Alberta cities of Calgary and Edmonton, could be one of the best minor leagues in baseball. If it should become a reality—and there is every chance it eventually will—Reg Patterson, business manager of the Victoria Athletics, can take credit for being the fellow who started it all.
The idea first reached the serious stage at Kamloops last Spring when Patterson talked it over with Sam Timmins and Harold Cundal, who visited the A’s training base in the hope of picking up some players for Purity 99’s and Buffaloes, the two Calgary semi-pro clubs. After a good reception, a number of W.I.L. owners are now enthusiastic about the possibilities of such a league and it is safe to state that there would be no difficulty in getting the necessary backing in either Edmonton or Calgary.
Obstacles Not Too Difficult
Climate and distance are the only major obstacles and they shouldn’t be too difficult to overcome. If the W.I.L. set back its opener ten days, something that should be done in any event, and scheduled the Alberta clubs on the road for the first two weeks, the Calgary and Edmonton openers could be held about mid-May, a safe enough date according to Timmins and Cundal. Distance is less of an obstacle than it would appear at first glance. Even by rail, Coast clubs could be in either Edmonton or Calgary for Monday games after winding up at home Saturday night. By air, it’s three hours and ten minutes from Vancouver to Calgary and four hours from Vancouver to Edmonton. Calgary is closer to Spokane than Vancouver, about equidistant from Tri-City, and not much further from Wenatchee and Yakima.
Any additional traveling costs would be more than made up by the larger attendances assured. Calgary drew 165,000 fans last season for its semi-pro games and Edmonton attendance was even larger. There is no reason to believe that these figures wouldn't at least be as great for class “A” baseball.
What teams Calgary and Edmonton might replace may be a problem but Salem is still a losing proposition each year and Tacoma is showing less and less interest in W.I.L. baseball. Even with a first-place club, the Tigers have failed to draw well enough to make expenses this season. At the moment, these two cites appear to be the weak sisters from an attendance standpoint.
Both Calgary and Edmonton have lighted parks and it wouldn’t take much to make them the equal of any park in the W.I.L. Renfrew Park in Edmonton seats about 6,000 and has excellent lighting. Calgary's Buffalo Stadium is also well lit and its seating capacity can be easily enlarged from its present figure of 2,500.
Advantages of “A” Baseball
Moving into “A” classification would only need the approval of the National Association of Minor Professional Baseball Leagues. The W.I.L. has the neccessary combined population of 1,000,000 and could have made the move long ago had it so desired. Inclusion of Calgary and Edmonton and the construction of a new park in Vancouver would make the move doubly advantageous.
Although the W.I.L. is already ranked on a par with a number of “A” leagues, the increase in the player limit to 19 would, in itself, tend to make a big improvement in the calibre of baseball. The higher designation also will have greater fan attraction and there would be little, if any, increase in admission prices.
Not only would the increase in the salary limit from $4,000 a month make it possible for each club to acquire a few more better players but clubs in “A” leagues have added protection. They can lose only one player in the draft and the draft price is considerably more. A major club drafting from an “A” club has to pay $6,000 for that privilege against $4,000 for a “B” player. “AAA” and “AA” clubs have to pay $1,500 more.
Anyway you look at it, the idea of Class “A” W.I.L. including Calgary and Edmonton is an attractive one. The two Alberta cities are doubtless the best sports centers not yet in organized baseball. Sooner or later they are bound to join some minor league and it should be the W.I.L., which could stand that kind of bolstering.

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