Sunday, 19 August 2007

Wednesday, June 7, 1950

              W  L  Pct GB
Tacoma ..... 32 15 .681 —
Yakima ..... 24 22 .522 7½
Salem ...... 24 23 .511 8
Tri-City ... 24 25 .490 9
Wenatchee .. 23 24 .489 9
Spokane .... 23 25 .479 9½
Vancouver .. 19 25 .432 11½
Victoria ... 19 29 .396 13½

SALEM, June 7—The three-hit hurling of John Marshall Wednesday night carried the Victoria Athletics to a 6-1 victory over the Salem Senators in the first game of a Western International league double-header.
Marshall fanned five and the only run he gave the Solons was unearned in the seventh.
The A's punched Salem's Bill Osborn for 14 blows and gained most of their margin with a four-run blast in the third off five hits. Bill Dunn's two-run single was the key blow in that outburst. Their final marker in the fifth came on K Chorlton's single and a long fly by Dunn.
The Senators came back Wednesday night to top the Athletics 7-5 and gain a split in the twin-bill.
The Solons' Johnny Burak held the visitors to seven hits over the route in the seven-inning game while Salem was garnering 10 off three Victoria hurlers.
The Senators exploded in the first inning for five runs off Jim Propst with the help of four blows and sent Propst shower-ward in the second with another marker. Ron Smith replaced Propst and was responsible for another run in the sixth before giving way to Jim Hedgecock.
The A's touched Burak for one run in the first inning and made a threat with three in the sixth, the final runs scoring after Al Ronning reached base, followed by a walk and a wild pitch.
A walk, hit and Jim Moore's long fly brought in the Athletics' final counter in the top of the seventh.
First Game
Victoria ... 104 010 000—6 14 1
Salem ...... 000 000 100—1 3 2
Marshall and Ronning; Osborn and McMillan.
Second Game
Victoria ... 100 003 1—5 7 3
Salem ...... 510 001 x— 7 10 1
Propst, Smith (2) Hedgecock (6) and Weatherwax; Burak and Beard.

By DON BECKER, Herald Sports Editor
[June 8, 1950]
When George Nicholas twirled that no-hitter against Spokane a couple of weeks back he laid gently to rest a long-time fable that has persisted in baseball. The Vancouver right-hander played taps to the belief that the pitcher is the last one to know that he's got a no-hitter on his hands before the game is over.
“It must have been 'long about the fifth inning that I knew a no-hitter was possible," said George. “But then I've been pitching along time and with four innings still to go I figured Spokane was still going to get at least a couple of safe blows. Then when the seventh inning came up and the Indians were still looking for the first one I gave every pitch everything I had. I mean I was pouring that ball at the plate with every bit of my power.” That was the description that Nick gave us the other night when the Vancouver-Braves series opener got rained out.
That was the first no-hitter that Nicholas has come up with in league play, though it wasn't the first of his career. The first time he entered the ivy halls of baseball was against the Sing Sing prison team. George was pitching for a New York clothing team then. All the prisoners got from the right-hander that day was a lot of 'outs.' Something they were all wanting, but not the kind he was handing them.
Nicholas, Mike Budnick and Joe Orrell sat out Tuesday night's postponed game in a pinochle session in one of the local hotels. As it always does the conversation centered around baseball in general, and pitching in particular. “Well, I'll say this about the W. I. league,” opined Mike. “They throw harder here than they do in the Pacific Coast.” “Run that one by again,” we suggested, “with a little more detail.”
“What I meant was this. Here the pitchers throw harder, but on the Coast they pitch better. There's quite a difference between pitching and throwing. That's why you don't find big strikeout records here. The pitchers get ahead ot the batter, say with an 0-2 count. Then you throw some in there hunting for the corners and the next thing you know the count is full. The umpires in this leauue are so used to hard throwers that they just don't give the pitchers those “on the corner” pitches.”
“What about Novikoff,” someone asked. “Do you think he'll hit in this league the way he has in the others?” Two of the four pitchers sitting there had faced the brawny one elsewhere. “Sure he'll hit here,” one of them answered. “They throw a lot of shoulder high pitches in this league and that's just where Lou likes them.”
The general consensus was that he should help Yakima in the hitting department.
Bob Johnson, writing in the Spokane Chronicle the other day, cited attendance figures through June 1 which show Victoria leading the W. I. league with a total of 37,989. Johnson says he received the totals from Bob Abel, league president.
According to the Spokane scribe the Tri-Cities are fifth, ahead of Tacoma, Salem, and Yakima, in that order. Inasmuch as these attendance reports come from the league's front office there's no question that they are true. However, they do not present the complete picture. For one thing, they fail to mention thai the Tri-City team had also played more home games than any other of the teams. Accordingly we're still anchored to the bottom of the average number of fans attending our home games.
Here are the league figures through June 1 as given by Abel and please note the order of the clubs: Victoria, 37,989; Wenatchee, 37,195; Vancouver, 30,092; Spokane, 28,507; Tri-Cities, 23,778; Tacoma, 23,539; Salem, 21,489; and Yakima, 20,832. Note that Victoria and Vancouver on the bottom of the league standings, top the list of gate-pullers. In fact if you just reversed the list you'd be mighty close to the present standing of the teams.

Alf Cottrell
[Vancouver Daily Province, June 8, 1950]
A bunch of the boys were slurping it down—cream of onion soup it was—at lunchtime the other day when one of them wanted to know who’s the Tacoma pitcher who’s going through the WIL like an east wind.
It just chanced this guy who has won 10 straight and lost none. We know him aside from his name, even, which is Robert Kerrigan. And not a bad name at that, is it?
We first met him at the Vancouver Capilanos’ spring training camp at Sunnyside a few years back, when the Caps used to condition down there in Washington’s inland hot belt.
• • •
He came up with five other sprigs from the Seattle training camp at San Fernando, Calif. Just young hopefuls looking for a baseball job. One of them, Jim Hedgecock, is pretty well known in Vancouver and Victoria fans now, even if his arm has been so sore at times if almost fell off.
Old Syl Johnson, the former big league pitcher, was the starting manager for the Caps that year. And here was this fresh rookie, Kerrigan, that they called Bob, Lefty, Red and occasionally worse. A kid with smooth auburn hair, good shoulders, and a way with everybody, including waitresses.
The first time we talked to him, come to think of it, we were sitting at the hotel lunch counter at Sunnyside and he asked the waitress for a horse burger. When the burger came he started on it, then called the waitress and complained, “This was a Santa Anita horse. So fast it ran through the meat grinder without stopping.”
• • •
However, he had a curve and a good curve covers a multitude of sins. Such sins as the time Watts Gulan, the newly-married country guy from Nebraska, who also new with the team, posted a letter in the hotel lobby. And Kerrigan asked what color stamp he put on it.
Watts said “Green,” and Bob said, “Why that’s for westbound mail. It’ll go to Seattle. You should have used pink. And Gulan said, well, it was [unreadable] up and write another.
Kerrigan knew all the old ones and to him life was a sweet song, on the surface. Meanwhile Johnson sort of liked that curve ball. On the other hand the club was rank with left-handed pitchers. So when signing time came he decided he preferred Bob’s absence. They arrange a berth for him down at Boise and the kid, all the smile gone off his features, packed his valise and departed.
• • •
He did so well at Boise that next season San Diego brought him up to the Coast League. There he was used on relief jobs, mostly. And last year, they sent him to Tacoma.
Bob Johnson was their manager, and Kerrigan doesn’t mix well with fellows named Johnson. We met Kerrigan here last summer. He was very unhappy. He hasn’t got to start a game in weeks. And all this time Tacoma was so bad Johnson was choosing his opening lineup with an egg beater.
Later, as the clubs went down the backstretch, Johnson finally started the lefthander. He went on a fair win streak. Just like he told us he said he would if they gave him a chance.
• • •
Last time we saw him, earlier this summer, he had won his first four. He said they had a good club, and he had been lucky. A changed youngster, obviously, from the one who once handed a tough hitter a whiskbroom and said hang on to it, he would need it to brush the dust off himself after he, Kerrigan, got through throwing the next pitch.
A little later, when he had run the string to six, we asked a couple of Capilanos about him. “He hasn’t got that fastball,” they said, disposing of him in six words.
Maybe at that, his quick one doesn’t give off sparks, sing, or whistle Maryland, My Maryland on its way to the plate. Maybe even his curves wouldn’t make Mae West jealous, for all I know. But there isn’t much maybe about that 10 and 0 record.

No comments: