Yakima Club in Need of Replacements
By Bob McCarty
Yakima Daily Herald
YAKIMA—No class B baseball club can lose players like Edo Vanni, Dick Briskey and Ray Orteig without getting hurt and the Yakima Bears look toward the parent San Francisco Seals for a cure.
Vanni, who fashioned a .356 mark in the Western International League last year, has moved up to the Seattle Rainiers while Briskey (.338) and Orteig (.335) are with the Seals.
Dick Steinhauer, a powerhouse in the Arizona-Texas league in 1949, is slated to replace Vanni in left field while Mike Baxes, up from Phoenix with Steinhauer, is slated for Briskey's shortstop job and Nini Tornay, the No. 2 receiver here a year ago, will be back to head the catching department.
Steinhauer drove in 151 runs and had a .346 batting mark last season while Baxes, Coast league Jim Baxes' younger brother, hit .322. Tornay came fast last year and hit .319.
Wilbert Tiesiera, up from Salt Lake City, is counted upon to gelp Tornay. He hit .304 and drove in 104 runs in 114 games last season.
The pitching is good. Headed by "Papa Bear" Dewey Soriano, club president and quarter owner, the key hurlers from the 1949 W-I league champions are back. Soriano, who won 14 and lost 2—and saved a flock of other games—came up with a sore arm late year but says the flipper is fine now.
If Manager Joe Orengo follows his 1949 pattern, he will probably start big Dew every third day and relieve with him in between.
Bill Bradford, who knuckle-balled a 13-9 mark here last season, gives Orengo another durable righthander while two young Salt Lake City graduates, Ernest Domenichelli (11-9) and Jack Rial (9-6) are other possibilities on that side.
With Seals Now
Orengo's "sleeper" is Dick Larner, now with the Seals but headed toward Yakima. He had a 19-7 mark with Salt Lake in 1949.
Larry Powell, Teddy Saverese and Lloyd Dickey will handle the portside duties again after showing an aggravated 47-19 mark here in 1949. Powell and Dickey each grabbed 16 wins while tiny Ted had 15.
Orengo is counting on the Seals to ship Jimmy Westlake up for the first base job. He hit .344 at Salt Lake City last year. Bob Williams who hit .277 while first basing here in 1949, will probably wind up in the outfield when he reports from his coaching duties at North Idaho college in June.
Al Jacinto (.300) is set at second base. He and Baxes figure as a top keystone combination.
He May Come
Ted Jennings had a great season here last year but the veteran is a bit dubious about coming north again. He fielded a million and hit .310 last year. If he fails to show, Orengo hopes to get Reno Cheso (.248) from the Seals. Young Cheso hit .336 at Salt Lake in 1948.
The Bears picked up a box office attraction when they signed "Squirmin' Herman" Wedemeyer, the former St. Mary's college grid star, to a contract but he still has to prove his baseball ability. He spent spring training with the Seals and impressed Frank (Lefty) O'Doul by his hitting.
Wedemeyer will be after an outfield berth along with Steinhauer, Babe Gammino, who hit .266 here in 1949, Williams and Jack Bacciocco, a .277 hitter at Phoenix last year.
Orengo. who likes a running ball club, will have these Bears on the move. Whether they will hit the wire again is a moot question but Joe will be jockeying them for the front end of the purse.
Past performances point toward a good ride.