Tuesday, 31 July 2007

January signings

Selects to Train In Lewiston For 1950 Season
LEWISTON, Ida., Jan. 12 — The Great Falls Selectrics of the Pioneer baseball league will do their spring training at Lewiston this year.
General Manager Nick Mariana announced selection of the site Wednesday night after inspecting Bengal field at Lewiston high school.
There also are indications the Spokane Indians of the Western International league may train in Lewiston. Paul Wise, director of athletics at Northern Idaho college of Education, said Alan Strange, Spokane manager, is interested in using the college athletic setup for training.

New Braves Player to Report in April
KENNEWICK, Jan. 8—Dick Richards, general manager of the Tri-City Braves, has received the papers sending Lou Tamone, infielder, to his club, he said yesterday.
Tamone, who is expected to report for spring training with the club in April, hit .243 and drove in 132 runs while with El Paso last season. He was voted the most popular player on the team and was named to the Arizona-Texas all-star nine.

Braves Purchase New Outfielder
KENNEWICK, Wash., Jan. 11—Dick Richards, general manager of the Tri-City Braves, last night announced the purchase of a new outfielder.
Richards said that he had purchased Larry Orteig from Salem.
The Braves general manager declined to reveal the price or trade terms concerning the purchase.
Orteig, 23, hit .313 in 65 games last year for Salem. He drew 32 bases on balls and drove in 38 runs. He also collected three home runs and 16 doubles.

Victoria Pitcher Signed
PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 10 — Frank Prowse, who won 7 and lost 5 for Victoria's Western International league baseball club last season, was purchased yesterday by Portland on a look-see basis. He was owned by New York's Yankees.

WIL Meeting

WIL Officials Trekking To Tri-City Area
Two-Day Meeting Is Planned

RICHLAND, Wash., Jan. 9—Officials and club owners of the Western International Baseball league are due to arrive in Richland Tuesday for a two-day conference. The Tri-City Braves will act as hosts during the meeting.
Among the issues to be settled during the meetings at the Desert Inn hotel are the election of league officers. Robert Abel of Tacoma is the present league prexy. League owners are also expected to formally approve the 1950 schedule which was drawn up at the last meeting.
Other top items on the agenda include the adopting of legislation by the league, which was passed by the convention of minor leagues in Baltimore last year. The league will also fix the salary of their umpires and their schedules for the coming season.
Among the first to arrive will be Charlie Graham Jr., vice president of the San Francisco Baseball club which owns the Yakima Bears, 1949 WIL champs. Graham and Joe Orengo, manager of the Bears, and George Emigh, president of the Salem Baseball club, arc expected to arrive tonight.
One of the highlights of the conference will be a dinner sponsored by the Richland Lions club. Officials and owners will be guests of the Lions at the dinner. Following the banquet motion pictures of the 1949 World Series and the Notre Dame-University of Washington football game will be shown to the guests.
Dick Richards and Vern Johnson will welcome the visiting members of the league. Orin 'Babe' Hollingbery, president of the local team, will not be able to be present for the meeting, he said.
A tour of the new home for the Tri-City Braves is also scheduled. Officials of the Tri-City Athletic association and businessmen who have led the drive to build the park are expected to meet with the officials and club during the two-day meeting.

Abel Re-elected President Of W.I.L.
League Starts Second Round Session Today

RICHLAND, Wash., Jan. 11—Robert B. Abel of Tacoma was re-electcd president of the Western International baseball league at their opening session in the Desert Inn Hotel, Richland, yesterday.
Abel's election marks the fourth consecutive term that he had served in this capacity. He is also the only president that the league has had.
Abel's re-election was the high-light of the business meeting Tuesday afternoon, which was adjourned until 9:30 this morning when the subject of schedules was due on the docket again.
Yesterday the club owners were unable to agree on anything concerning the league schedule past the first three weeks. The hiring and scheduling of umpires was also to be taken under consideration at today's adjourned confab.
Other officers elected to serve with Abel for the 1950 term are: John V. Johnson, first vice president. Johnson is also president of the Victoria baseball club, and replaces George Emigh in this position. R. P. Brown was elected as second vice president of the league. Brown is the general manager of the Vancouver team. George F. Able was re-elected as secretary of the league.
The league, at the suggestion of President Abel, also passed a resolution to secure full statistics from the Howe News Service. This information is intended primarily for the use of sports writers and sportscasters.
It developed at the meeting that San Diego will definitely continue to operate their franchise in Tacoma. Frank J. Gillihan, business manager of the Tacoma organization confirmed this fact to the press. This announcement definitely kills all rumors to the effect that the Tacoma franchise would be sold to Aberdeen or Bellingham. Gillihan also announced that Jim Brillheart, former Spokane pilot, would be the playing-manager for the coming season.
Gillihan replaces Enoch Alexson as business manager for Tacoma.

New Ump Rules Aid Game Says Prexy
League Buys Two Umpires

RICHLAND, Wash., Jan. 11—The Western International league, along with other leagues in organized professional baseball, will this year operate under a new system as far as umpires are concerned. This statement was made yesterday by Robert C. Abel, president of the WIL.
"The new rules pertaining to umpires and game officials unquestionably will do much to improve the sport both from the standpoint of the player and the spectators and assure better umpires for the league," commented Abel on the new regulations.
Abel said that under the new rules laid down by the National Association of Professional baseball that umpires will be subject to the same draft regulations that players are.
Simultaneous with this announcement Abel said that two umpires from Class C leagues had been purchased at the recent convention in Baltimore. He named the new umpires as Mickey Hanich of the California state league and Joe Iacavetti of the Cotton State league. Both contracts were purchased for $250 the league prexy added.
The new development concerning umpires grew out of an agreement with the national
baseball organization and the national umpires association during the minor league meeting last month, the WIL league president indicated.
"This means," said Abel, "that we now have an understanding with the Pacific Coast league, that their umpires that they declare to be surplus will be available to our league."
As one indication of what this new regulation may mean, Abel cited the fact that Triple A leagues may now sign 18 umpires instead of 12. This would seem to indicate that there may be a surplus of umpires in the Triple A league that would be available to the lower classification leagues.
The WIL league prexy said that "this league also accepted 100 per cent the theory and principle of the new idea as expressed by representatives of the National Association of Umpires Bureau at the Baltimore convention."

Baseball League President Gives Warm Welcome To Tri-City Area
RICHLAND, Wash., Jan. 11—"The Tri-City area is one of the best known areas in the Pacific Northwest." That was the statement made last night by Robert B. Abel, president of the Western International Baseball league, to an audience jammed into the dining room of the Desert Inn hotel, Richland. The WIL president was the principal speaker at a dinner meeting of club owners and guests.
"Not only do we know this," Abel continued, "but it has been talked about in professional baseball circles ever since the close of the war. And," he continued, "it means to you, of the Tri-City area proper, that your area through professional baseball will be given publicity six to seven months of the year."
Reviewing the long history of organized professional baseball the WIL president said that "the question will ultimately come up again to review the position of baseball with respect to radio and television. And if you care to follow the subject more closely, this question of baseball and the anti-trust issue will definitely come before congress this year."
Again referring to the Tri Cities, President Abel said that "this is one of the coming areas of our great Pacific Northwest He added that the Northwest had grown beyond the dreams of those who had founded it and belived in it. "And when you realize that through your association with professional baseball that the Tri-Cities are now known throughout, the nation tho value of your Tri-City Braves will become more and more apparent to you."
C. Buntin, chairman of the Richland Lions club, who sponsored last night's dinner, opened the after-dinner speakers' tour. He introduced in turn Earle E. Richmond, community manager of Richland; John Beck, mayor of Pasco, and Urban Keolker mayor of Kennewick.
These gentlemen were followed by Dick Richards, general manager of the Tri-City Braves, who acted as master of ceremonies for the balance of the program.
Richards then introduced Robert F. Philip, president of the Scott Publishing company. The youthful newspaper executive extended a warm challenge to the rest of the league to match the Braves during the coming league race.
Bob Brown of the Vancouver baseball team followed Philip on the program. He recalled some of the greats that had gone up to the majors from this league, among them Walter "Big Train" Johnson. Brown is now celebrating his 50th year in professional baseball and is considered to be one of the "grand old men of the game."
Hunky Shaw of the Tri-City Braves, also a contemporary of Brown, recalled some of the early days of baseball. He led the Pacific Coast league in the hitting department not too many years back with a .280 average. Brown's answer as to how Hunky could lead the league with such a low average is "Hunky batted from the port side and that gave him a couple of extra steps."
Following the meeting the league officials, club owners and guests viewed the motion pictures of the 1949 World Series and the University of Washington-Notre Dame football game.

W.I.L. To Discontinue Playoffs
League Also Adopts Revised Rookie Rule
RICHLAND, Wash., Jan. 12— Directors of the Western International league opened the door to new talent yesterday by adopting a "four and one rookie rule," This action was the high mark of yesterday's session which closed the two-day conference.
The league owners will re-convene Feb. 4 in Tacoma to adopt their 1950 playing schedule.
It was also disclosed following yesterday's final session that the league has definitely dropped the Shaughnessy type of playoff that they have been following.
But there was no announcement of a pool that would go to the first four, as was done in the Pacific Coast loop, when they discontinued the playoffs following the end of the regular season.
League President, Robert B. Abel, however, said that the league would definitely open their 154 game schedule April 18 and close Labor Day. The teams will play double-headers on Sundays and holidays, he added.
As a sidelight to the two-day baseball get-together the league prexy also disclosed that the club owners had voted for the repeal of the baseball bonus rule. Abel said that this vote was taken by telegram last Saturday. The major leagues have already voted for the repeal of this regulation, although it lost out in the minor league convention in Baltimore last month.
But baseball experts pointed out that with the backing of the major leagues, it seemed probable that the minors, who are now again balloting on the question, would probably follow the action of the National and American leagues.
Adoption of the "rookie rule" by the W. I. L. marks the first time that this league has ever indicated a willingness to keep the door open to baseball player on the way up. Heretofore it has been up to the individual clubs.
But with the enactment of this new rule each team must now carry on their 17 player limit roster four players with no more than three years experience and one player with no more than one year experience.
However, one of the biggest headaches still is facing the club owners. That big problem, the 1950 schedule will be on the top of the agenda when they meet again next month. They tore up three proposed schedules Tuesday and failed to get any nearer to an answer yesterday.
Although they wrestled with the problem two days they were unable to reach a schedule that was satisfactory to the majority. George Emigh of Salem, will in the meantime re-draft several proposed lineups for the perusal of the W.I.L. directors. Abel, the league's re-elected head, said yesterday that the club owners will have to reach an agreement next month.

Two Cities Seek Tacoma WIL Franchise

"Pacific Coast Conference Baseball League"? Now you know why United Press was way below the A.P. on the wire service food chain. And what newspaper sports editor wouldn't fix a glaring gaffe like that anyway? I found one who did (in a reworked, shorter version of the story below), but the guy at the Tri-City Herald didn't.

Aberdeen, Bellingham Seek Club
SAN DIEGO, Calif., Jan. 4 (UP)—Bill Starr, president of the Pacific Coast Conference Baseball League San Diego Padres, today revealed he had contacted officials at Bellingham, Wash., on the possibility of moving the Padres' Farm club, the Western International league Tacoma Tigers, there.
Starr said the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce and Manager Joe Martin of the semi-pro Bellingham Bells had expressed interest, but that nothing final had been worked out.
Meanwhile, Aberdeen also made a bid to get into the W.I.L. picture.
The Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce wrote Starr contending that the semi-pro Grays Harbor Merchants drew larger crowds last year than did the Bells, the Washington state champions.
Bellingham was in the Western International league in 1938 and 1939. The city supported the team during the 1938 season when it won the championship, but after a poor year in 1939, the franchise was moved to Salem, Ore.
Late last year, the W.I.L. franchise at Wenatchee was moved to Pasco-Kennewick-Richland, with the Bremerton franchise being shifted to Wenatchee.

So Long, Victoria, Say Yanks

Yankees Drop 5 Farm Clubs
New York, Dec. 30.—The New York Yankees announced today they have lopped five clubs from their minor league farm system which now numbers 15.
The new set-up does not include Newark of the International League. The Bears are up for sale to the Chicago Cubs, who have an option until Jan. 15. Apparently, Yankee officials feel the deal will go through since Newark is not included in their 1950 plans.
Other clubs to be dropped are Augusta, Ga., of the Sally League; Manchester. Vt., New England League; Victoria, British Columbia, Western International League; and Ventura, Calif., California State League.
Should the Newark sale be completed, the Yankees would be left with only one Triple A farm club, Kansas City of the American Association.
The others range from Class AA down to Class D.

John Conant Gets Wife For Christmas (Almost)

In reading this piece, two things struck me:
• A newspaper was publishing Christmas Day.
• It sounds so typically 1950s - now that she's married, her career is in the past tense and she now has to become a happy homemaker (June Cleaver pearls optional).
Well, apparently not. John had a great career in the Western International League (alas, he never made the majors that I can divine) and played for Casey Stengel and with the 'Nine Old Men' in Oakland, but Evelyn Conant did quite a number of things, as this link makes obvious (scroll down a bit to find her).
No doubt you've heard about nasty marriage break-ups involving ballplayers, but it's nice to read about one that lasted a long time.

John J. Conant Takes Bride In Washington
Word has just been received Spokane, Wash., of the recent marriage of John J. Conant and Miss Evelyn E. Hawke.
Miss Hawke, the daughter of Mrs. Ruth Hawke and the late Harry A. Hawke, is a native of Spokane and for the past three years has been a stewardess for the Northwest Airlines, flying regular schedules between New York City and Seattle.
She was accorded the honor of being stewardess on the first stratocruiser to be put into operation by Northwest Airlines. During her flight career, she served as stewardess on many charter flights carrying movie stars and other noteables. Prior to her connection with Northwest, Miss Hawke was a meteorologist at the Spokane weather bureau for three years.
Mr. Conant, son of Mrs. John J., and the late Mr. Conant of Surgoinsville, will be remembered as an outstanding ball player here in Kingsport and as an employee of the former W.B. Greene Co.
Entering the Navy In 1943, Mr. Conant served until 1946. when he was discharged and became a member of the Oakland, Calif., baseball team. He was in the Oakland system for three seasons, playing at Oakland, Twin Falls, Idaho, and Bremerton, Wash. Last year he was sold to the Spokane Indians of the Western International League where he is already contracted to play for the 1950 season. John has been a consistent winner on the pitcher's mound with his best season coming in 1948, when he won 23 games and lost 10 while pitching for Bremerton Bluejackets of the Western International League.
The newly-weds are at home to their many friends at 206 West Eighth Ave., Spokane, Wash.
- Kingsport News Times, Dec. 25, 1949

Tri-City Braves Sign College Pitcher

20-Year Old Rookie Inks WIL Contract
KENNEWICK, Wash., Dec. 20—Dick Richards, general manager of the Tri-Cities Braves, announced today that he had signed Ted Hussey, Spokane, to a Western International League baseball contract. Hussey will report to the Braves in Lindsey, Calif., during the latter part of March to start training.
The 6' 4" 20-year old college athlete is expected to strengthen the Braves pitching staff considerably. Hussey is a right-hander, both on the mound and at the plate. He is reported to have an extremely fast ball.
During his high school career at Medical Lake Hussey garnered four letters in baseball and four in basketball as well as two in football. Now a student at Whitworth college. Ted has earned two letters in baseball, his favourite sport.
"This is what I've always wanted to do," Hussey said. "Ever since I started to play baseball I've wanted to go up to the major leagues and this looks like an ideal opportunity." Baseball scouts from both St. Louis teams and from the Brooklyn Dodgers have offered Hussey contracts.
"But I think I'll have a better chance of getting the right start and seasoning on my own, without jumping into a majoe league farm system," the 190 pounder said.

Bolyard Leaves Victoria Athletics

Earl Bolyard to Manage S.L. Bees
SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 17—Earl Bolyard, tabbed as 1950 manager for the Newark Bears of the
International League, instead will direct the Salt Lake City Bees of the Pioneer baseball league.
Bolyard's appointment as Salt Lake City manager was announced today by General Manager Claude Engberg.
Engberg said Bolyard was signed by Salt Lake City after the New York Yankees decided to sell their Newark franchise.
Bolyard has been a member of the New York Yankees' farm system for 18 years. In 1946 and 1947 he managed the Twin Fulls Cowboys, Yankees' Pioneer league farm team. He was at Norfolk, Va. in 1948 and midway through the 1949 season, he was shifted to the Victoria, B. C., club of the Western International league.
"Bolyard was highly recommended to Bert by Casey Stengel, George Weiss and Joe Devine of the Yankees," Engberg said. "They call him one of America's greatest baseball teachers."
"In addition, Bert was impressed by Earl's interest in teaching boys. Bolyard is convinced there is baseball talent in Utah and all it needs is teaching and development."
Engberg said that Dunne has contacted all major league clubs in an effort to learn what Utah boys they have in their farm chains. It is Dunne's ambition, Engberg said, to get as many Utah boys as possible on the Bees roster.

Capilanos-Great Falls To Link Again

Selectrics Look To Other Clubs for Help
BALTIMORE, Dec. 11 — Several teams have promised to help the Great Falls Selectrics in finding players for next year, General Manager Nick Mariana said.
Mariana, here for the minor league meetings said the Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast league and the Vancouver club of the Western International league both have assured him they would help out wherever possible.
The Selectrics had a working agreement with Seattle during their first two seasons with the Pioneer league. The club cancelled that arrangement after the end of the 1949 season and sought to complete a tie-up with the Cleveland Indians of the American league.
The Indians announced this week they could not make such an arrangement this year. But Mariana reported "we may also receive some help from Cleveland, anyway. It depends upon whether or not the Indians will have a surplus of talent from the West Coast."
Mariana said the new Kennewick entry to the Western International league may assist the Great Falls club.
He emphasized that the Selectrics are in no desperate need of help, however. "We are in a much better position today on the matter of players than we were when we started the season in 1949," he said.

Cap Moves To Wenatchee

Wenatchee Chiefs Get Two Players
SEATTLE, Dec. 9—The Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League sent two ball players to the Wenatchee Chiefs of the Western International League. General Manager Earl Sheely announced in Baltimore that Bud Hjelmaa, an infielder formerly with the Vancouver Caps, had heen sold outright to the Chiefs. He's a right-hand hitter who went into pro baseball from
Seattle's Franklin high school.
Bob Goldstein, former Spokane high school star athlete, who played first base in the Pioneer
League last year, has been optioned to Wenatchee. Goldstein bats and throws left-handed.

New Managers for 1950

Alan Strange to Manager Spokane
SPOKANE, Wash., Dec. 1—Alan Strange, former St. Louis Browns and Pacific Coast league baseball player, was today named manager of the Spokane Indians for the 1950 season.
Spokane is a member of the Class B Western International baseball league.
Strange, manager of Bremerton, Wash., in the same league for four years, succeeds Jim Brillheart at Spokane. Brillheart was released after a single year witli Spokane. His team finished third.

Strange Seeks Club Hookup
SPOKANE, Dec. 2 — Alan Strange, new manager of the Spokane Western International League Indians, headed east for the minor league baseball meeting yesterday—hoping to line up
one or more limited working agreements with major league outfits.
Spokane hasn't had a big league tieup since 1947 when it operated under an agreement with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Strange blew into town from the coast but only stayed long enough who came here tosign a 1950 contract with owner Roy Hotchkiss, owner of the Western International league club.
He then took off for Baltimore to attend the minor league meeting that starts Monday.
"We do not want a full working agreement with any club," said Strange. "We want an agreement whereby we can get a player or two or a dozen, depending on our needs. It's possible that we may make agreements with several organizations."
"You can call my trip East a 'shopping tour,'" he grinned.

Brillheart Hired
TACOMA, Wash., Dec. 5.—Jim Brillheart, recently deposed manager of the Spokane Indians, was signed Monday to pilot the Tacoma Tigers of the Western International Baseball League next season.