Saturday, 29 December 2007

Monday, April 28, 1952

W L Pct. GB
Victoria ..... 5 1 .833 —
Spokane ...... 5 2 .714 ½
Vancouver .... 5 3 .625 1
Lewiston ..... 3 3 .500 2
Salem ........ 3 4 .429 2½
Yakima ....... 3 5 .375 3
Wenatchee .... 2 5 .286 3½
Tri-City ..... 2 5 .286 3½

VANCOUVER [Keith Matthews, News Herald, April 29]—The weather outside was frightful, not fit even for man nor beast. But the Capilanos, a hardy lot, liked it well enough to open the local 1952 baseball season with an 8-1 win over Yakima.
Some 4500 fans liked the idea of baseball on their front porch again, too, and they came to see what Bob Brown and Bill Schuster have been putting together these past few weeks. They had no arguments, for the Caps looked fine, thank you.
The opening ceremonies were brief. Mayor Fred Hume and Bob Brown traded short speeches, a pretty little miss named Nora Grennon sang the National Anthems, then before you know it, John Guldborg was out on the rubber getting set to throw baseballs.
John is a big youngster who wears glasses and doesn’t like home openers. “They tie me up inside,” he confessed.
What troubles the right-hander had all took place in the first inning when he was losing a decision to his butterflies and serving up pitches far too fat for the Yakimas. The first batter, Bill Andring, tripled way down in the right field corner and scored a moment later on Charlie Malmberg’s single.
Guldberg was still wobbly when he walked two, but he got out of the inning without further damage and the Caps had their turn.
Len Tran squared it for John, and there was probably nobody in the park as surprised as the red head when he whacked a double against the left field wall with John Ritchey on second.
Len has been warming his backside on a Seattle bench these past three weeks. He hasn’t seen any pitching since leaving Palm Springs, and he made it quite plain before the game started that he expected the worst when the fast balls, curves and changes started staring him in the face. How wrong he was.
We’re Hot in the Field, Too
His double was a line drive which carried far over the left fielder’s head and slapped the wall after one bounce. Later on he singled and in between drove in another run on an outfield fly.
Of course, it was a great night for the Trans. They were re-united after playing in different sectors, and both of them seemed to think the idea was pretty sell. In the field, the two of them knocked out one basehit after another. At bat, they did every bit as much as the rest of the boys, and that was quite an adequate job.
But for the Trans, it would have been Guldborg’s show all alone. The big fellow pitched a seven-hitter, struck out six and walked five. Strictly fast ball and curve ball, he showed the kind of stuff wich made Bob Brown predict not so long ago, “He’s my 20-game winner.”
The newcomers to the Caps, excepting Guldborg, didn’t get much of a look-in on this opening night. If it wasn’t the Trans, it was John Ritchey or Edo Vanni, familiar faces around this WIL. Ritchey drove in two runs on a triple and single and Vanni’s three-for-five accounted for another pair.
Vancouver went out in front 3-1 in the second inning as Bob Duretto singled and went all the way around to third as centre fielder Gene Klingler let the ball through his legs. Ed Locke batted him home, scored himself a little later on Vanni’s safety. At it turned out, that was all Guldborg needed.
Dario Returns Home
The inaugural had many touches of appeal, no matter how you looked at it. Dario Lodigiani came back to Vancouver after a 17-year holiday, for instance. Sicne 1936, the little fellow who once played alongside Hal Straight, Ray Medeghini and Coley Hall for Brown’s VAC’s has been in Oakland, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco. He’s nearing the end of the baseball trail now, but while there’s still movement in those legs, Dario is staying with the National pastime. He didn’t do much of anything last night, but it was good to see him all the same.
DIAMOND DUST—The losing pitcher was a little lefy-hander named Pat Monahan. He was batted out in the fourth inning and Bill Dials finished up for the Bears… Joe Scalise, the new Cap outfielder, is out of the lineup for two days with a sore muscle on his left arm… He was hit by a pitch in Wenatchhee… Schuster’s knee is balloon size once more, and there is little you can predict in the way of a return for the manager… It’s one of those things you’ll just have to wait for, which makes Len Tran’s arrival here all the more timely …. Jerry Barta suffered no broken nomes in his Spokane accident Sunday, but he will be hobbling on a sore leg for almost a week… he suffered a severe ankle sprain… Jim Hedgecock won’t be on his way here until a few days after the first of the month…. However in all this dark news, there is a silver lining… One of Schuster’s patients came off the sick list yesterday and Bill is going to pitch the young fellow tonight. ... he’s Van Fletcher and he’ll be teeing up againt those same Yakimas starting at 8:15 …Van had been out with a bruised index finger on his pitching hand.
Yakima ........ 100 000 000—1 7 2
Vancouver ... 120 211 10x—8 12 2
Monahan, Byles (4) and Donahue; Guldborg and Ritchey.


[Vancouver Province, April 29, 1952]
The Classy Caps
When big long-geared Jesse Williams made his brilliant, smooth-as-cornsilk stop of Dario Lodigiani’s sharp smash to third base in an early inning of Monday night’s opener against Yakima, he seemed to be for that split second of great baseball a personification of the 1952 Caps: class.
Whether Williams, the Kansas City import will emerge 153 games later, next fall, as one of our stars, of course, nobody can tell now. Nor can anybody foretell on whose shoulders the 1952 flag hopes of Bob Brown rise and fall.
But in their unveiling before that disappointingly small and shivering crowd, the new club, Williams, the Tran brothers, Wert, Ritchey, Locke, Duretto, Vanni and Guldborg, who were the regulars in the inaugural, certainly displayed class, the one quality of a ballplayer that, this early in the season, always gives promise of what is to come.
I don’t think many of Brown’s post-war clubs have made such a good impression on fans in the opener.
● ● ●
The infield, of course, is certainly the best yet, big difference being Wert’s at first, a weak spot before. Williams at third and the Trans in the middle, give it a real class A first division stand.
Ray, at short, and Len, at second, caught the fans’ fancy. Len’s great one-handed running play on Bill Andering in the fourth inning, throwing him out at first on a slow, tricky roller, was one of those defensive plays you don’t expect this early in the season.
In the first inning, when Williams failed to trap a sharp smash far to his left, Ray, anticipating the play, backed him up and made the out. The usual uncertainty that marks a new infield learning to play together was not apparent.
John Guldborg, a handsomely-working right-hander, made an auspicious debut. Of him, Brown says “He is money in the bank for us. He’ll win 18 or 20 games at least.” After his initiation before the Stadium critics, he appeared to vindicate his boss’s faith.
● ● ●
Long-suffering fans who can remember some pretty big holes in the batting strength, were able to sit back and relax Monday night, and that, too, added to the general enjoyment. Vanni, the Trans, Ritchey, Wert and Williams look like a pretty potent firing line.
All but three players are owned outright by the Caps. That is the highest percentage of home-owned talent yet. Seattle has optioned Len Tran, Lundberg and Fletcher. But the others are ours. When the race gets tough, we won’t lose ‘em.
It looks like R.P. has done one swell job of rebuilding.

No comments: