Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Pre-Season, April 8, 1952

Tyees Suffer Fourth Defeat
SAN JOSE, Calif., April 9—Victoria Tyees suffered their fourth defeat in seven exhibition starts tonight when they were beaten, 3-1, by San Jose Red Sox of the California League.
Victoria’s biggest trouble was Bill Whitson of San Diego who shut them out for six innings with two-hit ball. The Tyees managed only four hits in the game and got their lone run in the ninth.
Manager Cece Garriott again used the game as a tryout for his rookies. Walter Towns, who is listed as an infielder, started on the mound for Victoria and was tagged for all San Jose runs. Southpaw John Valerie pitched the final two innings.
Victoria ...... 000 000 001—1 4 0
San Jose ..... 000 102 00x—3 9 2
Towns, Valerie (7) and Yankchuck, Martin (7); Whitson, Barnett (7) and Picone.

By CLANCY LORANGER [Province, April 9, 1952]
Bill Schuster’s trick knee, operated on last fall, isn’t taking kindly to the Penticton weather—slightly colder than California’s—and the Capilano manager’s promise to play more than 100 games this season may need revision.
But both Schuster and general manager Bob Brown feel that they may have come up with a “dark horse” to fill Bill’s third base spot until the warmer weather melts away his knee’s stiffness.
The surprise candidate for a starting berth is Martin (Bud) Isham, the high school youngster Schuster brought with him from California.
His play at spring training camp so far has brought nothing but praise from the Cap brain-trust, and Brown says if he can hit the pitching when the flingers get serious, “he’ll go a long way in baseball.”
• • •
Isham’s fielding, apparently, has already passed the test. Brown tells of how Schuster, catching Isham playing deep at third, pulled a surprise bunt on him. The Cap manager was the next one to be surprised when the 19-year-old hustled in and tossed him out at first by 15 feet.
Bob Duretto, another Californian currently battling for an outfield spot, can also play the infield capably, Brown says, so there’s plenty of infield insurance until Schuster’s ready.
This year’s team, which Brown describes as “much better than last year’s club at this stage,” should be in top shape by the April 22 opening date in Wenatchee. Btown today completed arrangements for eight exhibition games.
• • •
Billed are four games against Wenatchee, at Penticton Friday and next Monday, and at Omak, Washington, the Chiefs’ training base, Sunday and April 18, when the Caps break camp.
Also scheduled is an April 16 game against a Penticton squad, and the Caps wind up their pre-season warm-ups at Yakima, with a single game April 19 and two seven-inning games April 20.
Jerry Barta has been selected to start Friday’s game at Penticton, with Ed Locke and “some rookie” completing the pitching assignment.
The lineup, barring the arrival of Catcher John Ritchey, who Schuster says is “on the way,” will be: Jesse Williams, 2b; Edo Vanni, lf; Joe Scalise or Bill Cleveland, cf; Jim Wert, 1b; Bob Duretto, rf; Don Lundberg or John Wilburn, c; Martin Isham, 2b; Ray Tran, ss; Jerry Barta, p.

Baseball Season Tickets Available Next Tuesday
[Victoria Colonist, April 9, 1952]
Although most Victorians are still hockey-minded with the Cougars still to play their final series for the President’s Cup, sale of season’s tickets and tickets for the opening game of the baseball season will begin Tuesday.
Reg Patterson, business manager of the Tyees, stated last night that the ticket sale will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Royal Athletic Park. Last year’s season ticket holders will have first choice of seats.
Patterson also disclosed that the Tyees had called off negotiations with righthander Bob Costello, who won 14 and lost 11 games with Tri-City last year. A free agent, Costello wanted a bonus of $750 to sign with the Tyees.
Added to the Tyees’ Salinas camp roster this week were holdover shortstop Jimmy Clark and first baseman Chuck Abernathy. Not figured in earlier plans of the Tyees, Clark expressed a wish to try out for the team, agreed to terms with Patterson and reported immediately. Abernathy was obtained from Vancouver Capilanos in a deal for southpaw Jim Hedgecock.
Also added to the payroll was Jack Boag, who will work as trainer for the Tyees this year. Boag is well known in Victoria as a trainer, holding similar positions with Seattle Ironmen of the Pacific Coast Hockey League and Tri-City Braves of the W.I.L. last year.
The annual meeting of the Victoria Baseball and Athletic Co. Ltd. will be held at the Club Sirocco tonight at 8. Main points on the agenda are election of officers for 1952 and the reading of the financial statement.

Pay Cut Not For Our John
By DICK BEDDOES [Sun, April 9, 1952]
Catcher Johnny Ritchey appears to be an early-season hold-out today as the Vancouver Capilanos moved into their second week of spring training at Penticton,
The 1951 Western International Baseball League hitting champion has reportedly rejected a contract calling for a salary cut.
• • •
”I’m fed up and won’t play at all unless the price is right,” he said during recent negotiations with the Caps.
Ritchey reasoned that since the WIL has moved from B to A classification, salary cuts for star players shouldn’t be fashionable.
And the Negro backstop was a star with Vancouver last summer. He led the hit parade with a .346 average, and paced the league in bases on balls with 126.
• • •
He hit the long ball occasionally, slamming out seven homers and driving in 86 runs. As a receiver, Ritchey was capable enough, although he critics said he lacked hustle.
During the winter, Ritchey entertained hopes of being drafted to the Coast League but didn’t get a nibble.
In previous tries with San Diego and Portland he showed a definite lack of power and ability to hit in the clutch.
• • •
Absense of Ritchey leaves John Willburn and Don Lundberg contesting the catching position. Manager Schuster considers them both excellent receivers, but they’ll have to hit some to fill Ritchey’s No. 3 spot in the batting order.
It has been widely circulated that pitcher George Nicholas will quit pro ball in favor of operating a tailor shop in Los Angeles.
• • •
But he is also reported dissatisfied with the contract he received. A veteran right hander, Nicholas won 15 and lost eight last season.
Meanwhile, Schuster yesterday named right-handed Jerry Barta to start Good Friday’s game against Wenatchee Chiefs. The teams switch to Omak, Washington for another pre-season game Easter Monday.

By DON BECKER, Herald Sports Editor [from April 9, 1952]
The way it's shaping up now there will be four teams in the WIL depending on youth and speed, two loaded with veterans, and two sort of in-between. The youthful quartet appear to be Salem, Lewiston, Yakima and Tri-City Vancouver and Spokane are top heavy with talent while Wenatchee and Victoria are so-so in that department. . .halfway between the others.
For a first hand report of what Yakima looks like we'll turn you over to George Redmond of Yakima.
"Kids, kids, kids, and then some more kids who call themselves baseball players!. . .a number here (Healdsburg, Calif.) couldn't make either the Yakima or Marquette High School baseball teams.
"Sitting in the stands was Rupert "Tommy" Thompson, the former major leaguer who is now the Twin Falls pilot, ready to grab any youngster who he thought had a baseball future.
"If you think that bunch out there is awful, wait around a bit and see my gang," remarked Thompson. "Then you'll really get an eyeful." But I didn't . .I had enough for one day.
At best that it isn't very encouraging. . .not even if you read it with rose colored glasses. Salem is in much the same fix as is Lewiston. The Broncs range all the way from Butch Moran who has 18 or 19 years in the game down to an 18-year old flash. Moran was playing ball before the kid was even born. That'll give you an idea of what gives there.
It may be a bit too early to guess, but by piecing together the various reports from the different camps it appears that the WIL in general is undergoing a tremendous shift. Instead of teams loaded with veterans, now most of them are filled with rookies. In fact many of them will find difficulty in getting the nine veterans they are pemitted.
Only Vancouver and Spokane stand out right now as potential repeaters for a flag drive. It's true you got a lot more hustle out of kids than the tried veteran. But that doesn't always mean what it seems to on the surface. To give you an example.
When Jim Warner was playing centerfield here you seldom saw him race deep to his right, left, or back to go after a fly ball. On the other hand Bill Edelstein seems to be jet propelled at times, the way he streaked around that same pasture.
Who was hustling the most? If you mean covering the ground Edelstein was. But if you mean who was playing the batter, and the better game, then Warner was. That's why he didn't have to charge all over the field. Nine times out of ten he had that batter judged to an eyelash. That's the difference between a good outfielder and one who would like to be.

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