Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Pre-Season, Saturday, April 19, 1952

Lewiston Nine Ends Training
LEWISTON, Idaho, April 19—Eighteen players with the Lewiston Broncs of the Western International Baseball League arrived here Saturday from spring training camp at Porterville, Calif.
They will make up the team with which Lewiston will open its season here Tuesday against the Tri-City Braves.
A noon gathering opening day will fete members of both teams and a main street parade is scheduled in the afternoon.

Tyees Trade Bartle
By JIM TANG [Victoria Colonist, April 20, 1952]
Things look immeasurably brighter for the Victoria Tyees today. Receipt of a highly-rated lefthander from the Portland Beavers and a trade which brought a proven right-hander to the club in exchange for two players who did not figure in 1952 plans has suddenly transformed a “dark-horse” W.I.L entry into a club which appears to have contending possibilities.
Reporting from Yakima, where he was stalled on his return from the club’s Salinas training camp to Victoria by car trouble, business manager Reg Patterson announced last night that Sal DeGeorge, leading pitcher in the W.I.L. last season, will join the club Monday in Yakima.
DeGeorge was obtained from the Salem Senators yesterday in a trade for first-baseman Dick Bartle and outfielder Ernie Sites. Bartle had lost his first-base job to Chuck Abernathy and Sites was not expected to break into an outfield which already includes manager Cece Garriott, Granny Gladstone, Bob Moniz, John Treece and Harvey Allen, the colored rookie.
Acquisition of DeGeorge for Bartle and Sites looms as the best deal the Victoria club has ever made. The swarthy righthander topped the earned run averages last season with a thoroughly respectable 2.57 and proved valuable as a relief pitcher as well as a starter.
He appeared in 36 games, 19 of them complete, and won 16 of 26 decisions. In 217 innings he gave up 200 hits, only five of which were home runs, struck out 83 and walked 98 batters.
The lefthander is Jehosi Heard [sic], a colored rookie who has been with Portland since spring training. Nothing is known of his past record but the Portland management rates him highly as a future Coast League prospect.
There was further good news, too, in the near certainty that more help will come from the Beavers. Southpaw Cal McIrvin and righthanders Bob Drilling and Dick Waibel are possibilities for added mound strength and there still remains an excellent chance that catcher Lilio Marcucci will be returned. The Beavers reportedly plan to carry only two receivers and Aaron Robinson and Jim Gladd appear to have those jobs sewn up.
A third new player joined the club Friday. He is Don Willburn, obtained from Vancouver with Abernathy for Jim Hedgecock. Willburn, a powerfully-built youngster, played with Great Falls in the Pioneer League in 1950. A limited-service player, he is expected to remain with the club all year.
The two-for-one trade with Salem and releases to Rufus Johnson, the colored prep school athletic star, catcher Joe Yanchuk, and Larry King, veteran Salinas righthander, cut the Tyee roster to 18 players, only two over the league limit.
Surviving cuts and trades are: Catchers Milt Martin and Willburn, infielders Abernathy, Luther Branham, Jim Clark and Don Pries, the five outfielders previously mentioned, and pitchers Ben Lorino, Jim Propst, DeGeorge, Heard, Walt Towns, Bill Wisneski, John Valerie and George Randolph.
Willburn, Brandham, Treece and Gladstone are limited service players while Heard, Wisneski, Valerie, Towns, Allen and Randolph qualify as rookies. This leaves the club within the player restrictions calling for not more than nine veterans and at least two rookies.
Lorino has been named to pitch the opening game with Martin doing the catching. Abernathy will be at first base, Branham at second and Pries at third with the shortstop position still in doubt. If Clark gets the call, Gladstone will join Garriott and Treece in the outfield. If Gladstone starts at short, Bob Moniz will likely be the third outfielder.
The line-up is versatile, with Gladstone available for both the outfield and infield and Treece normally a third baseman. The latter, voted to the semi-pro all-stars in the Wichita tournament last year, may be a fortunate pick-up. He looked great for the Salinas Brownies in exhibition games and should be able to step right in to the W.I.L.
Patterson also reported that the Tyees downed Pocatello of the Pioneer League, 13-8 and 10-2, in games Wednesday and Thursday. Gladstone hit two home runs, Abernathy was clouting the ball for distance and Lorino pitched seven good innings in the 10-2 conquest. Results of Friday’s game against Red Bluff and last night’s game against Pocatello at Red Bluff were not available.

[Vancouver Province April 19, 1952]
WIL Needs ‘Em
Organized baseball’s strangest assortment, the Western International League, Tuesday opens what we hope is its last season so constituted: we hope next year we’ll have something better than Lewiston or Tri-City as drawing cards in what is meant to be a class A league in this city of half-a-million.
There is little doubt that R.P. Brown, of Vancouver, at least, the sage dean who saved pro ball in Victoria during the winter months, wants Edmonton and Calgary in next season.
I am quite sure he has not changed his mind from that over the winter. I am equally sure he is amenable to such comments as one of our office wags came up with when we were going over the places included in this year’s league: “There are some laughs there, alright.”
• • •
Hockey demonstrated with practical clarity this season that a regular trans-mountain schedule is workable, and desirable. And the WIL has this advantage of people already possessing an intermediate point between the coast and the prairies, namely Spokane, a baseball hotbed, one of the kinpins of the circuit.
To the casual fans of baseball, who do not comprehend the inner workings of the game, it must be incredible that Vancouver, Spokane and Victoria are scheduled with regularly with places like Lewiston, Pasco and even Wenatchee.
It is a tribute to the game itself, and some of the excellent talent in the WIL, that last year 180,000 people jammed Cap Stadium to watch.
Calgary and Edmonton are definitely baseball hotbeds. Last summer they sent feelers to the WIL, but were held off for another season.
How long can centres, booming in population and wealth as they are, be denied membership in favor of obscure towns in southern Washington and Idaho?
• • •
I can think of no finer attraction than to see the flannels of Edmonton or Calgary back on a Vancouver diamond after many years’ absence. The eyes of Vancouver fandom, at least, will be on the weak spots in the WIL this season.
If the weaknesses become too flagrant, the league can depend on it that it will face a back-to-the-prairies demand by the public.
And I, for one, will be right for it.

By DON BECKER, Herald Sports Editor [from Apr. 20, 1952]
Wondering where that next Cadillac is coming from? Or perhaps the little woman would like another mink coat or two. If so climb aboard the wagon. . .get out all your gelt and make ready to do a bit of guessing. For today we have the stellar picks of the upcoming WIL race which gets away from the post Tuesday. . .here they are.
1. Vancouver—They'll overpower the field.
2. Spokane—Best pitching in the league
3. Victoria—Going all out this time.
4. Yakima—Seals could lift them higher.
5. Salem—Senators need a lot of help.
6. Tri-City—Seem to lack power and pitching.
7. Wenatchee—Need a lot of help.
8. Lewiston—Vets too old, rookies too young.

There’ll be those who disagree with that order of finish. . .but then as the faithful few know. . .they aren’t driving those big cars.
This could be the last year for Victoria. All their chips are in the center of the table. . .they’ve got to have a winner. For another bad year such as they have known will probably put them out of business. It's hard to visualize their situation in any other manner. But it's under those conditions when the team and fans respond the best. Sports Editor Jim Tang is convinced the A’s will hustle. . .something new for the fans. . .and it could make the difference.
The mystery of Buddy Peterson’s trade to Louisville by the San Diego team becomes more puzzling with each passing day. A friend In Los Angeles has sent us some clippings from San Diego newspapers which haven't helped much either. At the start Peterson was hailed as a new Padre star. . .reams of publicity and plenty of pictures.
However, there is one interesting note. Clay Hopper, manager of Portland, told Lefty O’Doul (says our friend) that Buddy wouldn't be able to stick. Hopper’s reason was supposed, to be that Peterson was too apt to tighten up.
This is interesting because where did Hopper get this information. He never has been on the Coast before and to the best of our knowledge the only time Buddy was anywhere but on the Coast was the tryout at the Cardinal camp two seasons ago. Ergo. . .the Portland sportswriters must have told Hopper because Buddy did play for the Beavers about four years ago. But they were both wrong, because at this writing at least, Buddy is still in AAA baseball.

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