Salem Long On Hustle But Weak On Know-How
By CHRIS KOWITZ, Jr.
Salem Capital Journal
SALEM, Ore., April 9—The Salem Senators of the Western International League may field one of the youngest class A baseball teams in the nation this year.
With the exception of two pitchers and manager Hugh Luby, who plans to play first base himself, the entire Solon lineup will be comprised of men in their 'early 20s when the WIL campaign opens April 22.
The baseball draft, the selling block and the lure of year-round jobs took away all but two of the older players on the' 1951 team. The only "oldsters" returning are pitchers Ray McNulty and Curt Schmidt, and neither of them is more than 30 years old.
Among 1951 Salem veterans who won't be back when "play ball" sounds in the WIL this year are Bill Bevens, drafted by the Cincinnati Reds; pitcher Sal DeGeorge, sold to San Diego; outfielder Dick Faber, also sold to the Padres; shortstop Ritchie Myers and catcher Jim McKeegan, recalled by Sacramento; pitcher Aldon Wilkie; who has anounced he will remain on his farm near Newberg, Ore,; outfielder Glen Stetter, who will say down on the farm near Jefferson, Ore., and play semi-pro ball; and catcher Bill Beard, who has chosen to stick to his job as clerk in a Salem sporting goods store.
To fill those experienced shoes in the Salem roster, Luby went in search of young talent in the San Francisco-Oakland bay area, and with some player aid from Sacramento of the Pacific Coast league, has come up with what he thinks will be the youngest and the "hustlingest" team in the league.
Salem has a pair of left-hand pitchers who have shown much promise, in the Senator spring training camp at Calistoga, Calif. They are Larry Mann and lanky Bob Collins. Right-handers in line for a hurling job with Salem include rookie Bud Francis; Jack Hemphill, farmed out by Salem to Twin Falls of the Pioneer league last season; and veterans Schmidt and McNulty.
Dave Dana, youthful holdover from the 1951 Solons, will share the catching duties with Jim Leavitt, optioned to Salem from Sacramento under a working agreement between the two teams.
Around the infield, Luby will be at first, at least until he can find a left-handed hitter, to fill, that position; Glenn Tuckett, utility man last year, at second; Gene Tanselli, the team's best hitter in spring training games and Salem's third baseman last year, at shortstop; and Tom Galli, a Sacramento holding, at third.
In the outfield, Jim Dayo and Pete Estrada, a pair of rookies signed to Sacramento contracts, have just about nailed down two of the berths. The third is still a question mark.
Summing it up, Salem will be short on experience but long on hustle during the 1952 WIL season.