Newspapers, Radio Promise Support to Baseball Drive
[Victoria Colonist, Jan. 16, 1952]
An all-out effort to save the Victoria Western International Baseball League franchise was started yesterday at a meeting held in the Chamber of Commerce.
Meeting with directors of the Victoria Baseball and Athletic Co. Ltd. were Seth Halton, publisher of the Victoria Colonist; Stuart Keate, publisher of the Victoria Times; M.V. Chesnut, manager of radio station CJVI, Dave Armstrong, manager of radio station CKDA and the executive of the Athletics Booster Club.
It was decided to start a “Save Baseball” fund to be in charge of the Booster Club. All money will kept in trust by A.B.C. officials and will be returned in full if the drive should fail. Full newspaper and radio support was promised to the drive, which has to raise $35,000 before the Feb. 1 deadline set by the W.I.B.L. for assurance that Victoria will be able to meet its obligations and start the 1952 season.
SHARES TO BE SOLD
Fund-raising will start immediately with the Booster Club, which claims a membership of 2,100, planning to set up an uptown office to accept contributions and applications for shares. Shares are worth $25 but smaller amounts will be accepted. The total of donations will be used to purchase shares for the A.B.C. giving baseball fans a direct say in the club operations through the booster organization.
A heartening note was injected at the meeting when it was reported that a club director had been in touch with Ted Norbert and that the popular former manager had tentatively agreed to return as field pilot if Victoria remains in the league.
EUGENE STARTS DRIVE
Meanwhile, an Associated Press report from Eugene stated that a new Board of Directors, elected after the Class “D” Far West League suspended operations for a year, voted yesterday to open negotiations in an attempt to purchase the Victoria franchise.
Art Hadler, owner of the Eugene club, attended the W.I.L. meeting at Seattle Saturday and signified his club’s willingness to become the league’s eighth member. However, Victoria delegates, president Johnny Johnson and business-manager Reg Patterson, managed to persuade league officials to give them until Feb. 1.
While it is not known definitely what would happen if the Victoria drive failed, it is almost certain that it would end professional baseball here for some time. It is possible that the franchise would be sold and the amount received used to write off the money advanced last year by the Portland club through George Norgan. That would mean Victoria would have to purchase a franchise if it wished to return to the league in another year but this would only be possible after club debts are cleared in full.