Thursday, 13 December 2007

Victoria - 3 Days Left

New Committee to Spearhead All-Out Fund Effort
[Victoria Colonist, Jan. 29, 1952]
Plans were laid yesterday for a concerted and, necessarily, short drive to put the “Save Baseball” fund over the top.
Although nothing definite was announced, it was learned that a committee, reportedly to be headed by Stuart Keate, has been formed to canvass “special names” during the next three days to help boost the fund to the required figure.
Retention of the Victoria Western International League Baseball League franchise needs $35,000 and the deadline has been set by the league as Feb. 1, which is Friday.
Fund officials received a disappointing setback Sunday when the Junior Chamber of Commerce declined to get behind the fund campaign at a special meeting.
A spokesman for the Chamber issued the following statement in explanation:
“After careful consideration and review of all the facts with regard to our soliciting funds for the ‘Save Baseball’ fund, we deeply regret that although it favors the continuance of baseball in Victoria, the Chamber is unable to actively participate in the fund-raising campaign owing to the heavy schedule of projects and activities previously arranged which is already taxing the time and energy of the active membership.”
It was intimated by a member, however, that the decision might have been different had the organization been approved earlier and it is known that several Jaycees have volunteered to do what they can to help individually.
Meanwhile, officials of the Athletics Booster Club met yesterday afternoon and decided to keep up their drive until the deadline although obviously disappointed with the response to date. Pledges and donations taken by the A.B.C. amount to about $2,800.
Among the pledges yesterday was a cheque from the Duncan and District Baseball Association for a $25 share. It was accompanied by a cheering letter over the signature of J.S. Gergle, expressing the opinion that the drive would succeed.

By Jim Tang
[Colonist, Jan. 29, 1952]
Well, it’s down to cases as far as me baseball situation here is concerned. This is Tuesday morning and there are only 72 hours left in which to raise the money needed to retain Victoria’s Western International Basehall League franchise. It’s high time that there was less of recrimination and more co-operation.
That Victorians want professional baseball is evident if only by the amount of criticism levelled at club officials since the “Save Baseball” fund drive started. The writer has listened to, and argued with, scores of fans and read dozens of letters. Most of the time, unfortunately, no one had any constructive suggestion to make. There was always stern criticism and often villification that bordered on libel.
Griping was to be expected. Mistakes have been made, although not as many or grievious as most fans seem to believe. but the loudest griping has come from people who are not baseball fans and never will be baseball fans. They seem to derive a considerable amount of satisfaction in doing all they can to ensure the failure of the drive for funds. I would suggest that those who have in baseball take no interest in the effort to retain it and those that have start to do something about keeping it. And on the same theme, I would like to state my belief that the Junior Chamber of Commerce was certainly remiss in refusing to get behind the drive. This was a disheartening blow and the excuse that “we are too busy” is too feeble to even receive sympathetic consirleration. Retention of baseball, with all of its many attendant benefits, would seem to be at least as worthy an effort as “Paint-up, clean-up week” or several other causes to which this group annually lends its support. It was an extremely disappointing decision and one which lends no lustre to this organization.
It's for the Little Fellow
Critics would do well to spend a day at the fund offices set up by the Athletics’ Booster Club in the Douglas Hotel. They might come away with a difference reception of importance of baseball to this community. Dozens of youngsters have come in and given what they could. Among them were such as George Philion and Anthony Southwell, both ahout seven, who came in to donate 10 cents each with the appeal “don't let baseball go out of town.” There was also 13-year-old Ellen Stuart, who took five dollars out of her bank account to make a deposit on the purchase of a $25 share.
And there was Harvey Alexander, 731 Princess Avenue, who sent in five dollars. “I would like to give, this to your fund,” he wrote, “I can’t see baseball but one of the joys I get out of living, is I to listen to the broadcasts.” Mr. Alexander is blind.
There, are many hundreds more who feel like this about baseball, including officials of the booster club who have let personal affairs take a beating for the past 10 days while they gave their all in an all-out try to keep baseball. But they can't carry the whole load. Baseball is mainly for the youngsters and the “small” people—and we are in the majority by far—and there is a limit to what we can do in a financial way. It is up to the business men, civic, service and fraternal groups—and the Junior Chamber of Commerce—to take up the slack. Approximately 700,000 people have paid to watch the A's play in six seasons. This must be irrefutable evidence of the spot baseball holds in our community.
This is a new deal. There is nothing hidden about the resignation of the present directors of the Victoria Baseball and Athletic Co., Ltd. Under the laws of our country they have to stay in office until the annual meeting. At that time a new group of officials will be named to take over and all those who have a stock interest will be entitled to do the naming. The past is past and living in it will not keep baseball here. Surely, if Regina, Calgary and Edmonton can raise upwards of $100,000 each year by various means to keep a football team, Victoria can manage $35,000 to retain baseball. It can be made to pay its way but even if it loses a little each year it would still be an excellent community investment. Come on Victoria, surely we have the community spirit and the civic pride to put this over.

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