Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Victoria Outlook Black - Column

By Jim Tang
[Victoria Colonist, Jan. 4, 1952]
Don’t look now but the chances are getting dimmer each day that Victoria will have professional baseball this year. The odds at the moment can be classed, at best, as even that the W.I.L. won’t find itself with an odd number of teams when officials gather at Seattle for a league meeting a week tomorrow.
The meeting has been called for the express purpose of finding out about the Victoria situation and it’s no secret that the other club owners are beginning to do some serious worrying. It’s time something was done about the schedule but no move can be made in this direction until the W.I.L. knows for certain just how many clubs it will have. If Victoria is unable to make the grade, it leaves seven cities and with Lewiston fans brand-new purchasers of the Tacoma franchise and apparently set for a return to professional baseball, there is no easy out in cutting down to six teams.
Frankly speaking, the situation here is grim. There has been nothing in the way of official announcements but the silence of club officials is only proof that there has been little, if anything, in the way of negotiations. It was generally presumed that George Norgan, part-owner of the Portland Beavers, would take over but it is reported that he is no longer showing much interest. And unless a buyer is found—and soon—there is hardly any chance that Victoria will continue as a W.I.L. city. Certainly there is no hope in again going to the fans to raise the amount of money necessary to put the insolvent A’s back on their financial feet.
A purchaser could undoubtedly get the franchise plus about $10,000 worth of players and all the club equipment by merely agreeing to pay off the club indebtedness. The sum needed would be approximately $50,000 and this does not take into consideration about $40,000 of stock sold mostly to Victoria fans, who have contributed this in a losing effort for home ownership. At that, the Victoria franchise would be a reasonably good buy for this is a good baseball town but no one appears prepared to take the risk.There are many who proclaim that they are actually pleased with this unfortunate turn of events but there are few who really mean it. Loss of professional baseball would leave a summer sports gap that no other sport can adequately fill. Let’s hope it’s too soon to say it’s too bad but it sure doesn’t look too good.

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