Los Angeles Ex-College Athletic Star First Negro Player Signed by Tyees
[Victoria Colonist, March 9, 1952]
Business manager Reg Patterson announced yesterday that Victoria Tyees had signed their first Negro player.
He is Rufus Jackson, 21-year-old ex-Los Angeles High School athletic star who was spotted at a workout of the Hollywood club by Victoria manager Cece Garriott and signed to a contract.
Jackson, an outfielder, has quite a record of athletic achievement and if his baseball ability even comes close to matching his basketball and track and field performances, the Tyees have a budding star.
He was all-city centre when he played for Jordan High School’s basketball team and won letters in baseball, basketball and track while at Compton Junior College, famed for its production of standout athletes. Jackson has travelled the 100 yards in ten seconds, has a 49.9 timing to his credit in the 440 yards and as a high jumper has cleared six feet five inches, a height which makes him of Olympic calibre.
Jackson is six feet, two inches tall and weighs 185 pounds.
TWO OTHERS COMING
Two other colored players are almost certain to join Jackson with the Tyees. Garriott is taken with the possibilities of Jack O’Brien, a husky catcher who reportedly hits for distance and possesses a strong throwing arm, and there is almost positive assurance that Bill [sic] Gladstone, who spent all of last season with the Portland Beavers, will be sent to Victoria.
O’Brien has agreed to terms and will be signed today if Garriott continues to be impressed after watching him in action once more. If Gladstone is sent down it will likely be as a shortstop. The Beavers are impressed with potential but he lacks the ability to hit for distances required of outfielders. But his speed and throwing are assets which he may be able to use to better advantage in the infield.
Jackson and O’Brien are but two of the players lined up by Garriott, obviously working hard to put together a young, running team. The new manager informed Patterson yesterday that John Healy, a towering righthander, and Doug Johnstone, a rookie first baseman, will be among those who answer the roll call when the Tyees open training at their Salinas camp.
Healy, 21 years old, six feet four inches tall and weighing 200 pounds, has had one year of experience in professional baseball but his former affiliation was not disclosed. Johnstone, a Los Angles rookie, is 21 years old, weighs 172 pounds, and misses the six-foot mark by an inch. He throws lefthanded and bats righthanded.
It is becoming increasingly evident that the Tyees will not lack for players from which to choose a roster. Garriott has several other promising Los Angeles youngsters in mind, believes he can get some help from the Los Angeles Angels, and will have perhaps as many as a dozen players from the Beavers. Among the latter are pitchers Bill Paine and Frank Chase, who played part of last season here, and Adoph Satalich. Don Pries will probably be back for another season.
Meanwhile, Patterson received both good news and bad yesterday from players listed on the roster. Southpaw Jim Propst telephoned from his Kansas City home, patched up his salary differences in a hurry, and stated he would report to Salinas two days ahead of the March 22 opening for batterymen. Propst announced his pleasure at Garriott’s appointment and seemed eager to get started.
On the darker side was a telegram from Al Lawrence, the third baseman obtained from Austin in a trade for Jim Hedgecock. Lawrence, counted on to furnish a lot of punch, stated he probably would stay on his job and go on the voluntarily retired list. However, Patterson will make a real effort to change his mind.
Hedgecock will revert back to the Victoria club and will likely report for training. Garriott has asked to have a look at the slim lefthander if the deal falls through.
Indians Sign Negro Player
SPOKANE, March 8—The Spokane Indians baseball club of the Western International League today announced the signing of Herb Souell, 24-year-old third baseman from Los Angeles.
Team owner Roy Hotchkiss said Souell is a former member of the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League and played last year in the Canadian Province circuit.
Manager Don Osborn described him as a long-ball hitter who “has never hit under .300 since he started playing ball in 1948 with the Monarchs.”