Athletics Saved By Booster Drive
By JIM TANG [Victoria Colonist, Feb. 9, 1952]
When the Western International Baseball League opens its seventh post-war season next April 22 the eight member teams will be Vancouver, Spokane, Salem, Yakima, Tri-City, Wenatchee, Lewiston and VICTORIA.
That baseball has been “saved” for Victoria became official late last night when league president Robert Abel issued the following statement:
“The Athletics Boosted Club today deposited with the league a certified cheque for $10,000 and Dominion Sportservice Ltd. (Canadian branch of Sportservice Corporation) has given assurance to the league that a substantial sum of money will be immediately deposited to the credit of the Victoria Baseball and Athletic Co. Ltd.
“With this amount on hand and will the full confidence that the Booster Club will collect the balance due on its pledges and satisfied that the special names committee will be able to substantially increase the amount it has already collected, I consider the Victoria club satisfactorily refinanced and the Victoria franchise is no longer in jeopardy.”
Mr. Abel’s statement brought to a success conclusion the “save baseball” fund drive sparked by the Booster Club and the league president was lavish in his praise of this organization.
“Victorians can thank the Boosters for the fact they are going to have professional baseball this season,” Mr. Abel said. “There is no doubt in my mind that Victoria would have lost its franchise but for the work of this group. I would like to extend to all of them, and particularly to Frank Ireland and Ed Farey, my congratulations and the congratulations of the league for the job they had done. I believe that Victoria is in the Western International League to stay and we are happy that they are with us.”
ON VICTORIA’S SIDE
There could no doubt but that the W.I.L. was in the Victoria corner right from the start, Mr. Abel disclosed that Tacoma, Eugene and Bremerton interests were extremely anxious to become the eighth club and that disposal of the Victoria franchise presented no problem.
New shareholders were also assured of a voice in the affairs of the Victoria club this season.
“The instructions of the league are that all new stockholders will have a voice in the election of new board of directors,” Mr. Abel stated.
No announcement was made of the date of the annual meeting of club shareholders, but it will be held within the next three weeks, to name a new board of directors. Directors will have the power to name the business and field managers.
However, Mr. Abel said, it was his belief that Reg Patterson should continue to his present capacity as business manager.
“Due to the involved state of club affairs, it is definitely my opinion that it is in the best interests of the club to retain Mr. Patterson as business manager,” he said.
“While no definite commitment has been made, tentative arrangements have already been made to hire Ted Norbert, former manager, as field pilot of the Victoria club, which is almost certain to have a new name before it opens spring training.”