Saturday, 15 December 2007

Why California Spring Training? — Column

By Jim Tang
[Victoria Colonist, March 15, 1952]
A Vancouver sports columnist, perhaps promptly by Bob Brown, whose Capilanos do their spring training at Penticton, writes that a lot of Victorians are wondering why the financially-short Tyees see fit to pitch their tent in far-off California.
The answer is rather simple. It doesn’t cost any more, could cost less, and the advantages are so numerous that there is no comparison.
It will be remembered that the A’s tried to save money in 1950 by training at Kamloops and it’s a case of once bit, twice shy. The weather was far from good, the club still has $1,000 coming as a guarantee, and it actually lost $350 on the four exhibition games it managed to get in.
To pay transportation costs of each player to Kamloops is quite a sum. Nor does it save much, if anything, by having the team assembled there for the opening of the season. The Tyees will open at Yakima this season and the difference in the cost of taking the team from Kamloops instead of California is negligible one way or the other.
On the other hand, most of the players who will wear Victoria livery are California residents, resulting in a considerable saving. Even more important is the fact that California is the West Coast baseball centre in the spring and being on the spot often enables a club to pick up a good player on option. It will also enable manager Cece Garriott to sign a lot of players for try-outs at practically no cost, something that couldn’t be done if they had to be transported to Kamloops for a look. Even if only one of the players on a “look” basis should make the team, this advantage alone justifies the California site.
It costs very little, if any, more to house and feed players in California than it does in B.C. There are plenty of teams available for exhibition games to give the players the necessary competitive training and always a chance to show a profit in these games. Add to this the better weather and better training facilities and it’s not hard to see that no money is being spent foolishly by training in the sunny south.
Random Harvest
Business manager Reg Patterson disclosed last night that the Tyees will invite Bernie Clarkson to their training camp in the hope the Victoria youngster can make the team. Clarkson was taken to camp at Kamloops but never got much of a chance. If he goes, he’ll get a better look this time . . . Luther Branham has been signed by the Tyees and it appears as if the colored infielder will hold down the second base spot this season. He played formerly in the Negro American League and reports are excellent.

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