Thursday, 13 December 2007

WIL Tells Victoria—18 Days Left

Athletics Given 18-Day Deadline to Find Funds
By JIM TANG [Victoria Colonist]

SEATTLE, Jan. 12—Victoria is not out of the W.I.L. yet but there are only 18 days left to find an answer to the serious financial situation which makes it extremely doubtful if it will have professional baseball this year.
Meeting here today at a special session called to discuss the Victoria situation, league officials, many of whom came in the mood to take immediate action to find a replacement if Victoria hadn't already found a way out of its financial morass, finally agreed to give the club until February 1.
That left no doubt of the desire of W.I.L. owners to keep Victoria in the league if at all possible. It is high time something was done about finalizing a schedule and postponing it for an additional 18 days is really bending over backwards.
The problem has been there since before the end of last season and there was keen disappointment and many unofficial recriminations that something had not been accomplished before now.
Club president Johnny Johnson and business manager Reg Patterson represented Victoria and won their fight for more time although Art Hadler, owner of the Eugene club of the Far West League, was present and willing to listen to any reasonable proposition at becoming the eighth club.
Hadler was left high and dry with an almost new park when his league decided to suspend operations for a season and is anxious not to, have to sit this one out.
He had a working agreement with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season and Eugene is a better substitute for Victoria than the W.I.L. could possibly have had before the Far West decided to pass up 1952.
Following the two lengthy conferences which resulted in the stay of execution, club owners gathered at impromptu sessions to discuss the situation and try to find some manner in which it could be saved.
There was a general feeling that the league should step in and take some forceful action and belief that the Victoria delegates had no concrete and workable plan and that they were perhaps stalling for time in the hope that the problem would solve itself.
It was unanimously agreed that the only chance unless a buyer was unexpectedly found, would be a complete reorganization of the Victoria Baseball and Athletic Co. Ltd. and that if this was effected, it could be possible that Victorians and Victoria
organizations might rally behind a drive “to save baseball for Victoria.”
Plans are in the formative stage at the moment and it is entirely possible that the league
will back and probably instigate action to see that can be done.
Hopes that Portland Beavers, through George Norgan, might take over were dispelled by Bill Mulligan, general manager of the Beavers, although there was some hope that Portland would go a long way if Victorians would get behind a drive.
Mulligan stated that his club would help in every possible manner. He promised a continuance of the working agreement and stated that Mr. Norgan was willing to leave the sum, said to be $10,000, which he put up to help out last season.
However, there was no chance that Portland or Norgan would take over on the understanding that they would have to clear up the club indebtedness, estimated at more than $50,000.
And that's where the matter stands now. There are 18 days left before league action will be taken. Failure to find a way out would mean that the league will take over the franchise and place it where seen fit and that Victoria would be left without baseball
but, unfortunately, not the bills it has run up during the past three seasons.
Failure to keep baseball this season might mean the finish of Victoria as a professional baseball centre for some time. At least the slate will have to be clear before anyone could take over the franchise in another year.Eugene is the best bet if Victoria is out, but there is still the possibility, although it is a faint one, that Tacoma might step back in under new management. In any event, there will be an eighth city. Lewiston is set and needs only a field manager and a name. The club will work with San Diego and delegates were optimistic.

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