Thursday, 31 January 2008

Monday, July 28, 1952


VANCOUVER [News-Herald, July 29]—Wherever baseball is played, the name “Bill Sweeney” is a household word. The Seattle manager has been here, there and everywhere in his 30 years in the game, and though there have been moments (he admits) that he wished he’d taken up knitting, it’s been a pretty good life.
Bill took it pretty easy Monday night while Rainiers clobbered the Capilanos 7-4 before 5850 people who got quite a belt out of watching the Coast leaguers trade punches with their offspring. Sweeney likes to talk mostly about his present Seattle ball club. In the spring he called it “the best I’ve ever managed.”
Since putting foot right into it, Bill has been kidded about that statement often since. The Rainiers roundly picked to win the Coast League pennant by a couple of country miles, are in fourth-place and not particularly pressing.
“I’d say it’s true, though,” the Irishman smiled. “This is a great ball club. It’s potential is better than has been shown. We’ve added pitching the likes of which nobody else in baseball could better. The hitting hasn’t been so pugnacious, but we could get rolling yet.”
In his day, Sweeney was a first baseman. Had quite a few seasons, in fact, with Washington Senators and Detroit. He is, to be truthful about it, on the small side for a first baseman, about 5’, 10” we guessed.
“That’s about it,” he admitted. “I guess maybe I was lucky. Every infield I got myself hooked up with threw the ball low. I didn’t have to go climbing many step ladders.”
Sweeney didn’t impress as the bashful type, but about here Bob Brown insisted that the infield had little to do with Sweeney’s success.
Mighty Sweet Fielder Was Bill
“A mighty sweet fielder, let me tell you,” Bob praised. “And a pretty good hitter, too. No Williams or DiMaggio, but a guy who always got his basehits no matter who was looking.”
Sweeney left the “big show” many, many years ago. He wound up his active career playing for Portland, then caught on with the Los Angeles Angels as manager in 1942. He was to pick up where Arnold (Jigger) Statz left off, and he did a terrific job, winning a couple of pennants in the act.
Shortly after the war, Sweeney switched to Portland, and this was to be the start of a great romance. He hooked up with General Manager Bill Mulligan there to form one of the strongest front-office tandems in the game’s history. At least, that part of it which consisted of the Coast League.
One year, while the two were together, Mulligan won the Sporting News award as the minor leagues’ top executive. He gave Sweeney no small credit for his success.
This is Bill’s first season at Seattle, and like he said before, the ball club is his favorite subject.
“We run into arguments all up and down the Coast on who’s the fastest, who can hit the best and so on,” he said. “The only argument we’ve never had is the one concerning pitching. We’ve got the corner on that market.
Vern May Get Big Chance Yet
“Vern Kindsfather, you people in Vancouver will be interested in hearing, looks great. He’s been my ‘stopper’ all year. He pitches every fourth day and sometimes, in between he even steps out in the late innings and stops a rally. I think he’s already won a couple in relief.
“It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Vern got a real shot at the big leagues next year. The scouts have been nibbling on him already.”
It was a good show last night without being sensational. The Caps got the heebie-jeebies in the first inning when Paul Jones tried so hard to impress the Rainiers that he missed the boat on everything, including the plate. However, when Paul settled down he got by nicely.
Seattle scored four right off the bat in the first on two walks, two Vancouver muffs, and two hits, one of them [George] Vico’s double. An error by Maddern when he opened the gate on John Ritchey’s single and let it roll all the way to the wall, cost Seattle two third-inning runs and the 4-4 tie. Then the Rainiers went to work.
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VANCOUVER, B.C., July 28 — Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast league defeated the Vancouver Capilanos of the Western International League 7-4 in an exhibition baseball game Monday night.
Seattle took a four-run lead in the first inning and coasted home.
Catcher Claude Christie and outfielder Al Lyons starred at the plate for the Rainiers. Christie batted in four runs, while Lyons rapped out the longest hit of the game, a triple in the ninth.
Paul Calvert was the winning pitcher.
Seattle …..... 400 010 101—7 13 1
Vancouver .. 022 000 000—4 5 2
Calvert and Christie; Jones, Fletcher (8) and Ritchey.

TACOMA, July 28—Victoria defeated a team of All-Stars at Tacoma, 8-3, Monday night.
Ken Lehman, formerly with the Coast League Hollywood Stars, was the pitching star — for 5 2-3 innings. Lehman, an Army corporal awaiting discharge at Fort Lewis, gave up only one hit until the last of the sixth when the Tyees exploded for five runs.
Lehman, property of the Brooklyn Dodgers' organization, will join Montreal in the International League after his discharge next week.
Victoria ….. 000 005 120—8 9 1
Tacoma …. 100 010 100—3 6 4
Gard, Gunnarson (6), Wisneski (7), Heard (9) and Martin, R. Bottler (9); Lehman, Drummond (8) and Spurgeon, Rose (8).

Abel Starts Fight Probe
Tacoma, July 29—Robert Abel, president of the Western International League, said Tuesday he has "reams of material" from both sides on the "stitched eyebrow" case and will investigate fully. Mr. Abel plans to leave for Wenatchee Wednesday to begin his investigation.
Dick Richards, manager of the Tri-City Braves team, and utility player Laurie Monroe were parties to an argument in which Monroe received a four-stitch cut over one eye.
The WIL president also reported he had ruled against Spokane in two recent protests.
In one, Spokane charged that Victoria had used a player not on its roster and Abel said he found that the man had been legally listed by the Victoria club.
The other was a protest that Salem was violating the league salary limit and Abel said he "quashed that in no uncertain terms. There was no basis whatever for such a ridiculous charge."

Carr Released, Lewis Signed
[Tri-City Herald, July 29, 1952]
The Tri-City Braves announced Monday the signing of a new catcher and the release of Clayton Carr.
Carr, a 22-year-old University of Washingtan student, had been playing as No. 2 catcher to Nick Pesut. Carr was released because "he lacks a throwing arm."
The new catcher on the Braves staff is Glenn Lewis of Tulare, Calif. He reported at the Braves' office Monday.
Carr, who played in 30 games and hit .234, is the second player to be released recently. Frank Mataya, outfielder, was given his walking papers Saturday.

Sports Notes
By Gil Gilmour
[Tri-City Herald, July 29, 1952]
George New sure has tough breaks. He pitches a two-hit game and loses because that is the night the Tri-City batters can't come through on the scoring end.
Bob Greenwood, on the other hand, pitches a two-hitter and what happens—everybody on the Tri-City team including. Bob takes a crack at knocking the ball all over the park.
Nick Pesut is getting to be the Braves best victory barometer. The other night he got up to go out to the field and said: "I feel like we're going to win this one." The Braves did.
Joe Scalise, is feeling good. He says he is beginning to hit like he oughta.
The addition of Ray Hamrick has done a lot for Tri-City's infield. And it looks good to see Des Charouhas in left field again.

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