Thursday, 3 January 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 1952

W L Pct. GB
Victoria ..... 18 9 .667 —
Spokane ...... 19 10 .655 —
Vancouver .... 12 10 .545 3½
Salem ........ 15 15 .500 4½
Wenatchee .... 14 14 .500 4½
Lewiston ..... 12 16 .429 6½
Tri-City ..... 11 18 .379 8
Yakima ....... 10 19 .345 9

VICTORIA, B.C., May 22—Victoria Tyees Wednesday night earned an even split in their doubleheader with the Salem Senators when Cal McIrvin southpawed his way to a 3-1 triumph after the Senators has plundered the opener, 11-4.
First Game
Salem ...... 300 000 422—11 7 0
Victoria .... 001 021 000—4 5 3
Collins, Edmunds (5) and Nelson; Wisneski, Chenard (7), Gladstone (6) and Martin.
Second Game
Salem ...... 000 001 0—1 3 2
Victoria .... 200 100 x—4 6 0
Hemphill and Nelson; McIrvin and Martin.

WENATCHEE, May 22—Lefty Dave Dahle tossed a neat five-hit shutout at the Spokane Indians Wednesday nigth to give the Wenatchee Chiefs a 4-0 Western International League baseball win evening the three game series at one apiece.
Spokane ........ 000 000 000—0 5 0
Wenatchee .... 000 300 01x—4 11 2
Marshall and Sheets; Dahle and Pocekay.

VANCOUVER [Keith Matthews, News Herald, May 22]—It isn’t often in these days of the big inning and rabbit ball that you get a chance to chew on some good inside baseball.
However, Wednesday at Cap Stadium, the Caps and Tri-City trotted out some of their best. The result was a 2-1 Vancouver first game win, a 2-2 tie in the second in a game called because of an 11 o’clock deadline and an enjoyable evening for all concerned.
The Caps won the first game in the eighth inning, which was one more than regulation as this was the short game. You could report right here, incidentally, that it was quite an odd evening—the seven-inning game went eight and the nine-inning game went seven.
In that first game eighth, the clubs crammed in a lot of “inside” ball. It was pretty and a fitting climax to a dandy game.
Len Tran started off with a triple to the right-centre field wall. That was with none out, and with that winning run staring them in the face, Tri-City racked their brains for a suitable answer.
They found it partly by purposely walking Gordie Brunswick and Bob Duretto. True, the bases were then loaded, but Tri-City reasoned correctly that they then had a forced play at any base.
It looked like it was going to work for a while, too, for Jesse Williams was automatically out on an infield pop.
Then Bill Schuster came in to swing a bat for Carl Gunnarson, and Bill is a man who prides himself on his knowledge of the game. His first swing was an attempt at a squeeze play, but he fouled off.
Then the Braves reckoned he might try again, and catcher Clay Carr called for a pitch-out. The guess was perfect, and Schuster missed his bunt and Carl caught Jim Wert in a run-down off third base.
That made it two outs and it looked pretty good now for the Braves. However, Ralph Romero weakened under the strain. He walked Schuster, then followed with another to Edo Vanni and the Caps had their 2-1 win.
It was a nice pitching victory for Gunnarson, his second this season. If it was Carl’s swan song (today is cut-down day), it was a pretty sweet tune for the veteran to go out under.
Bob Snyder made his season’s debut in the second game and except for a spot of third-inning control trouble, it was a typical Snyder game. Bob gave up only three hits and both runs scored off him came in the third when he walked three men.
The Caps didn’t get around to tying it up until the seventh and with the clock reading two minutes to eleven, they knew this had to be it. Schuster walked as a pinch-hitter for Snuyder, moved along on a sacrifice and scored on Ray Tran’s one-hopper into centre.
Vancoiuver opens a new four-game set with Salem tonight at 8:15 with John Guldborg (3-0) tossing up the baseballs for the Caps.
First Game
Tri-City .......... 000 010 00—1 7 0
Vancouver ...... 000 001 01—2 9 0
Romero and Carr; Gunnarson and Ritchey
(2nd game seven innings; halted to allow Tri-City to catch boat)
Tri-City .......... 002 000 0—2 3 0
Vancouver ...... 000 100 1—2 8 0
New and Pesut; Snyder and Ritchey.

YAKIMA, May 22—Lewiston gave Yakima its sixth straight Western International League victory beating Wednesday night as it dropped the Bears, 10-7, in a free-hitting baseball game game.
The game was witnessed by a sparse crowd of 674 paying customers who came for "Fans' Night," and were supposed to direct strategy. The confusion and disastrous second and third innings, in which Lewiston scored five runs, quieted the unofficial managers.
It was Yakima's sixth straight loss.
Lewiston's victory over Yakima was a personal triumph for pitcher-manager Bill Brenner, who was fired as Yakima manager last year Brenner went in as a relief hurler in the third inning and received credit for the win.
Lewiston .... 023 000 230—10 12 2
Yakima ...... 005 101 000—7 8 4
Nicholas, Brenner (3) and Lundberg; Thompson, Albini (8) and Donahue, Myers (8)

By DON BECKER, Herald Sports Editor [from May 22, 1952]
It's probably just as well that the Tri-City Braves get rained out of as many games as possible on their current-road trip. For that means those games will be played at a later date, and possibly by then the team will be stronger. A trip that would be equivalent to their last home stand (won 2 lost 5) would shunt them farther from the lead and further dishearten their fans.
A month of the season has gone by and it's very obvious that the team needs help ... a lot of it. On the defensive side of the picture the outfield has looked much better than the infield. Olney Patterson and, Bill Rogers are both fleet of foot and can "go get "em" with the best in the league. However, Frank Mataya has been no more than fair in his fielding. He's out of position when he takes many fly balls and gets trapped now and then on grounders.
Defensively one of the major problems in the infield has been the lack of a double play combination. As a comparison consider Tri-City's 15 twin killings in the first 21 games as against Salem's 27 over a like number of contests or Yakima's 25 in 20 games. It isn't that oportunities haven't presented themselves. They've been there but the only way the Braves have been able to go is second-short-first. Neither Rick Palfini nor Tommy Marier at second could make the pivot fast enough when taking the relay from the shortstop to go that way on a doubleplay. And of course the infield has been pretty leaky at times. Six chances kicked in the two Sunday games gives you an idea.
Offensively the team batting average of .235 (10 points below seventh place in the league through May 12) writes its own answer. The solid, dependable power just isn't there. There have been flashes of it. Patterson has come to life on several occasions and it may be that Mataya has found the answer to his hitless problem. Charouhas, who was moved into the cleanup spot by Manager Charlie Gassaway, is the only one who can be relied on to deliver most of the time.
Ralph Romero is by far the class of the pitching staff, amply attested to by his winning record. George New may come around if he can repeat the performance he put on here last week and Dick Waibel is another good posibility. Ken Michelson is a much improved hurler over his previous outings here and that's about the size of it.
Tri-City is strongest in the catching department. Nick Pesut is still one of the best in the league and this rookie Clayton Carr is much better than what you'd expect to find in a first year backstop. Vic Buccola at first is another strong point of the Braves staff though it does seem that even the reliable Vic is shaken at times by what goes on in the infield. At least that's the only explanation we can find for the errors he's been making.
Summing it up at this point here's how it looks from our seat in the press box: Needed hitting is a must, likewise a double play combination. Changes will have to be made in the pitching staff . . . too many games are being lost by putting runners on base with walks. At the start of the season we couldn't see Tri-City finishing any higher than sixth in, the league . . . we've seen nothing yet to revise that, opinion.

[Vancouver Province, May 22, 1952]
Ageless Carl Gunnarson demonstrated with his left arm Wednesday night at the Stadium the injustice to players like him of the WIL’s veterans’ retirement regulation, and later, in the dressing room, he insisted that the league’s calibre is suffering as a result of the rule.
Gunnarson took the mound against Tri-City knowing that, as of today, he was destined to involuntary retirement. Then, as if defying this league statute which restricts WIL clubs to nine veterans each, he racked up his second win of the young season in brilliant fashion.
It was such a masterful demonstration that Bob Brown was huddling with himself afterward in an effort to circumvent the regulation and keep Gunnarson, 13 years in pro ball, and apparently better than ever.
“Why,” asked Gunnarson, father of three lovely children, “should I be forced to quit my livelihood by an arbitrary rule which makes me ineligible to play when I am still in my prime?”
Gunnarson, like many WIL ballplayers this season in the league’s first as an A circuit, scoff at its elevation from B. The veterans’ rule, they say, by flooding rosters with rookies prematurely raised from lower classifications, is actually hurting the ball and is making its new classification a hollow title.
“There is no club in the league as good as it was last season,” said the veteran Cap lefthander, who started his career as a pro with Grand Forks in the Northern League in 1939. “There are no long-hitters left. In fact, you can throw right down a pipe at ‘em without too much worry.”
The veterans argue that the WIL’s program of packing rookies onto rosters not only hurts the veterans but the kids, too. “No sandlotter is ready to jump into A ball right away,” argued Gunnarson.
”There are as many cases of kids being pushed too fast too far, who lose confidence as a result, and have to start all over again. Vern Kindsfather is one. Some don’t try again. They quit. Kevin King was one of them.”
If the league doesn’t junk the veterans’ rule—there is talk to may in June as a result of player unrest and resistance by some of the owners—the Caps would lose a pitcher like Gunnarson, and a hitter like Joe Scalise, who batted .331 in A ball last year.
Does it sound sensible? Any fan who watched Gunnar pitch what he thought was his farewell to baseball Wednesday night will give you the answer.

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