Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Friday, September 12, 1952

W L Pct. GB
Victoria ..... 93 54 .633 —
Spokane ...... 90 63 .588 6
Vancouver .... 72 67 .518 17
Salem ........ 72 77 .483 22
Yakima ....... 70 79 .470 24
Tri-City ..... 66 77 .462 25
Lewiston ..... 69 82 .457 26
Wenatchee .... 58 91 .389 36

VICTORIA [Colonist, Sept. 13]—It was “Pennant Raising Night” at Royal Athletic Park last night and even the weatherman cooperated to make it a complete success. The only item which marred the evening was the absence of W.I.L. president Bob Abel, unexpectedly called to Tri-City at the last moment—presumably on more pressing league matters.
A crowd of more than 1300 paid turned out for the ceremony, the first of its kind in W.I.L. history here. They applauded heartily as club-president Arthur Cox and manager Cec Garriott raised the huge 20-foot pennant, made especially for the night by a Victoria firm, to the top of the centre-field flagpole.
And the weatherman provided a breeze of just the right strength to keep it proudly waving throughout the game.
The game was a success, too. Fittingly enough, 18-year-old LeRoy Han, who pitched the pennant clincher Monday night, stopped the Spokane Indians cold with three hits to register his fourth win in five decisions, 4-2. It squared the season-ending series at 1-1 and assured the Tyees of a seasonal edge over their nearest rivals.
Han was in top form although a bit wild. The big youngster had a live fast ball and made up for 10 bases on balls by setting 11 Indians down on strikes.
He was in trouble in five of the first six innings but went into the seventh with a two-hit shutout because he was unbeatable in the clutch. He lost the shutout when a blooping single to left field followed two bases on bases and an infield out which moved the runners up. But he should have been out of the inning unscored on, the Tyees messing up what should have been an inning-ending double play just before Pat Simmons hit his run-scoring single.
Han stuck out Bill Sheets with two out and two runners on in the first inning. He whiffed Frank Chase with runners on second and third and one out in the second and escaped unscathed when Bill Prior, who started the game in centre-field, came up with a great catch of Ed Murphy’s long drive. Han left two runners stranded in the fourth and the bases loaded in the fifth. Ed Bouchee led off the sixth with Spokane’s second hit, a triple, but remained on third base as Han took Wilbur Johnson on a high hopper to the pitcher’s mound and struck out Chase and Murphy.
He retired the last seven men in order after Spokane scored.
The Tyees scored twice in the second on a walk to Chuck Abernathy, singled by Dwane Helbig and Bill Prior, and an error by Bouchee. Their winning run in the third came on a single by Abernathy, a double by Helbig and an infield out and their eighth-inning insurance tally was the result of Prior’s second hit and Milt Martin’s double.
DIAMOND DUST—With Granny Gladstone in Portland and Cec Garriott, Jim Clark and Ron Bottler all sidelined with injuries or illness, the Tyees started with Bill Prior in centre-field. When Don Pries, who opened at shortstop was tossed out for protesting a call at third base by plate umpire John Luksik, Prior took over at third, John Treece moved to shortstop and pitcher Ben Lorino moved to centre-field … Victorian Gordie Perkins handled the base-umpiring chores last night in the absence of Micky Hanick, who as been bothered for two week with a pulled muscle. It was Luksik’s 16th consecutive game behind the plate … Lorino, who has an arm classed as “slightly” sore, is getting a good rest so that he will be at his best for his chance with the Portland Beavers next week … Bob Brown, head man of the Vancouver Capilanos, sent a congratulatory telegram for the big occasion … Jim Clark had a try at broadcasting last night, giving part of the play-by-play account for Bill Stephenson … In addition to Prior, Treece and Mel Wasley came up with fine defensive plays … Don Hopp, the new righthander signed by the Beavers, won’t likely see action this season, being optioned down too late to become eligible.
Spokane .... 000 000 200—2 3 1
Victoria ..... 021 000 01x—4 8 0
Chase, Roberts (8) and Sheets; Han and Martin.

VANCOUVER [Sun, Sept. 13]—Right-hand John (Bud) Guldborg gained a reputation with Vancouver baseball fans this season as a better cusser than he was a pitcher. Friday night, he did a bit of both in hobbling Lewiston Broncs for his 15th win [6-3].
Cap Stadium fans discovered months ago that Guldborg blew his roof in fancy style when the opposition made menacing gestures. Like in the third inning last night when the Broncs scored one run off four hits and one error, committed appropriately enough, by Guldborg.
He muttered several choice adjectives then. Choice enough and loud enough to burn the ears off spectators seated as far away as the left field bleachers.
But he got out of the jam and came on to win when his mates rallied for five runs in the fifth. Guldborg struck out six and walked four, hit safely twice and delivered a neat sacrifice bunt.
It was only his third win before the home fans, who have also seen him lose 10 times. He apparently cussed less and pitched more on the road, where he won 12 games.
Johnny Ritchey, Caps’ most valuable player, and Bob Duretto, their most popular, responded graciously to honors conferred upon them.
Ritchey hit three-for-four to keep alive his chances of overtaking Wenatchee’s Walt Pocekay for his second straight WIL batting title.
- - -
VANCOUVER [News-Herald, Sept. 13]—Bud Guldborg paid his third visit to the winner’s circle in Capilano Stadium Friday with an 11-hit, 6-3 victory over Lewiston. If it doesn’t sound like a brilliant pitching effort, it’s likely because it wasn’t.
Guldborg has put together quite an amazing season. His record, after last night’s loss, is 15 wins and 12 losses. Of the 15 victories, only three have been pitched at home, 12 on the road. Of his losses, every one but one has been handed to him at home!
It should be the other way around, naturally, because Bud pitches half his baseballs in his own beautiful back yard. It just happened that he got the idea early in the season he couldn’t win here, and then went out and proved it.
For awhile, it looked as if he was going to get beaten again last night as Lewiston led 2-0 going into the fifth. Then the Caps erupted, when three bunts fell in safely for basehits, for five runs and the ball game. Eleven men went to the plate in the unorthodox inning and starter Jim Clancy had to have help to get out of the park alive.
Apart from Guldborg, most everyone was concerned with John Ritchey. The catcher, who is in a deaths struggle with Walt Pocekay of Wenatchee for the batting title, was honored as the Caps’ most valuable player last night. Then he showed us why.
John had a three-for-four evening which didn’t hurt his chances for the title at all. He had today’s two games (2:30 in the afternoon, 8:15 at night) left and hasn’t much ground to make up to win it all.
Bob Duretto was named the Caps’ most popular player. He received an honorarium, too. And he played a whale of a ball game in right field, making a second-inning grab of Charlie Mead’s foul liner which stood the fans on their ears.
DIAMOND DUST—The 1952 baseball season winds up with two games, 2:30 and 8:15 under the lights … Appropriately enough, Bill Brenner will pitch for Lewiston and he’ll probably be looking for his 21st win at night … Edo Vanni has picked on Ed Locke and Van Fletcher to pitch the two games … If Fletcher’s hand isn’t right, it will be Tom Lovrich at night … John Cox of Penticton, B.C., was the lucky fan who won a wrist watch in a home-plate drawing made by Bob Duretto last night.
Lewiston ....... 011 000 010—3 11 2
Vancouver .... 000 051 00x—6 9 1
Clancy, Nicholas (5) and Lundberg; Guldborg and Ritchey.

YAKIMA, Sept. 12 — Bunched hitting and timely walks gave the Yakima Bears a 4-3 Western International League baseball victory over the heavier hitting Wenatchee Chief Friday night.
Wenatchee ... 100 010 100—3 10 0
Yakima ......... 200 200 00x—4 8 0
Kapp and Robinett; Savage and Donahue.

KENNEWICK [Tri-City Herald, Sept. 14]—Nick Pesut's home run with two men on gave the Braves a 7-6 victory over Salem Friday night.
It was Pesut's second homer of the season. His first one was a bases-loaded smash.
For Salem, Connie Perez paced their hitting with a homer and a double.
Salem was leading 4-2 going in to the bottom of the fifth. Then singles by Dave Brittain, Des Charouhas, Vic Buccola and a double by Tommy Marier pushed two runs across.
It was then that Pesut homered.
Ralph Romero, pitching for the Braves, boosted his win record to 17.
Salem ....... 001 122 000—6 10 1
Tri-City ..... 011 050 00x—7 11 3
DiBiasi and Nelson; Romero and Pesut.

With Erwin Swangard
[Vancouver Sun, Sept. 13, 1952]
The curtain rings down quietly, and I suspect rather mercifully, on Operation Capilano today.
Even the most charitable critics will have to declare it a failure when measured in the terms of effort and talent expended on it.
Our Caps of the Western International Baseball League play their last two games of the season today and I for one hope ye baseball fans turn out en masse to say goodbye.
My reason for this appeal is twofold:
1. There should be considerable soul-searching in the Cap front office this winter and the result will probably be that some of the current faces will not be with us next season.
2. In their own frustrated way the Caps gave us some pretty good entertainment even if they did fail to be the type of ball club which could capture and hold it’s [sic] fans.
Better or Worse?
Frustration is the most appropriate noun I can think of to describe the atmosphere which must pervade the inerts of the Little Mountain baseball palace today.
The ultra-loyal fan, God bless him, will argue with me: “What’s the matter with the Caps? They finished in third place, didn’t they? Not every club of eighth can finish in first place.”
I hate to say this, but Caps in my opinion didn’t finish third because they were much better than the other five clubs but rather the other five clubs were much worse.
The 1952 Capilanos will be remembered as the club which could have been tops, but failed miserably to rally the spirit of which championship teams are made.
On Paper Tops
On paper they were supreme, on the diamond they were barely above average.
Being logic let’s us ask why?
First of all we must deal with tangible reasons. Caps had a real bad start. They were plagued by an early epidemic of injuries probably due to the fact that spring training was a farce because the weather wouldn’t co-operate.
Management felt Bill Schuster, who last year chased the power-laden Spokane Indians down to the wire, was unable to instil the heart and mishandled the players badly.
You may remember the blue Monday Schuster received his walking papers.
He did, ostensibly because he said publicly that the Caps would be lucky to finish third. That, of course, was not the primary reason. Everybody and his dog knew—that management was dissatisfied with his strategy and tactics.
Who Was Right?
Maybe it sounded good at the time.
Does it sound so good right now?
When he was abdicated Caps trailed Victoria by a mere eight games. They were in second place and still in contention.
Now they are in third place, 17 games behind the pennant winners who emergency triumphant because they found the spirit among a group of average players the Caps lacked among a group of alleged stars.
Edo Vanni who succeeded Schuster can hardly be blamed.
Management will say the damage was done before Vanni took over.
I would say our Caps didn’t have it this year and thus pass the ball back to where it belongs:

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