Sunday, 17 February 2008

Thursday, August 28, 1952

W L Pct. GB
Victoria .... 85 44 .659 —
Spokane ..... 77 59 .566 11½
Vancouver ... 64 62 .508 19½
Salem ....... 64 69 .481 23
Yakima ...... 63 69 .477 23½
Lewiston .... 61 73 .455 26½
Tri-City .... 59 71 .454 26½
Wenatchee ... 53 79 .402 33½

VICTORIA [Colonist, Aug. 29]—So close to the W.I.L. pennant that any combination of Victoria wins and Spokane defeats totalling nine would make it a mathematical certainty, Victoria Tyees are showing no signs of letting up and are still playing the kind of baseball which has put them on top.
They were at their best last night at Royal Athletic Park in handing the Salem Senators a 7-3 setback in the first game of a six-game series.
Minus shortstop Jim Clark, the league’s best, for the second straight game, the Tyees functioned as smoothly as ever with outfielder Granny Gladstone at Clark’s post and Dwane Helbig in Gladstone’s usual right field spot.
And it was Gladstone, with a big assist from the versatile Don Pries, who backed Ben Lorino’s steady pitching to overcome a 3-0 deficit with some timely hitting.
Lorino, who still has a chance to tie or better the league record of 27 victories, set last season by Bob Snyder, picked up No. 23 last night on the strength of two tremendous home runs by Gladstone and a two-run double by Pries.
Not in his top form in the early innings, Lorino dropped behind as the Tyees had trouble with rookie Bud Francis. But the big lefthander, who has now won nine of his last 10 decisions, improved as the game wore along. He wound up by striking out the side in the ninth and with 10 whiffs more than balancing his unusually large number of bases on balls.
Francis, who wriggled off the hook in the first inning when the Tyees got a bit crossed up on the bases, made trouble for himself in the sixth by walking Bob Moniz and Cec Garriott to open the inning. Perhaps a bit too anxious to get ahead of Gladstone, he came down the middle with the first pitch and it became home run No. 14 for the colored infielder-outfielder. It was a line smash over the centre-field fence.
With one on in the seventh, Moniz singled and sped to third as Garriott followed with a hit to right field. Pries then came through with a hit-and-run double, which was lined through the spot just vacated by second-baseman Connie Perez, on his way to cover the bag as Garriott broke with the pitch.
Garriott came in behind Moniz and Pres scored ahead of Gladstone when No. 15 disappeared somewhere across Pembroke Street.
Gladstone’s five runs batted in increased his league-leading total to 111 and his current batting spree has seen him pick up 10 hits—including three doubles and two home runs—in 19 trips in the last four games.
Salem gives it a try again tonight with Vince DiBiasi, late of the Portland Beavers, likely to prove a tough customer. The Tyees will counter with Bill Prior, who will be seeking his seventh win.
DIAMOND DUST—John Treece, who is having troubles at the plate, came up with several sparkling defensive plays last night. The Victoria third-baseman is now hitless in his last 19 times and has only two hits in his last 48 trips … Bill Starr, president of the San Diego Padres, was among the fans the last two nights. He is watching some farmhands with the Salem Senators and doing a bit of scouting … Interference, probably unintentional, by Connie Perez, cost the Tyees two first-inning runs last night. Called out on strikes, Perez stepped in front of catcher Ron Bottler, who was trying to catch Gene Tanselli stealing. Bottler, who has been winging them out regularly, threw this one into the dirt … Bill White, appearing against his old club for the first time here, hit a triple, double and single … Granny Gladstone handled 15 chances perfectly in two games at shortstop … Cec Garriott called for an intentional base on balls for the first time this season here in Wednesday’s first game and the strategy worked twice.
Salem ...... 200 100 000—3 7 1
Victoria .... 000 003 04X—7 9 1
Francis, Edmunds (7) and Thrasher; Lorino and R. Bottler.

WENATCHEE, Aug. 29 — An over-enthusiastic Wenatchee fan dropped a black cat in front of Frank Chase as he toiled on the mound for Spokane Thursday night.
But the would-be cure all backfired and the Indians dropped the Chiefs 8-6 in the wrap-up game of a Western International League baseball series.
The Chiefs had the bases loaded three times with none out. Chase managed to get the
side out each time.
Spokane ........ 012 103 100—8 12 1
Wenatchee .... 010 001 103—6 11 3
Chase, Marshall (9) and Sheets; Dahle, Kapp (8) and Pocekay.

VANCOUVER [Keith Matthews, News-Herald, Aug. 29]—It’s getting around to all-star time in baseball again and a fellow who throws baseballs for the WIL’s lowest entry is making a serious bid for recognition as the league’s best right hander.
This would be Bob Greenwood, who beat the Caps Thursday on three hits, 4-1, for his 14th win of the year. In fact, every time Bob pitches against Vancouver, the magic number seems to be three.
This was his third win in as many tries and all three have been accomplished on three-hitters.
Greenwood comes to the Braves by courtesy of the Philadelphia Phillies, as do three other of Tri-City staff.
He is a lazy fellow by nature and this has been against him in his brief tenure in Organized Baseball. They have said that because he doesn’t seem to have any ambition, he naturally will not go anywhere.
That could be, but don’t tell it to the Caps. Every time he has pitched against the Townies he has looked like a cross-section of Feller-Reynolds-Raschi-Newcombe. He is big and he is fast. He gets the ball over and pits it right where he wants it.
The 14 victories Greenwood has accomplished for the Braves this year have been more of an achievement than you’d think. Tri-City is terribly weak on the offensive. They haven’t a good long-ball hitter in the bunch (but who has) and they don’t have too many hitters, period.
So Greenwood every time he wins, has to pitch himself a peach of a baseball game. He has done it 14 times while losing only eight. And as we said, that’s all-star rating in any man’s book.
Again last night Greenwood found himself in tough. He was up against Tom Lovrich, admittedly on one of Tom’s poorer nights. However, Tom is tough even when he’s poor and it remained for Nick Pesut’s double and Vic Buccola’s triple to produce two second-inning runs. There were two more in the seventh when Lovrich got wild and walked himself right out of the game.
By then Greenwood had his victory in the bag.
DIAMOND DUST—Tonight, which is Picture Night at the ball park, Ed Locke goes for the Caps. Everyone who turns out for the game gets a free, autographed picture of the Caps … Game time is 8:15.
- - -
VANCOUVER, B.C., Aug. 28 — Unable to snare more than three hits off wily Bob Greenwood, the Vancouver Capilanos bowed to the Tri-City Braves Thursday night in the opener of a six-game Western International League baseball series.
The victory was Greenwood’s 14th against eight defeats. Tom Lovrich, one of three Vancouver hurlers to see action, was the starter and loser. He now has an 8-5 record.
About 800 fans saw Tri-City take a two-run edge in the second on
five stolen bases, a double by Nick Pesut and a triple by Vic Buccola. Tom Marier was hit by the pitcher.
Tri-City ........ 020 000 200—4 6 0
Vancouver .... 000 100 000—1 3 3
Greenwood and Pesut; Lovrich, Guldborg (7) Aubertin (8) and Ritchey.

LEWISTON, Aug. 28 — The Broncs and the Bears took turns at exploding for seven-run innings in their Western International League game Thursday with Yakima finally squeaking by Lewiston in the ninth for an 11-9 win.
Yakima .... 200 000 702—11 15 1
Lewiston .. 001 710 000— 9 10 2
Thompson, Donley (4) and Donahue; DeGeorge, Powell (7) Bowman (8) Thomason (9) Schulte (9) and Lundberg.

The Sports Herald
[Vancouver News-Herald, August 29, 1952]
Question and no answer …
The phone rang and the voice said there had been an argument and would we settle a bet? “I say the Capilanos are in a Class C league,” the voice croaked. “My pal says they’re higher. Which is it?”
A very posing question.
According to the book, the Western International League attained Class A status at the major-minor league meetings last December after living in a phony Class B cloak since their inception in 1939 [sic].
However, did my friend want the classification according to the “book” or according to the calibre of play?
It is the opinion, for instance, of the average well-versed follower of the WIL that the 1952 brand of baseball is not 65 percent of what it was in ’51.
Consider the factor of hitting a case in point.
The league this season is absolutely void of power hitters. The long ball has become as rare as the no-hitter.
Right now, the two power men in the league are Wenatchee’s Walt Pocekay (5’ 11”, 180 pounds) and Victoria’s Cec Garriott (5’ 9”, 165 pounds).
Pocekay has accumulated 225 total bases in his 157 hits in both departments. Garriott is the home run leader with 14.
Where are the power boys…
How do these marks compare with previous years, even when the WIL wore its Class B sheepskin?
Well, in 1948, Archie Wilson totalled 408 bases with his hits and in 1949 Jim Warner socked 43 homers.
The Wilsons and Warners were once common-place in this league. Nearly every club had at least one tremendous long-ball threat and to list them individually would take a long weekend and more space than we are allotted.
However, just offhand, we can recall fellows like Dick Greco, Dick Sinovic, Jack Harshman, Smead Jolley and Wes Schulmerich, all of whom hit a baseball as if they were mad at the thing. And what has happened to this type of player?
Consider another case in point, the pitching this season.
The league reader is a rambunctious fellow named Ben Lorino, who has won 20 games and eaten his weight in umpires.
It is strange, indeed, that Lorino should enjoy such success this year, even considering he has a superb defense at his back and attack which is quite adequate.
However, Lorino rarely ever got his head above .500 in the won and lost column before 1952. They gave up on him in the Pioneer League towards the end of last season and the story goes that Victoria bought him for $100. You can buy a milk wagon pony for the same price or make an instalment on a model T Ford—if you get what we mean.
Pliz, call off your bet…
Take nothing away from Lorino, though. He has been Victoria’s big stopper. It’s just that it makes you wonder what has happened to a league when a fellow like this can come along without a warning.
I know what you’re thinking right now, too. It’s about Bob Snyder, who won 27 last season and has only managed 13 so far this year.
Remember this if you’re going to throw Bob in my face. He has lost two fve-hitters and a seven-hitter and these should have been winning efforts. Instead of 13-10, his record could easily be 16-7 and that would be comparable to his 1951 performance, considering his missed the first month of play.
What happened, of course, was the “limited service” rule the league adopted where each club was forced to carry eight players in this category.
It is a bad rule, but the fathers thought it was necessary because of ballooning salaries. In 1951 the league had a rule allowing each team a $4000 a month salary maximum for a 17-player roster. It was found that one team ignored the law so ingraciously that their payroll reached $8000 per month.
So they brought in the rookie rule, but they overdid it.
It has been a year filled with mental errors and mistakes in common fundamentals. The baseball has been highly entertaining, but at times, highly agonizing.
It is one thing to watch a professional get caught between hops, and quite another to watch a professional forget to cover a base. Physical errors we can take, mistakes of the mind no one can put up with.
Therefore, next year, the limited service rule likely will be remodelled. Not entirely thrown out, but minimized until they have reached a happy medium.
But, friend, as far as that calibre of baseball question is concerned, why don’t you just call off the bet? The answer, I’m afraid, is a little elastic.

By Jim Tang

[from Victoria Colonist, Aug. 29, 1952]
How often do pinch-hitters come through? Not often, if W.I.L. games at Royal Athletic Park this season are any criterion.
A recent report that Washington pinch-hitters went on a streak of 28 tries without a hit prompted some research and the results were surprising.
In 62 games played here this season pinch-hitters have produced five hits in 45 attempts, drawn three bases on balls and been knicked by the pitcher once. They failed to influence the result of one game, bated in only four runs, of which three came on a home run, and the combined batting average of .122 would make almost any pitcher blush.
Victoria Tyees have used 27 pinch-hitters and only five of them managed to get on base—three of them by hits, one on a base on balls and one because he got in the way of a pitch. Twelve Victoria pinch-hitters struck out, two grounded out and eight flew or popped out. Not one of the unsuccessful 22 managed even so much as to advance a base-runner and not one of the 27 drove in a run.

Sports Notes
By Gil Gilmore
[Tri-City Herald, Aug. 29, 1952]
When Ray Hamrick joined the Tri-City Braves a month ago it was secretly hoped that he could spark the team to a few victories. The Braves then were in their worst slump. They had just returned from a road trip where they had dropped seven of nine starts.
Now it’s about time to see how much Ray has helped the team. Ray is a .330 hitter. His fielding is the sharpest of any seen around Sanders Field. But how much has he helped the Braves in terms of percentage points?
Here are some figures: When Ray joined the club the won - lost percentage was .426. It is now .450. Since Hamrick came here the Braves have won 18 games, lost 16 and tied one—up to but not including Thursday night’s game. That is a percentage of .529 for the last few weeks. If they had had that percentage all season, it would put the Braves above Vancouver but below Spokane in present league standings.
The Braves have been playing like a first-division club for over a month now. But the early season deficit is too much to overcome although they stand a reasonably chance to move up.
So, whether Ray has sparked the team or not, at least things have improved since he has been around.
One run seems to make the difference with the Braves lately. They took a 17-4 shellacking two weeks ago, then won a 4-0 shutout and were in turn shut out, 4-0. Since then they have won seven games by one point, lost two by one point and tied another. Four of the games went into overtime.
A. Hewes of Benton City is a loyal Braves’ booster with some criticism to offer. Like me, he feels this is a good baseball and and writes:
“In my younger days I was a baseball tramp and have warmed the benches in some of the better clubs. I’ll say this. I never saw a place where more people, male and female, talked baseball than right here.
“A good hardworking, well managed club would triple attendance without being in the first division. I don’t expect a win every time but I do like heads up baseball, and I seldom miss a game unless they are playing when I’m on shift.
“My gripes are as follows:
“No enough action in the bullpen. Pitchers are left in too long.
“Hitters are not properly coached. The fine act of bunting has been overlooked.
“In the first part of the season, not enough stress was put on the pivot or double play combination.
“The signal system is wide open.”

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