Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 1952

W L Pct. GB
Victoria .... 71 35 .670 —
Spokane ..... 61 49 .555 12
Vancouver ... 53 48 .523 15½
Salem ....... 52 54 .491 19
Lewiston .... 52 56 .481 20
Yakima ...... 49 61 .445 24
Tri-City .... 45 61 .425 26
Wenatchee ... 44 63 .411 28½

VICTORIA [Colonist, Aug. 6]—LeRoy Han was credited with his first victory in professional baseball last night at Royal Athletic Park but the 18-year-old former high school star from Vancouver, Wash., will undoubtedly hope that win No. 2 will come a lot easier.
Han went the full nine innings to even his season’s record at 1-1 but the complete game was entered in his personal record only because the Tyees had one of their night nights at the plate and Cec Garriott, no doubt thinking of the six games yet to be played this week, exercised unusual restraint.
The Tyees scoring 12 runs in a wild fourth inning, finally came out on top, 17-13, to end their “losing streak” at two games and square the series with the Yakima Bears at 1-1.
Han’s pitching, however, was much better than the score indicates. The big youngster sailed along smoothly with a five-hitter for the first seven innings and only one serious mistake—a pitch which Jerry Zuvela hit out of the park with a teammate aboard in the third inning. Han showed a good fast ball and curve and should only improve steadily as he gains experience.
Bothered somewhat by a blister on his pitching hand and obviously tiring, he was blasted hard in the final two innings as the Bears lashed out for eight hits and nine runs and made things slightly uncomfortable. It might have been much closer had no Dario Lodigiani, apparently giving up on the game, taken considerable of his punch out of his line-up by substituting for Zuvela, second-baseman Chuck Malmberg and himself in the middle of the game.
Trailing 4-2, the Tyees really erupted in the fourth as they sent 17 men to the plate, 10 of them before the Bears could make the first out.
Granny Gladstone opened by drawing a base on balls off pitcher Tom DelSarto. Milt Martin singled him to second and when Han laid down a perfect bunt, which went for a hit and loaded the bags, the parade was on.
Jim Clark walked to force in a run. Duane Helbig, who was to wind up the scoring with a three-run homer, singled in a second. Bob Moniz was hit by a pitched ball to force in a third. Garriott, who hit his 14th home run with Moniz on the bags in the first, singled in two more and that hit brought on Bob Garrett for DelSarto.
John Treece greeted Garrett with a double and Chuck Abernathy followed with a single. Up for the second time, Gladstone flew out and Martin struck out, but it wasn’t over. Han walked, Clark singled and Helbig hit for four.
It looked safe by the three unearned runs the Tyees scored in the eighth, when the Yakima infield booted three times, loomed increasingly big as the Bears came up with their late rallies.
Yakima .... 012 100 054-13 13 5
Victoria .. 200 (12)00 03x-17 15 1
DelSarto, Garrett (4) and Donahue; Han and Martin.

VANCOUVER [Keith Matthews, News-Herald, Aug. 6]—The “patchwork quilt” Wenatchee calls a ball club received another kick in the face Tuesday at Cap Stadium when shortstop Ernie Valasquez fractured his leg trying to complete a double play.
And so it has gone since the start of the season for the Chiefs. It’s been one injury after another for them; the fans in their hometown are staying away in such huge numbers that’s almost a certainty the franchise will have to be shifted next year-
The latest in this sequel of hard luck stories, this concerning Valasquez, found the little shortstop taking a flip from his keystone partner Lyle Palmer for the first double play. They had Len Tran, barrelling in from first, dead to rights but Len played out the string as he should and tried to break up the twin killing.
He broke it up with a rolling block, catcher Valasquez as the little fellow was pivoting in the air for his throw to first.
The game was held up for five minutes while doctors came out of the stand and examined the youngster. Then they removed him on a stretcher and took him into St. Paul’s Hospital where it was found that his left leg was broken in two places, one third below the knee.
At the time the Caps led 2-1, then they saw their lead diminish and positively fade away as the Chiefs, with pitchers playing the outfield, and outfielders playing the infield, fought back and led 4-2.
It couldn’t last, however, as Vancouver scored two in the seventh, then won a ninth-inning battle of inside strategy for the 5-4 verdict.
It was here that Bob Snyder was walked and Edo Vanni’s grounder was kicked away by Bill Stites, a pitcher forced to play second base. Then Jesse Williams was purposely passed, but Vanni countered this acute bit of thinking by putting in John Ritchey to hit for Ed Locke. Ritchey singled, and that was the ball game. The same clubs play the last game in the series tonight at 8:15 with John Gulborg (11-8) going for Vancouver.
[Locke had a triple and two doubles for Vancouver while Walt Pocekay smacked a double and three singles for Wenatchee].
Wenatchee ... 100 201 000—4 9 2
Vancouver ... 110 000 201—5 8 0
Monroe and Pocekay: Fletcher, Snyder (6) and Duretto.

SALEM, Aug. 5 — Spokane batters, who had scored three runs in the fifth inning, exploded for six more in the sixth to defeat Salem in a Western International League baseball game, 9-6, here Tuesday night.
The first three Spokane runs came on two walks, and base hits by Bill Sheets, Wilbur Johnson and Sam Kanelos.
Two errors, a hit batter, a walk and five base hits gave Spokane six more. Connecting for the hits were George Huffman, Ed Bouchee, Sheets, Johnson and Dick Bishop.
Spokane .... 000 036 000—9 10 1
Salem ...... 011 120 001—6 10 4
Bishop and Sheets; McNulty, Hemphill (6) and Nelson.

KENNEWICK [Tri-City Herald, Aug. 6]—The injury-riddled Tri-City Braves will take to the field tonight against Lewiston—short one more player than they were Tuesday night when they took a 17-4 shellacking.
Bob Greenwood, the Braves' leading pitcher, will be on the mound tonight.
But who will take to first base is the problem. Vic Buccola is laid up with a stiff neck. Bob Rittenberg,who used a fielder's glove while playing first Tuesday night,
left for Wichita, Kans., after the [unreadable line]son of Portland were purchased by the Wichita Indians.
Other Braves who are sick or injured although some are still playing include: Nick Pesut, catcher, who has a bad split on his throwing hand; John Kovenz, injured a[unreadable]e; Tommy Marier, flu; and pitcher George New, flu.
There were a couple of bright spots for the Braves in Tuesday night's slugfest.
George Lewis, the young catcher who is filling in for Pesut got three hits for four times at bat in his debut at Sanders Field.
Defensively, he snagged a difficult pop fly off the screen. On another occasion two Lewiston runners wound up on third. Lewis pursued one of them almost to second base and then threw to Don Lopes who tagged the Bronc out.
Lopes, whose hitting has increased steadily in recent weeks, got three clean singles for three times at bat.
But the absence of Buccola was felt in the first inning of the game.
Milt Smith, the Lewiston shortstop, knocked out a triple. Then Snag Moore hit a grounder to pitcher Dave Brittain. Brittain scooped it up but his throw to first was wild.
Smith came all the way around to score and Moore pulled up at second. Brittain's wild throw was one that Vic Buccola would have snagged had he been in the game.
Tri-City's second of five errrors came when the next man up, Jake Helmuth, hit a ground ball between [unreadable] Don Lopes' ankles. Moore came home on the error.
Lewiston continued to pile up runs in the second inning when Bill Brenner caught hold of Brittain's inside pitch and knocked the ball over the fence for the first of three Lewiston home runs. They picked up-two. more runs that inning when Smith was hit by a pitched ball, Moore doubled, and Gabby Williams walked.
Charlie Mead then hit a high pop fly back of second base. Lopes and Ray Hamrick moved over under it but neither player knew who was going to take it. The result: Hamrick made a last-minute stab but it was too late and he was charged with the error. Meanwhile, two more runs came in.
Tri-City was still in the ball game up to that point. They picked up two runs in the second on Marier's home and hits by Lewis and Lopes. They got another pair of runs in the next inning when Des Charouhas doubled and was driven in by Lewis' single. Lopes singled sending Lewis to second and the catcher scored on Brittain's single.
But fro[unreadable] on Lewiston steadily pulled away from the Braves. They scored in the fourth when [unreadable]d, went to second on a wild pitch, and came home on
Meade's single.
A homer by Glen Tuckett added another run in the fifth. Another homer, this one by Jake Helmuth, with Moore on base, accounted for two runs in the sixth.
The Broncs added their insulting blows with five runs in the seventh.
John Kovenz dropped a fly in left field to put Tuckett on base; Lundberg singled sending him to second. Larry Powell, who relieved [unreadable] laid down a bunt.
Ad Satalich, who had relieved Brittain, picked it up and threw wild at third allowing Tuckett and Lundberg to score. A single by Smith again put two men on base and another single by Moore drove Powell home.
The inning ended after Gabby Williams got a double to bring in Moore.
The final tallied came in the ninth when two Lewiston men walked and Smith doubled to bring in three runs.
Lewiston ... 230 312 503—17 16 1
Tri-City ... 032 000 000— 4 13 5
Brenner, Powell (3) and Lundberg; Brittain, Satalich (6), Kostenbader (5) and Lewis.

Lopes' Secret Is Out
[Tri-City Herald, August 6, 1952]
Have you bad trouble hitting lately? Can't you keep your eye on the ball? Well, brother, you are too late. Doc Bob Rittenberg has left to..
Rittenbarg is the guy who took a bad case of a .210 hitter—Don Lopes to be exact—and now Don is hitting the old ball. What's tht secret—eye exercises.
It came about this way:
Rittenberg, who isn't much of a hitter himself, went to an eye specialist to have his vision checked. The doc told him either to wear glasses or take some eye exercises. Rittenberg preferred eye exercises.
About this time Lopes came loping by and since he was having trouble himself, he quickly took advantage of the eye exercise advice. Whether the two players split Rittenberg's bill or if Don just got a free ride hasn't been determined.
It any case, Lopes began to hit the ball. He has steadily increased in recent days and last night he got three for three. He drew walks the other two trips to the plate which show he has got the old eye on the ball.
But if you are having trouble seeing, you are out of luck. Rittenberg has left for Wichita where he will play in the Western League—and he has taken his eye advice with him.

By Jim Tang

[from Victoria Colonist, Aug. 6, 1952]
It’s not quite true that the Victoria Tyees haven’t been supported by their home-town fans this season. After all, official W.I.L. attendance figures through June disclosed that Victoria was leading the league. And, although the club will probably finish behind Vancouver and, perhaps, Spokane at the gate, Victoria will be far ahead of both of them on a comparative basis.
Then, too, it seems certain that the claim that there has been a lack of support is refuted by the attendance figures which disclose that the Tyees have already outdrawn the 1951 Athletics and have 25 games left in which is add to the difference. The average attendance per game, and this counts in two doubleheaders, is 1,546—more than the 1,500 minimum usually sought for clubs in this classification. It is doubtful if six of the 32 teams playing Class “A” baseball will be able to match Victoria’s attendance figures and it’s a fact some Class “AAA” clubs would be glad to get Victoria attendance.
However, the foregoing evidence on behalf of Victoria baseball fans is a little illusory.
No club could remain in Class “A” baseball long on an independent basis with the 1951 Victoria attendance, the main reason the club is still having trouble financially.
Tremendously increased operating costs have not been met with a corresponding increase in admission prices and an average attendance of 1,500 is no longer enough to break even unless every league city reaches the figure. Only three W.I.L. clubs have a chance to average 1,500 this season and road trips are costing the Tyees money.
Lagging attendance in other cities is no excuse for insufficient support in Victoria, where there are far less competing attractions and climate and park site are ideal. It must be remembered, too, that only one club in eight is a winner and Victoria is in the select 12½ per cent.
The blunt fact is that Victorians, as club officials feel, are not giving the Tyees the support to which they are entitled. The Tyees are probably the most entertaining club the W.I.L. has had in its seven post-war seasons. It may not be the best club, or the best Victoria club, but it plays the best baseball—running, alert percentage baseball that has blended good speed, fine defence ability and consistent, if not sensational hitting into a winning team that has been on top all but a few days of the season.
And blunt, too, is the fact that unless attendance picks up things are going to be almost as tough as they were last winter. This is uour club. It is a winner, it has been well managed in the business office and on the field and it is community owned and a community asset. Where, oh were, are you fellows—you griping, ridiculing fellows who hollered for so long that you wanted this kind of a team before you lent your support? Still staying at home?

WILFan note: the microfilm reel isn't entirely readable for the story below. Those portions are in ( ) and generally consist of five or fewer words. But you can probably get the gist of the column.

The Sports Herald
Keith Matthews
[Vancouver News-Herald, Aug. 6, 1952]
Comparing The Hitters…
John Ritchey has already won one WIL batting championship, and appears to be well on his way to a second. Everywhere he performs, you hear the question asked about the young man from San Diego: is his a good hitter or is WIL pitching just to his liking?
Bob Brown, with his background of 52 years in the game ( ) sat back and analyzed ( ) thoroughly. ( ) that in order to be ( ) break up his 52 years into three classifications. ( ) that they were: (1) ( ) the old Northwest League ( ) the semi-pro league ( ) existed here before and ( ) war, and (3) the modern age, which he called the present day classification.
“I have run into many outstanding hitters during the Northwest League days,” Bob ( ). “It seemed that everyone I sent up from our circuit to the big leagues was a pitcher. There was Dutch Reuther, Vean Gregg—well, I’ve been over the list many time before for you.
“The best hitting, I guess, was Dode Brinker. He was a big fellow, worse a size 13 shoe, I believe. But he could move and he could hit that baseball!”
“Dode used to bat from a crouch, and that proved to be his undoing in the big leagues. You know, they still believe up there that a stand-up hitter is the only thing, and no matter how many Musials, Jolleys and Ruths come along to disprove it, they still believe a crouch hitter is a freak.
Dode Was A Capable Lug…
“When Brinker first went to the White Sox, they tried to make him stand up. He couldn’t hit the side of a barn, and he came back to me.
“( ) than a year, Dode ( ) crouch was breaking down the fences again. He hit the longest singles I ever saw in my life—400 feet on the fly and he’d beat the ball by sliding into first base!
The Philadelphia Nationals gave him a chance but they made him stand up, too. He never could hit that way and that’s why he ended up playing for me for 11 years. If they’d left him along in his crouch, they might have been raving about his feats, yet.”
How did he compare with Ritchey, though?
“John is a natural-born hitter,” Brown enthused. “He has the best pair of eyes I’ve ever seen in baseball, bar none. He is a hitter who will attract attention of the big league scouts because of his stand-up style. I believe he’ll go father than Brinker, so I guess you must say he’s the better of the two.
That brought Bob around to his semi-pro days at old Athletic Park. To most people, this was but an amateur league lost in the glamour of the “big show” and the Coast League. To those who were closely acquainted with Bob’s semi-pro baby, it was a powerful Class B league, at least.
“Ray Orteig was the best hitter to come out of the bunch,” Bob figured. He had powerful wrists and he didn’t have to have a particularly good eye. He could hit the bad ball just as far as most batters hit “their pitch.”
“There were a lot of good hitters in that league then,” Bob reminded us. “That semi-pro rating doesn’t take a thing away from some of the fellows who played then.”
John Could Go All The Way…
“Dario Lodigiani was a very fine hitter. I rate him just a notch belong Orteig. Maybe if I thought about it longer, I’d hand Lodi my vote, but ( ) has proven himself ( ).
Now, it came down to what Bob called “the modern age.” ( ) of course, John Ritchey ( ) the man, He won Bob’s ( ) over a powerful field of competitors. Such as Smead Jolley, Archie Wilson, Jack ( ) Gil McDougald and Clarence Maddern.
“Ritchey is a hitter without a weakness. That is not to say he doesn’t make mistakes, but I sincerely believe John has no ( ):
“Possibly, Johnny takes too many pitches. Every hitter has what we call a ‘hitting zone.’ ( ) though a ball may be ( ) a little outside or inside that zone, as long as ( ) a plane with their ( ) they should go after it. John has such good eyes that if the ball is a hair outside the plate he won’t flick a muscle. I believe if he went after some of those balls, he’d get even more hits than he does now. Goodness gracious, what would the pitchers say then?
“We have had an unusual amount of scouts visit our park this year and I’ve asked the same question of every one of them. How about Ritchey as a hitter?
“Without exception, they’ve all looked at me and grinned. ‘Bob,’ they say, ‘the boy is one in a million!’
Two or three clubs have made overtures on Johnny already. The number is increasing by day, and each time John gets another hit, the price goes up a bit. By the time the season ends, we’ll have a nice sale on Ritchey, then you’ll realize what an impression he’s made with his bat.”
It was figured long ago that Ritchey should have been in the Coast League this year. More than ever, now, we felt certain that this would be his destiny in 1953.

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