Brown Elected WIL President
PHOENIX, Ariz., Dec. 3 — Bob Brown, a Notre Dame halfback back in 1895, was elected president of the Western International League Tuesday. It was the first time the league had a full-time president.
Brown, general manager of the Vancouver, B. C., club since he entered organized baseball, was unanimously named at the suggestion of Bob Abel, Tacoma, Wash., attorney, who has headed the league since 1937. Abel then was elected secretary and legal adviser to the circuit.
Brown came west in 1900 after serving in the Spanish American War. He was with Joe Tinker, former Chicago Cub star, when the Northwestern League, forerunner to the Western International, was formed.
Action on the Tri-City franchise wass postponed until Wednesday to await advice from Orin (Babe) Hollingbery. former Washington State football coach, who has been acting as agent for Dick Richards, majority stockholder, in negotiations for the sale of the club to a fans association.
Bob Brown Named WIL President; Dewey Soriano Capilanos New GM
New Boss Takes Over Here January 1
By CLANCY LORANGER
[Vancouver Province, Dec. 3, 1952]
A storied, colorful chapter in northwest baseball history ended Tuesday when Bob Brown traded in his “Vancouver’s Mr. Baseball” title for a new one: “The WIL’s Mr. Baseball.”
With the announcement from Phoenix, Arizona, currently the scene of the game’s national convention, that Brown had been elected president of the Western International League, a local tradition of more than 40 years was tucked away in the archives.
Brown left his “baby”—which had patches on its pants through many a lean year but grew up to be rich and successful and make its parents proud—in good hands.
Dewey Soriano, no stranger here, is the young man (he’ll be 33 next February 8) who’ll take over as Capilanos’ general manager and try and help local fans reconcile the improbable prospect of Vancouver baseball without Bob Brown.
Not completely without him, of course. In his new job, the old redhead, who’s been on the premises since 1910, no doubt will keep a paternal eye on Dewey’s doing. Bob told The Province today by long-distance phone he will make his headquarters here; he was offered the WIL presidency, now a full-time job, in November but turnedit down because he said he didn’t want to leave Vancouver.
League Means Business
Since that time pressure has been brought to bear on him within the league to accept the position, for it is felt nobody is better qualified to handle it. In fact, Bob has often been accused of running the league from his Capilano office, anyway.
Recent acceptance of Edmonton and Calgary culminated a two-year campaign by Ruby Robert to get them into the WIL, which went up to Class A status last summer and is beginning to feel its post-war oats. Appointment of a full-time president, for the first time, indicates the league means business, too—so Bob’s work is cut out for him. He’ll have ex-president Bob Abel, prexy since 1937, as secretary and legal adviser.
Soriano, like last year’s manager Edo Vanni, first came to Vancouver fans’ attention when he moved up to the Coast League Rainiers from Seattle’s Franklin High School in 1939.
But Dewey is best known here as the president-part owner-relief pitcher of the 1949 Yakima Bears.
Soriano Starts Jan. 1
Soriano was the bane of the bleacherites that year whenever he planted his six-feet-some 220 pounds on the Yakima mound. He won 14, lost two, had the league’s best earned run average—2.30—and was the main reason Yakima won the pennant by seven games over a very good Capilano team.
Dewey spent another year at Yakima, then returned to the Coast League in 1951 as a relief pitcher with San Francisco. He’s been with ‘Frisco before, Pittsburgh Pirates sending him there after his arm trouble had ended his short major league whirl. A four-year tour in the service shortened his playing career, too. He was out of baseball last year, plying his trade as a commercial fisherman.
Soriano will pay an “informal” visit here as soon as the National Association meeting is over, but won’t take over his official duties until Jan. 1.Then he’ll only have 42 years to go to match Bob Brown’s record.