Thursday, 13 March 2008

General Managers Now Taking Regular Turn in Willy League

By The Associated Press
[February 11, 1953]
General managers of baseball teams are usually envisioned as men well past their playing prime, with belts holding their chests up, but in the Western International League the ideal G.M. is a guy who can take his regular turn at bat or on the mound.
Four of the front office men in the league, newly expanded to a 10-team circuit, plan to play in 1953. Three of them are hurlers and the fourth Hugh Luby of Salem, was the WIL's all-star second baseman last year, hanging up a record of 53 straight games without an error.
Three Hurlers
Dewey Soriano of Vancouver, Bill Brenner of Lewiston and Frank Dasso of Wenatchee will pitch for their teams. Brenner and Luby will take orders from themselves, doubling as field managers but Dasso will be bossed on the field by Mike McCormick, the former major league outfielder he himself hired as Wenatchee's field chief.
As this was written, Soriano still was considering several candiates for the outdoor job at Vancouver, the only team still without a manager. Johnny Lazor, Eddie Fernandez and Eddie Malone all were in the picture.
Practically all the field pilots will be playing, part-time or regularly. Three in addition to Luby and Brenner will be back at the helm, with Cece Garriott of Victoria heading tne list. The former Coast League outfielder not only directed Victoria to a pennant, but he led the WIL in home runs with 19.
Dario Lodigiani, another Major-and-Coast League product, is back at Yakima to boss the club from his third base positio. Don Osborn, former WIL and Coast Loop flinger, starts his second season at the helm in Spokane. Edo Vanni, who has played with more WIL teams than any man living, moves from a managing job at Vancouver to the same assignment at Tri-City.
Vets In Canada
The league's two new members, Calgary and Edmonton, have signed up a pair of field managers with find playing records and some managing experience. Bob Sturgeon, veteran infielder who bossed Victoria for a time in 1951, drew the Calgary job, Edmonton's pilot will be Gene Lillard, who once bumped 58 home runs for Los Angeles and a manager in a California Class C league last season.
Mostr of the teams also are also settled on their spring training sites. Lewiston and Yakima will train at home and Spokane also will be at Lewiston. Tri-City will do its conditioning at nearby Prosser.
The rest will go to California. Edmonton will be at Porterville, Salem at Calistoga, Victoria at Sonoma, Vancouver at Healdsburg and Wenatchee at Lindsay. Calgary's exact California site has not been announced.

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