Wednesday, 12 March 2008

No More Okanagan For Caps

Caps Leave Penticton For Sunny California
By CLANCY LORANGER [Vancouver Province, Jan. 17, 1953]—The Capilanos won’t be able to blame a chilly spring if they get away to a slow start in the Western International League this season. Unless, of course, the California Chamber of Commerce has been kidding us.
Yes, the baseball Caps are deserting Penticton as a spring training site, and will work out their pre-season kinks at a spa called Healdsberg, California. They new spring headquarters is situated in the Sonoma Valley, some 68 miles north of San Francisco on Highway 101.
Your correspondent could see the palm trees waving in the soft breeze as General Manager Dewey Soriano described Healdsberg.
Dewey’s Yakima team trained there for three years, and in that time, he said, they lost only one game because of rain. And even then, they got in a morning workout.
“We made the switch,” he said, “because of all the stories I’ve heard about the chilly blasts at Penticton last spring, and for one more important reason.”
That’s competition. Close to Healdsberg there are enough ball clubs to provide some 15 to 18 games for the Caps between March 30, when they set up camp, and April 19, when it breaks up.
“Salem is working out 18 miles away, and Pocatello (Pioneer League) is 25 miles away. The ‘Frisco police and fire departments have good clubs, made up mostly of ex-pros.”
College teams are available for games, too, as are semi-pro outfits featuring such former pros as Ted Jennings.
The ball park there has good lights, says Dewey, and for one game Yakima drew 2700 people. Two teams trained there last year, but the Caps will be alone this spring, so facilities should be plentiful.
Get out the sun tan lotion, mother.

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