Thursday, 13 March 2008

Pre-Season, Tuesday, April 14, 1953

Oh, Woe! Caps Lose Big Sam to Colorado
Vancouver Province Sports Writer
HEALDSBURG, Calif. [April 15]—They say a ball club’s strength is down the middle, and all of a sudden, the Vancouver Caps find themselves sagging considerably around the mid-section.
The word that general manager Dewey Soriano dreaded from Seattle about catcher Sam Hairston came through Tuesday. Hairston, who looked like a great receiver, a fine hitter and generally a hustler, left last night en route back to Colorado Springs. Reason for the mixup, up until now, was that the deal was made by the late Earl Sheely, Leo Miller’s predecessor as Seattle’s G.M.
• • •
So what happens now? There are a couple of immediate possibilities. The Rainiers are contacting Tulsa of the Texas League, to whom they sold Don Lundberg, and if Lundberg isn’t going to play regularly there, they call off that deal and send him to Vancouver outright.
Lundberg, with the Caps last spring, finished the season with Lewiston in the WIL., hitting .278 and seven homer runs. He’s no Hairston, though.
• • •
There’s another, and better catcher the Caps might get. If Seattle can get themselves another backstop—they’re still after Bud Sheely of the White Sox—they’re ready to option Claude Christie to the Caps. Christie has been with the Suds three seasons, is a competent man behind the plate, and would probably hit well in the WIL.
Meanwhile, the men of Harvey Storey continued their mastery of the Grapefruit League opposition, and proved in this one that they can come from behind.
They journeyed over to Sonoma to tackle Victoria’s WIL defending champion Tyees and pulled out a 14-8 victory the hard way, via a seven-run ninth inning uprising.
They rapped out 11 hits off Victoria pitching, if you can call it that. The Tyees are desperate for moundsmen, so much so that they’re trying to convert first baseman Chuck Abernathy into a pitcher. He and Bill Wisneski were the Caps’ victims. Pete Hernandez went all the way, though shakily, for Vancouver, who now own a 10-1 record in spring training games.
Vancouver ..... 102 000 107—14 11 2
Victoria ....... 230 300 000—8 9 7
Hernandez and Hairston; Wisneski, Abernathy (9) and Brussa.

Edmonton Boss' Double Beats SC Horsehiders
LOS ANGELES, April 14—Manager Bobby Sturgeon socked a two-run double in the ninth inning to give his Edmonton, Can., team of the Western International League a 10-9 win over SC at Bovard Field Tuesday.
John Stevenson and Ed Simpson, both of SC, were the batting stars. Stevenson drove in four runs with a double, triple and homer, and Simpson got four-for-four.
Edmonton, which had been holding Spring training in nearby Compton, broke camp after the game to head north.
Edmonton ..... 000 206 002—10 18 1
USC ............ 210 010 230— 9 13 4
Eskenberry, Caster (6) and Morgan; Hookstratten, Allen (7), Rankin (9) and Barten.

Spokane 9 Signs Andrew Anderson
SPOKANE, April 14—Andrew Anderson, a second baseman who spent 1948 and 1949 in the majors with the St. Louis Browns, was signed Tuesday by the Spokane Indians of the Western International League.
He hit a measly .127 in 71 games for the Browns in 1949, then went to the Pacific Coast League.

Tyees Homeward-Bound, To Play Weekend Games
[Victoria Colonist, April 15, 1953]
Victoria Tyees are due home Thursday night, a full week before their Western International Baseball league opener at Royal Athletic Park against Spokane Indians, the club which finished as runner-up last season.
Victoria business manager Reg Patterson stated last night that the Tyees would leave their spring-training base at Sonoma, California, early this morning and that they hoped to catch the afternoon boat from Seattle tomorrow.
The club will continue work-outs at Athletic Park and will play city amateur teams in two week-end exhibition games. They meet Farmer’s Construction on Saturday afternoon, then take on Eagles on Sunday.
Patterson was unable to state which players escaped manager Cec Garriott’s last pruning but said that there were 25, not all players, in the party, which is making the trip by car.
Players known to be making the trip include catchers Sam Brusa and Milt Martin, infielder Joe Clardy, Chuck Abernathy, Lu Branham, Jim Clark, Ron Odekirk and Don Pries, outfielders Garriott, Gale Taylor and Nap Gully, pitchers Bill Wisneski, Berlyn Hodges, Zeb Walker, Dean Powelson, Don Hopp and Mike Williams.
Williams, a righthander just out of the army, is a new recruit. He was obtained from Stockton in a trade for outfielder Walt Tyler. Nothing is known about his past record, but the pitcher-short Tyees are in such dire straits for moundsmen that they have to look later.
There was, however, good news yesterday in the announcement that Bill Bottler, a 6-6 rookie last season, would join the club in a week. Bottler and Bill Prior are the closest the Tyees have to proven pitchers at the moment and a full-fledged search has been underway for some time. Patterson has hopes he will be able to find some mound help before the season opens.

today’s fanfare
Another Year, Another Job For Ruby Robert
By Eric Whitehead
[Vancouver Province, April 15, 1953]
Things weren’t quite the same down at the Caps’ camp this year.
Sure, same old giddy circle of new rookies up for a first look, sophomore kids up for another try, cocky, confident imports slated for varsity jobs, and a blasé sprinkling of returning veterans. Same old happy routine of sessions in the batting cage, infield drills, fly-chasing, pitchers sweating it out in the outfield…all the traditional trimmings of ye olde eternal springtime rites annual according the lusty, pampered offspring of ol’ Abner Doubleday.
Yet something was missing. Something nearly as eternal as the grand old game itself. That something missing was the figure of a lean, watchful bystander on the sidelines, huddled deep in his overcoat, keen, steady eyes glinting contentedly out from under the brim of his grey fedora, earnestly appreciating a pitcher’s delivery…a rookie’s batting stance.
“A good-looking prospect, by jingo,” murmurs the figure. “Yessir, a good young prospect…no question…no question.”
Big Job For Dewey
There were precious few times during Bob Brown’s 54-year baseball career that he missed spring training. Ruby Robert, [word unreadable] as a fiery young red-headed first-baseman partnered the immortal Joe Tinker nearly a half century ago, became nearly as much part of the landscape as the green grass that rings the infield.
This year, his 55th in organized ball, Bob stayed home. His successor as boss of the Capilano baseball organization, Dewey Soriano, is now walking in Bob’s shadow down at the Healdsburg camp. Soriano, young, likeable, efficient, will, we predict, do a tremendous job for the ball club. But it will take many a decade of service to baseball to dim the traditions built by Vancouver’s Mr. Baseball…the venerable old diamond sage who is outranked only by Connie Mack and Clark Griffiths in the honor role of active baseball executives.
And “active” is still the only word for eternal Bob.
Some Things Are the Same
Visiting him yesterday at his neatly-appointed office at 413 Granville street we found the freshman president of the Western International League tucked comfortably behind a desk piled high with correspondence, contracts, communiqués, and all the other paraphernalia of a bustling executive.
And Ruby Robert, far from the good green acres of his beloved spring training camp, hasn’t changed a bit. We asked him how things looked for the season. Just as if he’s turned after watching a rookie rap a curve ball into deep centre field, he looked up, chuckled and said:
“Looks like a great year, by jingo. Yessir…a great year.”
Only of course this time Bob was alluding to the league in general, not merely to the Vancouver ball-club, which is just now one-tenth of his domain.
Bob, boss of the only 10-team circuit in organized baseball, predicts an eminently prosperous year, principally because of two outstanding reasons: Edmonton and Calgary, the loop’s two freshmen members.
A Happy Anniversary?
“Calgary,” said Bob, “had more than $15,000 worth of box seats sold out 10 days ago. In Edmonton way back in February, the first call to the local “Knothole Gang” for two and a half times as many members as belong to the town’s football counterpart. They sold $2000 worth of tickets in the first day’ sale—with the weather at sub-zero temperatures, hardly conducive to thoughts of baseball.
“Even down in Wenatchee, the league’s supposed weak-sister,” he went on happily, “they’ve already sold out opening day and almost the entire opening series. In Victoria, they’re gunning for a 10,000 opening day attendance.”
Does look mighty encouraging at that, by jingo. We should know more about it around July 5—which happens to be Bob’s seventy-seventh birthday, a good say to start talking of a record-breaking year for President Brown’s WIL.

Southern Nine To Open Slate
GREENVILLE, Miss., April 14—Cotton States League directors announced after a private session Tuesday that the controversial Hot Springs baseball club, which was ejected last week after sign ing two Negro pitchers, would play on opening day.
The league issued a brief statement and then answered “no comment” to all questions.
The statement said:
“The Cotton States League will open April 21 as scheduled with the present eight members.”

The directors met after George Trautman, president of the National Association of Minor Leagues, ruled the Class C loop could not oust Hot Springs until a full hearing was held and a decision made.

No comments: