Tuesday, 11 March 2008

What's Ahead for Caps in '53?

[Vancouver Province, Nov. 21, 1951]
In the warm glow of Thursday’s sunshine, we took time off from pruning our banana tree to check up on a pertinent question.
“What,” we asked Ruby Robert carefully, “kind of a ball club we going to have?”
“What kind?” smiled Robert brightly, “why, a pennant-winner. Yessir, a pennant winner. No question.”
This question, of course was beating the gun by a robin or two, but Ruby Robert Brown, the old sage of Cap Stadium, was all set for it. Seated as he was behind his big desk out in the stadium office, he looked about all set to pop out between doubleheaders to check on the crowd.
“At this time of year,” he grinned, “we’ve always got a pennant winner.”
But Bob was not just grinning at this pleasant quip. He was reflecting the joyous lives and times of a baseball executive about to hit the trail for southern climes and the first fragrant whiff of another brand new season.
Like the Swallows to Capistrano
Yet, the grand old man of baseball, now well into the fourth quarter of a century of living for the game he loves, is once again headed for that baseball man’s annual Shangri-La, the National Association get-together.
This mass meeting of all major and minor league baseball executives is to R.P. Brown what Mecca is to the Mohammedans.
And this pending trip, to Phoenix, Arizona, is Bob’s 41st jaunt to those treasured gatherings of the clan, gatherings that usually plant the seed of prosperity or otherwise for dozens of professional ball clubs and hundreds of ballplayers. Not to mention Joe Phan, in his not-so-humble legions.
At Phoenix, for instance, Boss Brown expects to produce the manager for his 1953 edition of the Capilanos.
Brown won’t say definitely that Edo Vanni, the man who finished last season in the pilot’s seat, won’t be back as boss. But the inference, definitely, is that Edo, a colorless and none-too-inspiring helmsman, will be working elsewhere when the violets bloom again.
Edo Takes a ‘Hunting’ Trip
Bob does reveal that he has a large list of applications for Vanni’s job, but as to the identity of these applicants, about all that can be safely figured is none of them is Bill Schuster.
“Edo was down at the WIL meeting in Yakima the other week,” said Bob. “Bill Brenner (another ex-Cap pilot) was around, too, and so was Hugh Luby.
“Vanni just ‘happened’ to be on a hunting trop in the district but could he be was also shopping around for a 1953 berth with some other club, just in case.”
Vanni, we might interject, is known as one of the shrewdest shoppers in the business, and also as an acute sense of direction, particularly in regard to which way the trade-win is blowing.
“We,” said Bob, “we” meaning he and other Capilano Ball Club executives, “have talked over the managerial situation, and I hope to be able to make an announcement next week from Phoenix.”
Gophers’ Standing Room Only
Ruby Robert makes no bones about his delight over the entry of Edmonton and Calgary into the Western International League. He has dwelt fondly on this dream for a long, long time, and its sudden birth this winter has caused the shrewd old partriarch to just about bust his vest buttons.
“Edmonton’s John Ducey and Calgary’s Norm Lacey and Harold Cundal were all at the Yakima league meeting, and say, they’re really enthused about the idea.”
Bob himself is convinced that such will be the popularity of Class A baseball on the prairies that Ducey, Lacey, Cundal and Co. will have to build extra bleachers for the gophers.
“The Edmonton-Calgary entry is a fine move,” exults he, adding firmly, “No question.”
Down in Phoenix next week, Bob will once again be greeted by friends who number practically all the greats and non-greats of baseball—from Commissioner Ford Frick on down. But this year, one treasured friend will be missing. That will be big, bluff Earl Sheely, general manager of the Seattle Rainiers, who died this autumn.
“It won’t be the same,” Bob said quietly, “without big Earl.”
And it certainly wouldn’t be the same without our Ruby Robert, who on Sunday once again pushes off on his annual Big Adventure.

No comments: