WIL Reverses Field to Lure More Fans
Caps to Open Season Here
By CLANCY LORANGER
[Vancouver Province, Jan. 21, 1953]
Western International League club officials, who tried to cut corner last season but only succeeded in cutting their own throats, box-office wise, have reversed their field this year.
Legislation pushed through at the two-day meeting which concluded Tuesday at Hotel Vancouver indicates that the WIL’s policy for 1953 is You’ve got to spend money to make money.
In an effort to make the league a Class A setup in fact as well as name, league delegates have, since the end of last season:
1. Elected a full-time president for the first time.
2. Thrown out the nine-man limit on “veteran” players which lowered the calibre of ball, and replaced it with a better-balanced 12-veteran rule. The league is also no longer required to carry kids with no previous pro experience.
3. Raised the league team salary limit to the highest it’s ever been in Class A at any time--$6300—a boost of $1100 over last year. With a manager’s salary added, some clubs will be paying out as much as $7500 a month.
4. Tuesday here they rejected a plan whereby clubs would play a full week in Calgary and Edmonton, thus saving considerably on transportation costs. They tossed it out in favor of the much more costly split-week stands on the prairies, because some of the teams, under the full-week setup, wouldn’t have played in the Alberta cities at all when the first half ended.
This came despite the fact the clubs were already facing heavy transportation costs—some jumps, such as from Salem to the prairies, will require bus fare in Vancouver, then plane fare from here to Alberta.
The clubs’ bid to bolster business at the box office with a finer product could mean higher admission prices around the circuit. But none of the delegates, who are bound by a minimum attendance charge but not a maximum, would commit themselves on this Tuesday.
CAPS AT HOME
In other league business yesterday, the league completed its wearisome schedule problem, with Hugh Luby ducking out every half hour or so for further revisions.
It calls for the Caps and Victoria to open at home a day ahead of the rest of the circuit. The locals entertain Lewiston here on April 23, Victoria playing host to Spokane.
Other openers, on April 24: Edmonton at Tri-City; Calgary at Salem, Yakima at Wenatchee.
First half schedule (approximately 73 games) ends July 1, the clubs launching the second half the next day. First half winner plays the second half winner in a best-of-seven series for the pennant at season’s end.
Alberta fans will have to wait longer for their first taste of pro ball since the 1920’s, Edmonton and Calgary opening at home May 11.
WIL Clubs Adopt New Schedule; Tyees Meet Spokane in Opener
[Victoria Colonist, Jan. 21, 1953]
Directors of the Western International Baseball League wound up their two-day meeting at Vancouver last night after arguing almost the full day on a tentative schedule.
A schedule drawn up by Hugh Luby, manager of Salem Senators, was finally accepted although there may be a few minor changes before the season opens.
Under the new schedule Victoria Tyees will open at home Thursday, April 23, against Spokane Indians, who finished second to them last season. Vancouver also opens at home the same day against Lewiston Broncos. The remaining clubs swing into action the following day with Edmonton at Tri-City, Calgary at Salem and Yakima at Wenatchee.
The prairie clubs will play their first home games May 11 with their opponents still to be decided.
The first half of the split schedule will wind up July 1 in Canada and July 2 south of the border. The second half will begin July 3 and run through to September 7. Winners of the two halves will then meet in a best-of-seven series for the championship. Main objection to the first schedule was raised by Victoria and Vancouver, which were scheduled for 25 home games in May and only nine in June.
Under the new schedule Victoria Tyees will be at home to Wenatchee on May 18, which will be the official holiday for May 24 this year; to Yakima on July 1 and to Salem on Labor Day. Tyees are still seeking a change which will put them at home on Coronation Day, June 2.
The opening Victoria series against Spokane will be four games, concluding with the regular two Saturday games on April 26, then the Tyees go on the road.
TWO PRAIRIE TRIPS
The prairie clubs will appear on the coast twice, early in June and late in July, and the coast clubs will make two trips to the prairies. Tyees open their first prairie trip June 26th and the second on July 12.
General admission prices were raised 10 cents to $1.00 per game, but tickets may be purchased at the former price by buying books of 11 tickets for $10. Reserve seat and box seat prices remain at last season’s level.
The clubs also adopted the Class “A” waiver rule which sets a price of $2,500 on any player picked up by a higher club at the annual minor-major conference,
The meeting wound up with a short discussion on umpires.
The next league meeting will be held at Spokane on June 8.