Season For WIL, Two Winners Play-Off
YAKIMA, Nov. 11—The Western International Baseball League, with 10 teams participating, will play a split season with a seven-game playoff in 1953, its directors decided Tuesday.
The annual meeting of the directors, which opened Monday, was recessed at 2:30 a.m. and will be convened again in Phoenix, Ariz., Dec. 1. The National Association of Professional Baseball Clubs will meet in Phoenix on the same date.
The directors concluded this other business:
1. Decided to play 144 games opening April 24 and concluding Sept. 7.
2. Set the veteran limit at 14, five more than in 1952, but with the proviso that only six could be signed who have played 45 games in the case of catchers, infielders and outfielders and pitched 45 innings in the case of pitchers in leagues higher than class A. They are to be known as “classification veterans.”
3. Set for final vote, at the Phoenix meeting, a motion that the salary limit for each club be raised from $5200 monthly to $5700 monthly to reach the limit set for leagues of A classficiation.
The principal business at Phoenix will be the adoption of a schedule, either submitted by Hugh Luby, general manager of the Salem club, or another to be drawn. The schedule provides for two Canadian clubs Edmonton and Calgary, to open two weeks later than in the States.
Calgary and Edmonton were added to the league at the end of the 1952 season, making it a 10-member loop. The circuit now extends from Salem, Ore., in the south to Edmonton, in the north, and includes Spokane, Lewiston, Idaho, Yakima, Wenatchee, Tri-City, Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary.
All officers were re-elected: Robert Abel of Tacoma, president; Roy E. Hotchkiss, Spokane, first vice-president; Frederick Mercy, Jr., Yakima, second vice-president; and George F. Abel, Tacoma, secretary.
Later in Spokane, Hotchkiss said the league directors decided they need a full-time president and that Abel indicated he couldn’t take the job on that basis.
Abel, the WIL president for the last 10 years, is an attorney for one of the major railroads.
Hotchkiss said the WIL is looking around for the best man and hinted that applications are now being sought. The new full-time president, whether it be Abel or someone else, will be chosen at a January meeting, he said. Hotchkiss is a prominent dairy farmer here and owns the Spokane Indians.
Tri-City business manager Richard Richards was directed to prepare a 1953 operating plan for the Braves for consideration by the WIL board at the major – minor league meeting in Phoenix, Ariz. next month.
Tri-City fans are attempting to raise funds to buy Richards’ majority stock in the club to keep organized baseball in the Richland-Kennewick-Pasco area. Richards has offered to sell out or transfer the franchise to Eugene, Ore., saying he cannot continue to operate in the Tri-City area under the existing setup.
Willy League Searching for Fulltime Prexy
YAKIMA, Nov. 11— The expanded Western International -Baseball League is on the lookout for a full-time president.
Director Roy E. Hotchkiss announced this in Spokane Tuesday after WIL directors met here and decided on a split season with a seven-game playoff in 1953.
Hotchkiss said directors decided the league, expanded to ten members by the addition of Calgary and Edmonton, needs a fulltime president. He said Robert Abel of Tacoma, who has headed the league for years, indicated he couldn’t take the job on that basis.
The Spokane director said the new fulltime president will be chosen at a January meeting. Directors decided to play 144 games, starting April 24 and ending Sept. 7. In next year’s split season the team leading the league in the first half of the season will meet the last-half winning in the playoff.
In a rule change, WIL directors set the veteran limit at 14, five more than this year. But they added a proviso that only six could be signed who have played more than 43 games in the case of catchers, infielders and outfielders, or have pitched more than 45 innings in leagues higher than Class A. They are to be known as “reclassification veterans.”
Eye Salary Limit
Directors also proposed to change the salary limit for each club from $5,200 monthly to $5,700 monthly, to reach the maximum set for Class A leagues. A final vote on this was set for next meeting in Phoenix, Dec. 1.
The WIL directors will meet there coincident with a meeting of the National Association of Professional Baseball Clubs