Monday, 10 March 2008

WIL October Meeting

W.I.L. Owners Just Talk Alberta Cities Want In
[Victoria Colonist, Sept. 27, 1952]
Faced with grave problems which must be settled long before the start of the next baseball season, officials of the Western International League accomplished little but preliminary discussions at yesterday’s meeting in Seattle.
About the only definite news to come out of the gathering was that plans of Dick Richards, majority stockholder in the Tri-City Braves, to sell his stock to the Tri-City Athletic Association were approved.
League-president Bob Abel stated that it was hoped that the transaction would be completed within 30 days. The association includes residents of Pasco, Kennewick and Richland, and owns the Tri-City ball park.
The annual league meeting was scheduled for Yakima on November 10 and indications are that it will be a lengthy session.
Much of yesterday’s discussion centred around the possibility of including Calgary and Edmonton in the league for next season.
No announcement was made of league plans concerning Calgary and Edmonton, but a majority of owners are known to favor the inclusion of the two Alberta cities.
Just what arrangements can be made remains a matter for conjecture. It is hardly likely that the W.I.L. will entertain the possibility of a 10-team league, so if Edmonton and Calgary come in it means that two of the present franchises will have ton be moved. The finger points right at Tri-City and Wenatchee, most of the other owners believing they are unable to support class “A” baseball. However, officials from both cities are determined to stay and are conducting all-out campaigns to raise the necessary finances.
Meanwhile, there was cheering news from Alberta. Edmonton’s John Ducey and Calgary’s Sam Timmins, the former hockey goaltender who is representing Calgary interests, were quoted in a Canadian Press dispatch from Calgary as saying they are ready to enter teams in the W.I.L.
Ducey and Timmins met Wednesday and yesterday with other baseball men from the two cities and agreed that “the two cities are ready for class ‘A’ baseball and we’re all set to give it to them. “We’re certain we can attract anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000 fans in the two cities with class ‘A’ ball,” Ducey said, pointing to the support accorded both hockey and Canadian football in the sports-mad Alberta centres.
“All they have to do is say the word and we’re in,” Timmins added, stating that groups of oil-men in each cities are ready and able to give financial support.
Buoyed by this report, the W.I.L. is expected to send a representative to Alberta before the annual meeting to discuss possible arrangements.
There was no word from Seattle regarding the possibility of a full-time president, but it is believed that this will come up for discussions in Yakima. More and more, club owners are realizing the league’s biggest need is a full-time operative at the top. The only question now is whether or not they can find a suitable man.

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