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A SHORT HISTORY OF VANCOUVER BASEBALL

BOB BROWN

NORTHWESTERN LEAGUE
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FIRST NIGHT BASEBALL GAME IN CANADA

WESTERN INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE
Stories and scores on:
1937 Maple Leafs Opener
1946 CAPILANOS
1947 CAPILANOS
1948 CAPILANOS
1949 CAPILANOS
1950 CAPILANOS
1951 CAPILANOS
1952 CAPILANOS
1953 CAPILANOS
1954 CAPILANOS

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE
A NOTE FROM 1956

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Tigers Come from Behind to Capture Pro Ball Opener

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Internationals Give Sparking Display in First Appearance

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By BILLY FINLAY

[Vancouver Sun, April 28, 1937]

Crashing through with the deciding tally in the last frame, with two out and two strikes on the batter, Tacoma Tigers grabbed off the laurels over the Maple Leafs 5-4 in the return of professional baseball to Con Jones Park last night.

TACOMA         AB  R  H PO A  E

Taylor, 2b . . . . .    5  1   1    3   3   0

Lewis, rf . . . . . .     5  1   2    2   0   0

Storey, 3b . . . . .    5  1   2    0   1   0

Springer, lf . . . .     4  0   0   0   0   0

Hornic, cf  . . . . .    3  1   2   0   1   0

Raimondi, ss  . . .   4  0   1   2   3   0

Thompson, 1b . .   4  0   2 13   0   0

Millican, c . . . . .    4  0   0   1   3   0

Wilkie, p . . . . . .     3  0   0   0   4   0

Johnson, p . . . . .   0  0   0   0   0   0

Malman, p . . . . .    0  0   0   0   0   0

xMudge . . . . . . .    1  1   1   0   0   0

Guay, p . . . . . . .     0  0   0   0   0   0

                                --  --  --  --   --  --

    Totals:                38 5 11 27  12  0

VANCOUVER    AB  R  PO A  E
Harriman, ss . . .     5   1   3   2   3   0

Ferraris, 2b . . . .     3    1   0   2   3   0

Veiling, rf . . . . .       4   0   2   1   0   0

Colbert, cf . . . . .     4     1   2   0   0

L. Cecil, lf . . . . .      3   0   0   1   0   0

Correll, 1b . . . . .     4   0   0   6   0   0

Kerr, 2b . . . . . . .     4   1   1   4   0   0

Samhammer, c . .    3   1   2   9   0   0

Smith, p . . . . . . .     3   0   0   0   6   0

xxMountain . . . .    1   0   1   0   0   0

                                --  --  --   --   --   --

    Totals:                34 4 10  27  12  0

   xBatted for Johnson in 8th.

   xxBatted for Colbert in 9th.

Tacoma . . . . .  000 000 041—5

Vancouver . . . 000 030 100—4

2b—Kerr, Hornig. 3b—Veiling. Balk—Smith. Sacrifice Hit—Smith. Struck out—by Smith 8, by Johnson 1, by Malman 1, by Guay 0. Bases on balls—off Smith 1, off Wilkie 2, off Malman 1, off Guay 1. 8 hits and 4 runs off Wilkie in 6 1-3 innings. 0 hits and 0 runs off Johnson in 2-3 inning. 1 hit and 1 run off Malman in 2-3 inning, 1 hit and 0 runs off Guay  in 1 1-3 innings.  Victory to Guay. Stolen bases—Veiling, Ferraris. Hit by pitcher—by Wilkie (Cecil), by Malman (Cecil), Wild pitch—Smith. Passed ball—Millican (2), Samhammer (1). Double plays—Smith to Harriman to Correll. Left on base—Tacoma 6, Vancouver 10. Time of game—2:30. Umpires—Sutherland and Campbell.

The visitors took the verdict through a fighting finish when they rattled off a bunch of base hits in the eight stanza to tie the score with four runs, after being held runless all the way, and it was manager Eddie Taylor who scampered across with the winning marker in the next inning.

AUSPICIOUS OPENING

            Outside of the downfall of the Leafs, after giving a glittering display of baseball, the opening of the Western International League was all that was promised. The teams, decked out natty new uniforms, gave a finished display in the field and at the bat, and the 1500 or so customers were more than pleased with the smart performance.

Both teams played faultlessly in the field, not a semblance of miscue being made and outside of the slowness of the hurlers, the players showed professional training in all departments of the game.

            Henry Smith, a pitcher with a smooth action and plenty of control, had a tough finish after holding the enemy in check with a masterly display of hurling for seven rounds.

            The Vancouver hurler was touched up for five solid blows in the eighth after he got excited when Umpire Suds Sutherland called a balk against him. But the fans gave the Tigers credit for showing fight at a time when they looked like a well-beaten ball club.

WILKIE FAILS

            Lefty Wilkie, who pitched Arrows to the top of the local loop last year, started on the mound for Tacoma. He showed plenty of stuff most of the way, but was nicked for three runs in the fifth and when he was touched up rather lively in the seventh for another run, he was yanked in favor of a fellow by the name of Johnson.

            Eddie Taylor used four hurlers, Larry Guay, a smart-looking righthander, finishing up and getting credit for the victory, though he was in trouble when the final out was made on a close decision at first base.

            Mayor Miller of Vancouver and Mayor Smitley of Tacoma did the honors in opening the league in speeches and in the field. The Seaforth Pipe Band and a brass band paraded the grounds with the players looking real neat in the gay-colored uniforms. The Union Jack and Stars and Stripes flags were raised and the opening was put over the big league style.

            The same teams performs again tonight and Thursday at 8 o’clock. They move to Tacoma Friday for the remainder of the week.

CHATTER—Flashy uniforms, smooth playing and heady pitching caught the fancy of the fans who agreed that professional baseball has a lot of class . . . Tigers garnered 11 bingles against 10 by the Leafs . . . Sparking fielding stunts featured in which Gene Veiling, big right fielder for the locals scintillated with a one-handed grab against the fence . . . Elmer Smith also shone brightly by cutting off runs with fast fielding . . . Leafs had the only double play . . . Managers Johnny Kerr and Eddie Taylor have a lot of good baseball left in them despite long years of service . . . They make their plays look so easy . . . Taylor scored the winning run and Kerr was the only batter to lift a ball over the right field wall.

BOUQUETS—Veiling punched out the only triple, but he failed to score as the next three batters were also retired . . . Harvey Storey, former Athletic Park Leaguer, still packs punch in his bat . . . He poked out two solid blows for the Tigers . . . Harriman at short and Ferraris at third did some flashy fielding for the locals . . . Correll’s one-handed stab of Millican’s grounder in the third was one of the most sensational plays of a well-played game . . . Harriman picked off three safe hits to carry off the batting honors . . . Suds Sutherland behind the plate and Archie Campbell on the bases did a nice job of umpiring.

REFLECTIONS—The Leafs looked good to the fans despite the tough finish. Roger W. Peck, president of the league, was highly pleased with the smart play shown by the boys . . . Besides the mayor several directors of the Tacoma Club were the guests of the Jones boys at the park and they made themselves heard in that eighth frame . . . Six members of the Chilliwack Amateur Association were also guests of the park management . . . The natty appearance of the field attendants all fixed up in white as they polished off the field after the practise caught the fancy of the crowd. Tealy Raymond, the baseball fox from Bellingham, got a great kick out of the game . . . “A lot of smart ball players in those teams,” said the veteran as he greeted the sports scribes.

 

Tacoma Rallies

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Vancouver Leafs Edged Out in Ninth

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Tacoma 5; Vancouver 4.

TONIGHT’S GAME

8:00—Tacoma vs. Vancouver.

[Vancouver Province, April 28, 1937]

Vancouver has its own “Gas House Gang.” Scrappy, larruping, ball-hounding diamondeers, the Leafs seem to have that inborn spirit of pugnacity that should endear them to the baseball fan. That the dropped their opening game to Tacoma’s Tigers was only due to the breaks of the game.

Lanky, fiery “Hank” Smith was the hero and goat of the Western International League opener at Jones Park last night. He gave a sweet exhibition of  controlled pitching, proved an impregnable barrier for balls lined at him on the pitching mound, and precipitated a double play that left the 1000 chilled fans fazed by its speed.

BIG FIFTH.

After shutting Tacoma out for seven innings while his mates bagged four tallies Smith pulled a balk with Johnston on first. The ensuing five minutes was a tornado of charging ball-players, arguing, imploring and doing some fancy and assorted cussing. When the dust settled, the excitable Smith was back in the box and a Tiger rally was in full swing.

When it was all over four Tiger runs had crossed the platter, knotting the count. Leafs had their big inning in the fifth when Manager Johnny Kerr’s two-base smash out of the park over the short right-field fence swelled into a full-fledged three-run spree that slopped over into the seventh for another tally.

Kerr roosted on third when Ralph Samhammer poled out a long fly to centre but was caught trying to stretch it into a double. Stub Harriman’s single to centre scored Kerr and Harriman went to second when Angy Ferraris was passed.

DOUBLE STEAL.

Gene Veling, brilliant right fielder, popped a single to right to score Harriman, then came one of those rare treats of baseball, a double steal with Ferraris pilfering home. Raimondi tried to cut him off at the plate, but too late, and both were safe.

“Stub” Harriman provided the blow that scored Samhammer in the seventh, but the Tigers saved the day with a battling finish in the eighth and ninth frames.

With two away in the ninth, “Hank” Smith again returned to his role of “goat,” a wild pitch putting Taylor on second. Lewis singled to right to score him for the winning run.

TYERMAN

 

LEAFS NOSE OUT BY TACOMA IN PRO BALL START

Four-Run Rally In 8th Earns Tigers 5-4 Win In International Debut

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Tacoma Visitors Use Four Chuckers; Smith Goes Route

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Tonight’s Game—Vancouver Maple Leafs vs. Tacoma, 8:15 p.m.; Con Jones Park

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[Vancouver News-Herald, Apr. 28, 1937]

A four-run rally in the eighth inning, when they combed pitcher Henry Smith of the Vancouver Maple Leafs for five hits, gave Tacoma Tigers a 5-4 win in the first Western International League baseball game out at Con Jones Park last night.

That single scoring splurge wiped out a 4-0 lead that the Maple Leafs had built up in the fifth and seventh innings, and another counter in the ninth, when Manager Eddie Taylor of the Tigers singled to left field, went to second on a wild pitch and then pushed his brogans across the plate on Rick Lewis’ single to right, put the visitors on the top side of the ledger at the finish.

Up to that disastrous eighth canto the Leafs had made their debut before Vancouver fans an auspicious one. Following the opening ceremonies, where Mayor Miller of Vancouver managed to foul the first ball of the season as delivered by Mayor Smitley of Tacoma, the Leafs proceeded to cut loose with a sparkling exhibition of baseball.

A glittering double play, Smith to Harriman to Correll, had cut off the only chance of the visitors to score in the early stages of the game, and timely hitting by Harriman, Kerr and catcher Ralph Samhammer had pushed a neat four-run lead over the platter.

So handy, in fact, did the Vancouver sluggers prove to be at the plate, that Tacoma used four pitchers in the effort to halt the hitter. “Lefty” Wilkie, who was with the Arrows of Athletic Park last summer, lasted six and one-third innings before he was retired after the Leafs had collected eight hits and four runs. He was succeeded with the latter coming through by Johnson, Malman and Guay, smartly in the eighth and ninth to hold the Leafs in check.

Smith, in spite of his lapse in the eighth, pitched a beautiful game. He struck out eight, walked one and turned in the neatest fielding performance seen for some time. The double play he started in the third was a masterpiece and he ended up with five assists.

Manager Johnny Kerr started the Leafs scoring in the fifth when he doubled over the right field fence, went to third on Sanhammer’s single, and scored on a single by Harriman. Ferraris walked and Veling singled to score Harriman and chase Ferraris around to third. Then Veling and Ferraris pulled a double steal to score one more run before Colbern struck out to end the inning.

Singles by Samhammer and Harriman in the seventh, coupled with a sacrifice by Smith, produced the other Leaf tally.

A balk called on Smith in the eighth was the reason for the Tacoma rally. Mudge started the inning for the Tigers, pinch-hitting for Johnson, and he rapped a single to left field. On the next pitch umpire Sutherland called a balk on Smith when he stepped out of the box after commencing his windup and the Leaf pitcher was so worked up about it that only the intervention of manager Kerr prevented a minor war. Before Smith had called off the Tigers had laced out four singles and a double for four runs.

The Leafs made a gallant effort to the one-run deficit back in the eighth and ninth innings. In the eighth they filled the bases with two out only to have Smith retired when a third strike was called on him, and in the ninth there were two runners on base when Lonnie Cecil grounded out to first.

 

ELSEWHERE IN THE LEAGUE THAT DAY—

WENATCHEE—In a heavy hitting battle, Wenatchee Chiefs won 9 to 8 from Yakima Tuesday afternoon in their Western International League opener here.

Glenn Wright, Wenatchee manager, knocked a homer with one on, as did Ray Jacobs, Yakima manager. Yakima knocked pitcher Les Frost out of the box in the fifth to run in five scores and lead by one point until the last of the seventh.

Hank Bonetti, centre fielder, won the game for the Chiefs by a homer with one on that gave his team their one run lead. Jacobs flied out to Henry Blastic as the game ended.

Second baseman John Williams stroked two singles and a double for Wenatchee.

The linescore:

Yakima .......... 012 000 500—6 8 ??

Wenatchee .... 022 002 02x—9 14 2

Buzolich, Sanders (7) and Klawitter; Webber, Olson (9) and Duggan.


LEWISTON, Ida.—Spokane Hawks smothered the Lewiston Indians 16-3 in the opening game of the Western International League under the lights at Bengal Field last night when three Lewiston pitchers were unable to hold the visitors in hand.

It was a better night for hockey than baseball, some 2000 fans shivering through the melee. Lewiston pitchers walked eleven and Spokane three. Wild flings were frequent.

Manager Bernie DeVieveros led the Spokane attack with a triple and a home run.

The Hawks gap at firse base was filled just before game time by the acquisition of Walter Lowe, 18, from Oakland of the Pacific Coast League. He doubled and singled in four at bats.

The Indians also made two acquisitions of their own before game time, signing rookies William McMullin, an 19-year-old lefthanded first baseman, and pitcher Donald (Bud) Albright.  McMullin was hitless in his only at bat in the game while Albright did not see any action.

The linescore:

Spokane ...... . 003 005 143—16 11  2

Lewiston …. 000 100 200—   3   7  3

Fields and Volpi; Hanson, Rasmussen, Anderson and Metrovich.