Saturday, June 2, 2007

Season Opens! Games of April 26, 1946

               W L  Pct GB
Bremerton .... 1 0 1.000 —
Salem ........ 1 0 1.000 —
Spokane ...... 1 0 1.000 —
Wenatchee .... 1 0 1.000 —
Tacoma ....... 0 1  .000 1
Vancouver .... 0 1  .000 1
Victoria ..... 0 1  .000 1
Yakima ....... 0 1  .000 1

SPOKANE — The Spokane Indians Friday night shut out Vancouver 5-0 behind the two-hit pitching of Milt Cadinha to open their Western International baseball league season.
A crowd of 3,681 watched Bob Paterson open the scoring with a two-run double in the first inning and cheered the Indians in another two-run splurge in the eighth.
Palica and Conover of Vancouver held Spokane to five hits, but four Canadians errors and the visitors' inability to reach scoring territory sealed their fate.
Paterson scored Dunn and Picetti with his double, then sneaked home himself as Vancouver was running down Levi McCormack between first and second.
In the eighth inning, Picetti walked and scored on a third base error. Paterson scored a moment later when Conover fumbled McCormack's infield fly.
Only Ray Spurgeon and Frank Mullins hit for Vancouver. None of the Canadians advanced past second base.
- - - -
SPOKANE, Wash. [Alf Cottrell, Vancouver Sun, Apr. 27]—They say it was Spokane’s turn to win an opening game, and swarthy Milt Cadinha turned that forecast into reality for the Indians by blanking the Vancouver Capilanos, 5-0, in the local Western International League baseball opener here last night.
Opening night is a good time to be right and little Milton was right for this cold and clammy eve. He struck out 13 Caps and allowed but two hits as 4000 win-wacky home fans cheered to the echo, or very close to it.
The Caps bobbled on the first hitter and could never really un-track themselves thereafter, despite a fair pitching job by right-hander Alex Palica during the seven stanzas that he operated.
The big inning for the Indians and the one that made the Vancouver nine look smaller than the payoff circle in a slot machine was that first one.
Mayor Art Meehan had barely tossed a slow bouncer toward the plate before our Caps had gotten three men out—all of them Caps.
Then Spokane shortstop Bill Dunn advanced to the plate and bounced on along the same general lines as the mayoral pitch, but right at Vancouver shortstop Al Kretchmar. Al raced in, chose to play it on a bad hop and as a result came up with everything but the ball. Youthful Vic Picetti, flashy ex-Oakland first baseman, hit sharply to left for one of those foul line doubles that are in the poorest kind of taste, and Spokane was one up and four to go, as it turned out.
Bob Patterson, six-foot-three centre field[er] for the Indians, then hit a howling single into centre and we were two down as Picetti tallied. Then followed a double steal on which Patterson scored as Levi McCormack, who had walked, was run down at second.
Mr. Palica decided right there that the Indians had had it, as far as he was concerned. In one streak he retired 14 consecutive batters with nary a man reaching first.
Cap manager Sylvester Johnson sent pinch-hitter big Sid Van Sindern in for Palica in the first of the eighth. It cost another couple of runs, apparently, to have Sid strike out that inning, as Dick Conover, who took over for Palica, hit a two-run gob of trouble almost instantly.
Prior to that outburst of charity the tiny brigade of Cap rooters on hand always had a feeling our side might overcome the three-run deficit, but that collection of Estrada made the defeat official.
FOUL TIPS—On the credit side, Palica looked great after a jittery start. The jitters weren’t on his part. Estrada, strikingly cool, nonchalantly made a brilliant catch of a foul fly away back and beside the fence. The Caps outfield of Frank Mullins, Earl Silverthorn and Cleve Ramsay all made smooth running catches.
Watts Gulan, bow-legged jumping-jack at third base for the Caps, pulled a muscle in his side first time at bat and had to give way to Estrada.
Silverthorn hit one 380 feet to the foot of the fence in centre field but it was caught, as were bow blows almost as lustily tagged by Mullins and Frank Gosney. All would have been homers in Capilano Stadium up our way.
Manager Johnson will shoot the huge Mr. Doug Ford at the Spokane hitters tonight, and all hands are sort of hoping it’s our turn now.
- - - - -
SPOKANE [Clancy Loranger, Vancouver News Herald, April 27]—Vancouver Capilanos got their “nervous [unreadable]” out of their system here last night. Looking somewhat less than world beaters, Sylvester Johnson’s hirelings didn’t hit, didn’t field, and didn’t win their Western International League opener with the Spokane Indians at Ferris Field.
They went down to the Tribe, 5-0.
Close to 4000, which is slightly below the pre-game estimate of 10,000, saw the inaugural but a city bus strike and the cold took a heavy toll.
The Caps just didn’t have it at the dish, right hander Milt Cadinha cutting them down with two singles and 13 strike-outs. Only once, the third inning when catcher Ray Spurgeon got the first Vancouver blow, did our Caps come close to scoring—and then they weren’t even too close.
A walk sent Spurgeon to second but after the next two batters had whiffed the Canadian catcher was nipped trying to steal third.
Alex Palica, Vancouver’s starting hurler, was pushed to a ticklish start when shortstop Al Kretchmar muffed a grounder that Bill Dunn, the first Spokane batter, banged at him.
Vic Picetti, the Oakland first-base chattel Spokane has apparently decided to keep, crossed the Caps up by left-handing one to left field then going to second and Picetti taking second on the throw.
Big Bob Paterson, who has the tough job of taking over in centre field where Dwight Aden was so popular here for years, made the folks forget Aden momentarily by powering one to left centre for two sacks and a run.
A walk and a fielder’s choice put Patterson on third and he scored run number three while Chief Levi McCormack was being chased down between second and third after attempting a steal.
After that inning, Palica hit the stride that won him 10 games in the Coast League last summer. The next 14 Spokane batters went out in order and Alex gave up just one more safety before retiring for a pinch-hitter in the eighth.
Southpaw Dick Conover took over on the Vancouver mound in the eighth, but he was wild. He walked three and the three passes combined with two blows and another Cap miscue sent two more runs across and sawed up the ball game.
Cuff Notes—Hefty Doug Ford is Manager Johnson’s choice to do the tossing in tonight’s second game with lefty Jim Hedgecock likely taking one of the Sunday assignments . . . first casualty of the season is Watts Gulan, sparkplug third sacker . . . Watts swung too hard at a Cadinha offering in the first inning and tore a muscle in his back . . . Jimmy Estrada took over the hot corner . . . the Vancouver fielding, which was supposed to be the strong point, was mostly un-good . . . Art Bonnell dropped a blooper. Spurgeon tossed one into the dirt at second and Estrada whiffed on a Conover throw to third . . . Besides Frank Mullens, who got the second Vancouver hit, Cleve Ramsay looked good at the platter, he didn’t hit safely in four tries, but he seemed to be at home with a bat in his hands . . . Owner Sam Collins of Spokane missed the opener . . . he’s hospitalised with a bad leg . . . Also among the missing . . Glenn Wright, who was deposed as manager in a surprise move Thursday.
Vancouver .... 000 000 000—0 2 4
Spokane ....... 300 000 02x—5 5 0
Palica, Conover (8) and Spurgeon; Cadinha and Cole.

BREMERTON — Bremerton made its bow as a professional baseball league city in promising fashion, defeating Tacoma 5 to 1 before a crowd of 2,700.
Clarence "Beak" Federmeyer tossed the inaugural night victory, giving up seven scatterd hits, while Bremerton collected nine blows off four Tacoma flingers.
Tacoma ....... 100 000 100—2 7 3
Bremerton .... 000 210 02x—5 9 0
Martin, Youngblood (6), Jiminick (7), Dupuis (8) and Kemper, Kuper (7); C. Federmeyer and Volpi.

WENATCHEE — Fred Harrington, Wenatchee shortstop, poled a long single into center field to score two runs in the last of the ninth and give the Wenatchee Chiefs a 4 to 3 victory over Victoria.
2,500 fans braved the cold, windy weather for the inaugural, which featured the opening pitch delivered by Elsi Beth Halvorsenn, queen of the Apple Blossom Festival.
Wenatchee took a one-run lead in the sixth but Ed Murphy homered for Victoria in the eighth to tie the score and his long single in the first of the ninth scored two runs to put the Athletics ahead. Two Wenatchee singles and an error put three men on base to set the stage for Harrington's game winning single in the last of the ninth.
Victoria .......... 000 000 012—3 6 2
Wenatchee ..... 000 001 012—4 9 2
Ferrera and Mulcahy, Cronin, Babbitt (9) and Fitzgerald.

YAKIMA—Salem Senators scored six runs in the first two innings in blasting starting pitcher Joe Kralovich from the mound and coasting to a 12-4 victory over the Yakima Stars Friday night before an overflow crowd of 4,100 chilled fans who had gathered to see the resumption of Western International League baseball after a five-year lapse.
George Vico, Senator first baseman, hit four singles and drove in six of the visitors’ runs. Frank Luccesi, leading for Yakima, had three singles which brought in three runs.
Former Washington Senator Harlond Clift went hitless.
Salem ....... 240 040 002—12 12 4
Yakima ...... 000 000 022—4 8 4
Kowalski and Salmon; Kralovich, Bohnen (2), Strait (6), Ward (9) and McConnell.

Cox No Star in Yakima
YAKIMA [TSN] Yakima received a severe blow just before the opening, when the club was informed that optioning of Carl Cox, slugging shortstop from Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League, has been cancelled by President W.G. Bramhan of the National Assication on the ground he had been out on option three previous times ... President Fred Mercy then tried to buy Cox outright, but Hollywood refused to sell.
[WILfan note: Cox only appeared in nine games with Hollywood in 1946 and played no other baseball. He was with Hollywood again in '47 and part of '48, when he was sent Buffalo and finished his playing career.]

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