Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Help for Spokane - 1946

Baseball Clubs From Minors To Majors Offer Help To Grief-Stricken Spokane
Spokane, Wash., June 26—(AP)—Organized baseball opened its heart today to help reconstruct the Spokane Indians baseball team, slashed to three active players Monday night when a bus crash carried eight of their deaths and injured seven other players and the driver.
Offers of player help came not only from the Class B Western International league where Spokane was battling to rise from fifth place, but from major and minor leagues across the nation.
The president of the league, Robert B. Abel of Tacoma, was to arrive in Spokane today to discuss emergency action to recruit players from other clubs and enable Spokane to finish its season.
Owner Sam W. Collins, directing the Indians for the first time this year, was too busy assisting relatives of victims to plan a resumption of play immediately. He was determined, though, to finish the season because "the boys themselves would want the game continued."
Collins was encouraged to try again by a wire from Branch Rickey, president of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the National league, who promised "every possible effort" to send players and help locate a new "manager if necessary."
President W. G. Bramham of the National Association of minor leagues also offered all help possible.
President Clarence Rowland of the Pacific Coast league said in Los Angeles he had urged coast teams surplus players to the Indians. William H. Klepper, Portland's general manager, said the Beavers and all other coast clubs would "lend a hand" in reconstruction, and Spokane's opponents in the Western International circuit were reviewing their rosters to decide what players to lend the Indians.
Spokane will not attempt to compete at least until July 4, though other league teams will resume play Wednesday night.
When reorganization of the team begins, Collins will start with three uninjured men — Pitchers Milt Cadinha and Joe Faria, who drove to the coast in a private automobile and escaped the crash, and Infielder Fred Lanifero, optioned to Spokane by San Diego just before the tragedy.

Pacific Coast Rushes to Assistance Of Spokane Squad; Players Volunteer
SAN FRANCISCO, June 25. (UP) Pacific Coast baseball players, owners and fans, grieving over the accident which took the lives of eight Spokane Indian baseball players last night, today were getting down to business of helping help the Spokane team 'carry on" in its Western International League competition.
The Oakland Acorns of the Pacific Coast League, which has a tie-in with Spokane, said it had been deluged with calls from former players who offered their services.
"Bill Proutt, who formerly played first base for the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Missions, called in to offer his temporary aid as a first baseman," said general manager Vic (Cookie) DeVincenzie of the Oaks.
DeVincenzie said he had just sent a trio of players up to Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League, and these may be shifted over to help out at Spokane.
Meanwhile, President Clarence (Pants) Rowland of the Coast League appealed to all clubs to help out the Spokane team, so that it could fuifill its schedule.
DeVincenzie was especially disconsolate at the loss of two of his budding young stars.
One was Vic Picetti, the 19-year-old first baseman who had been headed for the major leagues "This Picetti boy had a brilliant future ahead of him," said DeVincenzie. "Nearly all the major league clubs were after him. I had a call last fall from Jim Gallagher of the Chicago Cubs who was interested in buying him. The Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees also were interested in him when we signed him to his first professional contract.
DeVincenzie revealed that he had revived a letter from outfielder Bob Patterson yesterday in which Patterson told of his progress. The youthful star was hitting .323 and had 16 stolen bases so far this season — and seemed certain to advance to the Coast League not later than next year.
Picetti, Patterson and another one of the victims, Bob Kinnaman, were out on option from Oakland to Spokane.

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