Sunday, July 29, 2007

Bob Robertson, Part Two

More on Bob in a moment - but first:

Yes, it's having an effect on the blog. Some of the stories, linescores, standings and other material I've been putting up has come only due to library research and the libraries are behind pickets indefinitely. So that's why things are on hold. Sorry. I have a skeleton of the rest of the 1949 season in draft form awaiting scores and other material to flesh it out for posting.

1950 will be a bit easier. Tri-Cities entered the league and the local paper for that year is on-line. As well, another Washington State paper available on-line stepped up its coverage in 1950, though the camera which took pictures of the pages was not focused properly (it wasn't in 1949; why that was never corrected, I'll never know) so not all the stories or linescores are intelligible. However, once summer ends, I won't be posting due to other things going on in life so things will stagnate here indefinitely.

The first reference I can find to one in the WIL is at the end of the 1949 season when Art Pennington was sent to Salem from Portland.

Looking for something else, I found a reference to Bob doing WIL play-by-play, though he apparently did it to the United Press on something other than the game. Here's the story from 1950:

Umpire Mobbed by 1,000 Irate Fans, Feud With Manager Thompson Cause
WENATCHEE, Wash., May 23, (UP)—Approximately 1,000 irate baseball fans rioted and mobbed a base umpire Sunday night at the conclusion of a Western International League doubleheader.
The fans, irked at what they believed the fulfillment of a public threat by the umpire to "get" Wenatchee manager Tommy Thompson, were finally dispersed by police after they pummeled base ump J. "Doc" Regele as he made his way to the umpires' dressing room.
Before the start of the series between Wenatchee and Tri City here Friday, Regele had said he was out to "get" Thompson. He ejected the manager during the course of tonight's game.
In the final innings, Regele made numerous calls which gave Tri City a decided edge, radio broadcaster Bob Robertson reported.
With the score tied 6-all in the ninth, Dick Faber of Tri City hit a blooper to second baseman Buddy Hjelmaa. Hjelmaa fielded the ball on the first bounce and tagged Artie Wilson as the runner went by, Robertson said.
Regele called Wilson safe, and two Tri City runs were scored.
Hjelmaa vociferously protested the decision, and was thrown out of the game as pop bottles rained around the umpire.

As the contest ended, with Tri City winning 8-7, the fans poured out of the stands, throwing pop bottles, seat cushions and rolled-up newspapers. They swarmed around Regele, and he had to fight his way through the throng to reach the safety of the dressing room, Robertson said.

Pop bottles. It was a kindler, gentler time.

Just as a side note, Buddy had been with the Capilanos in 1948 but he and Bob Stumpf were sent to the Great Falls Selectrics in the Pioneer League the next year. The two teams had a working arrangement with the Seattle Rainiers that really shouldn't be a surprise. Great Falls had been known for years as the Electrics, but became the Selectrics in 1949, named after a beer manufactured by—Emil Sick. Sick sold the brewery later that year. In addition, former Seattle outfielder Dick Gyselman managed (and I think had part ownership in) Great Falls in 1948.

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