Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Evergreen League?

It seems when the Western International League was going to be revived in 1937, that wasn't the name that was originally planned.

Minors Sound Properity Note

...we already have on file an application for the Northwestern (Class C) League to be composed of Spokane, Yakima, Tacoma, Wash., and Lewiston, Idaho. These are four well established cities, and before the opening of the season we expect to have two more to make this at least a six-club circuit.
- The Sporting News, Dec. 10, 1936 (relaying a comment from an official of the Natl. Assn.)

Pro Ball for Con Jones Park
Six Club Circuit Planned to be Known As Evergreen League
[Vancouver Sun, December 19, 1936]
Vancouver is to be included in the new professional baseball circuit to be known as the Evergreen Tree League with Con Jones park the headquarters for the local league.
Teams from Spokane, Tacoma, Yakima, Bellingham, Aberdeen or Olympia from the state of Washington and Lewiston in Idaho are interested in the new league. A six team circuit is planned.
Shirley D. Parker of Yakima is the president and the league will carry a class “C” rating.
The league has joined the National Association and word was received here today that the entry of the Evergreen League has been accepted.
T.B. Jones is president of the local club and Noel Jones is the secretary. According to local officials, who have attended several organization meetings of the new circuit, it is planned to play night ball at the local park.
The Jones boys have been working on the scheme for some time and are enthusiastic over the prospect of some high class ball for the Vancouver fans.

Pro Ball for Jones Park
Vancouver Team in New Northwest Loop
[Vancouver Province, December 19, 1936]
After a lapse of more than a dozen years, professional baseball is due to return to Vancouver next summer. Organization of a league and its acceptance as a class C circuit was announced today by the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues at Durham, North Carolina. Simultaneously it was learned in Vancouver that a franchise would be operated her by Con Jones, Ltd. with Noel Jones as manager.
Noel stated that a strong team would be imported. Outstanding local players will be given a chance to make a place.
Sixty games are to be played at Jones Park in the East End with the schedule to open here in early May. Besides Vancouver, cities to be definitely represented include Spokane, Yakima and Tacoma in Washington and Lewiston in Idaho. A sixth franchise is held by P.B. Mitchell in Seattle and may be operated in Bellingham, Aberdeen or Olympia.
Bob Brown of Athletic Park Ltd. last held the professional franchise here in a league which included Edmonton, Calgary, Tacoma and Vancouver. At that time travelling expenses proved so heavy the league folded up.
YAKIMA, Wash.—Teams in the new Evergreen Baseball League, announced today at Durham, N.C., will play ball six nights a week, Royal (Hunky) Shaw, veteran big leaguer, said today in explaining the setup of the league.
“The league will play only night ball with 120 games on the schedule,” Shaw said. “Each club will carry fourteen players and a playing manager. No two teams will play each other more than three games in a row, and there will be six games a week, Monday out.”
Shirley D. Parker of Yakima is league president.

However, the Evergreen League never operated under that name:

Roger Peck, Tacoma Banker, Head New Class C Loop;
All Entries Backed by Wealthy Sportsmen
TACOMA, Wash.—With its organization complete, the Western International League, a Class C circuit, will open the 1937 season on April 27, Tacoma playing at Vancouver, B.C., at Lewiston, Ida., and Wenatchee at Spokane. The western opening of the circuit will take place one week later. Vancouver, with no Sunday ball, will open on Monday, May 3, against Yakima. Spokane will be at Tacoma and Lewiston at Wenatchee in other inaugurals scheduled for Tuesday, May 4.
The league was definitely organized when Wenatchee was accepted for the sixth franchise. Walla Walla also had a bid for a place in the league, after five clubs had posted forfeit checks earlier in the week.
Roger W. Peck, vice-president of the National Bank of Tacoma, and one-time business manager of the Tacoma club of the old Pacific International League, was elected president, following the resignation of Shirley D. Parker of Yakima, who was chosen when the circuit was organized as the Evergreen League two months ago. Hunky Shaw, Yakima franchise holder, is vice-president, and Nelson R. Hong, sports editor of the Tacoma News-Tribune, secretary.
The league plans a schedule of 120 games, closing on Labor Day. Present plans call for split-week series in each city in alternate weeks. The league player limit will be 15, including manager. The total population of the six cities in the circuit is 574,000.
The Western International League will offer this section its first Organized Ball in 15 years, or since the demise of the Pacific International League.
Sponsors Are Men of Wealth.
One of the factors that indicates success for the Western International is the financial stability of the sponsors. Each unit has wealthy sportsmen behind it.
As an indication of the optimism that prevails, reservation has already been made for the Bellingham territory. Bellingham was slated for membership this year, but the city had to be dropped becausde of the inability to get a lease on the city-owned ball park. The league has been assured a lease fo 1938. Aberdeen, Wash., is also expected to be ready next year, pointing the way for an eight-club league.
Work will begin here next week on the improvement of Athletic Park, which was used by professional leagues years ago. A lighting system will be installed and improvements made on the stand and field. Yakima interests plan to construct a new park at a cost of $45,000. Spokane will install lights in a modern, city/owned park. Vancouver has one of the finest parks in the Northwest, representing an investment of $70,000. It is owned by the franchise holders in the Canadian city. The Wenatchee city council has appropriated fund to light the park in the Apple City, while plans have already been made for the installation of lights in the new Lewiston park.
Joe F. Carr, promotion director of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, has notified President Peck that he will visit the Northwest and meet with league directors about March 15. Carr's visit is expected to give the new league considerable impetus in its promotional plans.
Franchise holders are T.H. Jones and Noel Jones, Vancouver; Hunky Shaw, Yakima; Shirley D. Parker and Hadyn H. Walker, Spokane; Albert Kurbitz, Lewiston; Tacoma Baseball Club, Joe Lanser president and Peter Mitchell, secretary, and Nevison and McClay, Wenatchee.
The league has opened headquarters at 412 Washington Building, Tacoma.
- The Sporting News, Feb. 25, 1937

Yakima's O.B. Club Girds for Fight with Independents.
YAKIMA, Wash.—Yakima's rival baseball forces, embattled and slightly embittered, have cleared their decks for what looks to be a fight to the finish, with Organized Ball in one corner, and independent ball in the other. As a result, the fans hardly know whether to warm up to the new Western International League or try to keep allegiance with the semi-pros.
It has been 15 years since the city had Organized Ball and most of today's fans remember only hazily the halcyon days of Bob Connally, Paul Strand and Tealey Raymond. Those were the days of the Pacific International League. With the departure of the Organized Game, independent ball had a revival and has steadily grown in popularity.
In 1935 and 1936, with George Burns, former Detroit and Cleveland first sacker, holding the reigns after his resignation from the Seattle Indians, interest reached the heights here. Last year, the independent Yakima Indians drew more than 90,000 paid admissions at 75 exhibitions and Northwest Semi-Pro League games and the city was described by the Kansas City Monarchs and House of Davids as one of the hottest independent baseball centers they had ever seen. The fans had their favorites on the independent team, so just now this inland Washington apple center of 25,000 is torn between two forces.
Royal (Hunky) Shaw, formerly with the Pittsburgh Pirates and long identified with the diamond pastime here has Yakima's franchise in the Western International and Shirley Parker, wealthy sportsman, backing the club, has started construction of a new lighted park, as the Independent Indians have the lease on the city's only other lighted diamond.
Burns will continue to manage the Indians, but Shaw has not announced his manager.
The Yakima O.B. club and the directors of the league's five other cities—Spokane, Tacoma and Wenatchee in Washington, Vancouver, B.C., and Lewiston, Ida.—are pushing their plans for a gala opening the night of April 27.

- The Sporting News, March 18, 1937

1 comment:

Kevin McCann said...

Hi, I'd like to get in touch with you about your blog. I'm editor of the SABR Minor League Committee newsletter and I'd like to mention your site in the next newsletter. Thanks! Kevin McCann