Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tacoma 1937 Opener in Pictures

It’s always a treat running into Western International League photos on-line, especially now that some public libraries have had the common sense to digitise their image collections and put them out there for the world to see.

The Tacoma Public Library is no exception, and amongst its baseball pictures are a number of the Tacoma Tigers of the WIL. There are several of Opening Day, 1937. I’m going to link to two of them here and you can go HERE to search under baseball for more.

The caption reads the "Stadium in background is filled with capacity crowd of around 4,000 spectators." It also informs us Tacoma split the double header with Vancouuver, but lost the four game series 3-1. The park is at 1302 South Sprague. Oh, you can click on both of these to enlarge them.

The caption says "On May 2, 1937, Abner Bergersen, Tacoma commissioner of public works, presented a gold watch to Tacoma Tigers player-manager Eddie Taylor for hitting the first home run by a Tiger for the 1937 season. Besides managing the team, Taylor was also the teams regular 2nd baseman. After the presentation, the Tigers went on to split a double header against Vancouver in front of 4,000 cheering fans. They won the first game 3 to 1, but lost the second 10 to 5."

For those who aren’t aware, the Vancouver team was not the Capilanos until 1939. That’s when Bob Brown took over the franchise and managed it for Sick’s Capilano Brewery. From 1937 to 1939, the team was called the Maple Leafs and played in Con Jones Park (for many years known as Callister Park, across from the PNE on Renfrew). The Leafs had financial troubles; Brown’s Senior League amateur baseball apparently drew better than pro ball. I’m not sure how crazy I am about the Leafs’ uniform design. There’s no indication which Vancouver players are in the picture.

There’s another photo of Taylor leading off the game with a double.

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