Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rod MacKay, Vancouver Capilanos

I've received a note from Kit Krieger of SABR (more importantly, former clubhouse boy for the PCL's Vancouver Mounties):

Rod McKay, a former pitcher with the WIL Vancouver Capilanos, passed away on August 26th at the age of 78. McKay signed with the NY Giants organization in 1948 and ended his career with the Capilanos in 1954. His father-in-law, Johnny Nestman, was one of the great amateur players in Vancouver baseball history and played third-base against Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and other stars en route to Japan in 1934.

Click here for Rod's stats.

1952 is missing because SABR has him listed as Rod McKay for that year. Click here for that year.

Rod went to my dad's high school (King Edward in Vancouver) and was signed by the Giants at a try-out camp in 1949 at Olympia, Washington.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Couple of Baseball Blogs

Ken McIntosh of SABR has been involved in a labour of love for some time .. working on a book about the home of the Vancouver Capilanos of the WIL.

Check it his well-designed blog HERE. Most of it involves the present-day Vancouver Canadians but he does talk about his book.

Oh, yes, there's another labour of love he's working on, like many others who delve into old Class 'C' leagues or teams which folded long ago but live on in the memories of those with greying hair who saw them play as a kid. Ken is tracking the story of the New Westminster Frasers of the Northwest League. They were an independent team for one season.

Readers of the WIL blogs will remember how an attempt was made at putting a WIL team in New Westminster, with the logic that a Vancouver-New Westminster-Victoria rivalry, similar to lacrosse and hockey, would result in huge attendance games. In hindsight, it would have been a bad idea. That kind of local rivalry was already becoming obsolete, as Vancouver was now considering itself a big league city, especially with the creation of the WIFU's B.C. Lions and the 1954 British Empire Games. The PCL arrived in 1956 to leave a small-town league in the dust (until 2000 anyway) and then the NHL arrived in 1970 to banish any thought the city was on a sporting par with New Westminster.

Anyway, here's Ken's blog about the Frasers. It's a shame they couldn't make a go of it, especially considering Vancouver was not in organised baseball at the time, but the '70s were kind of a lost decade for minor league ball and the Frasers were rife with financial problems.