Sunday, June 24, 2007

Friday, August 29, 1947

              W  L Pct. GB
Bremerton .. 80 63 .558 —
Salem ...... 77 61 .558 ½
Vancouver .. 78 62 .557 ½
Spokane .... 79 56 .549 1½
Victoria ... 77 65 .542 2½
Tacoma ..... 66 75 .468 13½
Yakima ..... 56 86 .394 24
Wenatchee .. 52 88 .371 27

VANCOUVER [Keith Matthews, Sun, Aug. 30]—The count is now 19 victories for Jim Hedgecock and eight straight for the Capilanos. And they’re both still riding high.
Last night at Capilano Stadium Hedgecock strutted his dippy-doo as the Caps took their second straight series win from Bremerton in this WIL baseball crucial.
The game went to 10 innings this time, one over part for the course. Fans, in fact, are wondering what baseball par is.
Besides the game itself, which was brilliant and satisfying enough, the strange case of umpire Bill Abbey kept the filled stands in fits.
Abbey could do no right for our fans. In most of the cases Abbey's decisions could have gone either way. He could, you might say, be excused here. But in one instance Bill was definitely at fault.
This was in the final tenth, when the Caps rallied around for the winner, with a helping hand from Bremerton pitcher Bill Ahearn, who couldn't find the plate or any of the nearby corners.
Ahearn gave a double to Charley Mead as the rally started. Then he walked Bill Reese and Bill Brenner on nine pitches.
With Len Tran at bat Ahearn tried the little guy with a wide sweeping curve. The pitch bounced off catcher Frank Volpi's glove and rolled to the grandstand.
Enter umpire Abbey. The seet of balls and strikes was caught with his ground rules down and he mad no motion to wave Mead in from third.
Abbey, as a matter of fact, would have let the game go right on had not his partner, Johnny Nenezich, stormed in to inform Bill that the ball game belonged in the record books.
That was the end of it, but the in-between stuff was interesting. The Caps led early as Bill Brenner hit a two-run homer in the second.
Then the Brems got three back in the third as Ed Murphy ripped a double down the left field line. The ball hit awfully close to the foul line which side we won't say. Abbey said it was fair but it wasn't unanimous.
Tongith the Caps go for it all. A double-header, starting at 7:30, will find Carl Gunnarson spinning the short one and Bob Hall the other.
[WILfan note: Bremerton scored three in the third. Bill Barisoff brought home Murphy with an out. Only one was earned ... The Caps tied it in the bottom of the inning when Frank Mullens singled and Ahearn issued three walks in a row (Paul Carpenter, Mead, Reese)].
Bremerton ....... 003 000 000 0 — 3 7 1
Vancouver ...... 021 000 000 1 — 4 10 2
Ahearn and Volpi; Hedgecock and Brenner.

Tacoma at Victoria, postponed, rain.
Spokane at Yakima, postponed, rain.
Salem at Wenatchee, postponed, rain.


[Vancouver Sun, August 30, 1947]
Johnny Nenezich and Bill Abbey, a pair of WIL umpires who have stirred up some fun in the league this year, told us a fair yarn about this week’s forfeited game in Spokane.
This was the instance, you’ll remember, when Salem loaded the bases on Spokane with none out and the score tied 5-5 in the seventh. A couple of close decisions on the bases sent the Spokes into a fine lather.
“They say umpires neyer draw crowds,” said Nenezich. “That forfeit came in the first of a three-game set. There was only a fair-sized house there the night of the fun but the total attendance was 20,000 for the series. Maybe you think they didn’t come to get their shots at us,” Johnny went on.
“You know eggs cost ninety cents a dozen down there and I’ll be they threw fifty bucks worth at us in that series. That wasn’t all, either. Tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, carrots and potatoes. Everybody had their own ideas and ammunition,” laughed Nenezich.
“Bob Abel, the league president, came over from Tacoma to see what the trouble was. He walked across the field to talk to us and got an over-ripe tomato in the back of the neck. Man, was he sore,” Johnny exclaimed.
* * *
Umpires Nenezich and Abbey were particularly put out with the display Spokane centre fielder George Schmess showed.
Abbey said, “That Schmees, who was over 300 feet from third base (that’s where the close decision occurred) thundered all the way in to tell us we missed one. I told him to get back in the field and play ball, and the guy must have swore for ten minutes without repeating himself.”
“When I finally pulled the clock on him and turned my back, Johnny (Nenezich) saw him wind up as it to take a sock at me. That did it. We kicked Schmees out, and along with him Spokane manager Ben Geraghty and first baseman Herb Gorman, Then we cleared the field and forfeited the game to Salem,” Abbey finished.
“The thing that will hurt Spokane and those players is the money angle. The team gets fined an automatic $250 for forfeiting and there were individual fines for Schmees, Gorman and Geraghty of not over $25 by not under $15,” Nenezich finished.
* * *
He probably won’t win any manager of the year awards, but you can’t help but glory in the fact it looks like the Caps have found a manager who will be welcome to stick around for awhile.
Bill Brenner did get away to a slow start. After all, this was a new business for him. But the fans were on his neck, and for a few weeks it looked like Bill’s number was up.
But the guy learns fast. His timing for removing and staying with starting pitchers got better. He discarded some waste players and a only kept those who would be in there punching when he readied this gang for the stretch drive.
Then big Bill asked Bob Brown for one more pitcher, a first baseman and an outfielder. The Hunk Anderson for Carl Gunnarson trade was made. Then Jim Estrada was shipped out for Bill Reese. And finally Brown talked Seattle out of Paul Carpenter.
Now Brenner was ready. He had the players to make the move. It needed only the managerial stroke for the big push.
Then the Caps were in sixth place, thirteen and a half games out of the lead. Now, they are in third spot, a half a game from the front.
Brenner had been a good clutch leader all the time. He is cool and calculating in the c1utch, stabbing inspiration into his mixture of youth and experience. You wouldn’t care to count the number of games that Benner has broken up with clutch hits, home runs or otherwise.
* * *
And the Brenner system is working. The guy is probably the friendliest manager in the world.
Everyone on the team is a “pal” to Brenner. He’s big and tough but just about as malicious as a puppy. His ball club fights to the end for him. And they've been paying off.
There are quite a few fans who think Brenner is a veteran of the game. It is true that Bill has been playing baseball for some time, but his actual age is 25.
Bill was one of Oregon’s football heroes in his college days. Wouldn’t you know it, though, the way he blocks runners from scoring on long throws from the outfield.
Brenner, like any other baseball manager, has pulled some masterful boners this year. But right now he can do no wrong.
One of the Caps, who shall pass anonymous for now, was down in the dumps the other day because he wasn’t playing too much. And when he was playing he wasn’t hitting the ball.
An umpire sympathized with the player and said, “what’s the matter, kid, Brenner not giving you a fair shake?”
The kid shot back, “Not on your life, fella. That’s the fairest, squarest guy you’ll ever meet. He’s just all man, that Brenner is.”

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