Saturday, 4 October 2008

WIL Return Rumours

It Says Here…
[Vancouver News-Herald, July 13, 1945]
Everybody, including Bob Brown, who might be accused of having inside information, is agreement that professional baseball will be back among us next summer.
This state of affairs causes most horsehide fans to leap up and down with glee, but there is a certain element among the local diamond gentry that reached for its handkerchief and has a good sob when the subject comes up.
What’s To Become of …?
These last haven’t had a king-size cry since the Capilanos took over from the old Senior Leaguers. That’s right, they’re the folks who followed Johnny Nestman, Charlie Miron, Art McLarnan and Co., and to them there’ll never be anything quite like the old Senior League. Maybe they’re right at that.
The crying towel, of course, will be out this time, as it was last time, for the lads who are currently providing the baseball entertainment. What, the people want to know, is to become of them?
It’s quite true a number of the local favorites retired when the pros moved in on us last time. But for most of these fellows, it meant they were only retiring gracefully, instead of waiting for 40-inch waists to set it.
A few others, like Ross Edy and Ernie Kershaw, joined the pros, and held their own very nicely.
Bring Out Those Crutches
But there were a few others who had no intention of retiring to the safety of the third base bleachers. These lads wanted to play baseball, and they didn’t care if there were any people in the stands, or even if there were any stands.
They struggled along valiantly, playing good ball, and eventually drawing big, but somewhat non-paying crowds, down to the Powell Street grounds. They finally got their reward when the war shut the professionals down.
It’s for these fellows—Ed Henry, Bruce Thirsk, Ralph Stong, the Hall brothers, Reg Wallis—that the fans are wearing black.
But I wouldn’t drop too many tears for these lads. This is the last year for Coley Hall and Thirsk, anyway, and the last of the old guard have reached the stage that Miron and Straight had reached in the last crisis. Two more years, and they’d be playing in wheel chairs.
Except maybe for Ed Henry. Ed will probably stop playing ball just long enough to pick up his old age pension cheque.
A Spot For Sandy And Reg
However, it isn’t likely that the loyal fans will have to stand in shock of complete new set of faces playing under Vancouver colors.
There’s some bright young talent performing in the Senior League right now that should be able to step into the Western International setup without too much effect.
Sandy Robertson, a kid who can pitch, hit, field and run, is playing his best year to date, and is a great pro prospect. Reg Clarkson can do every Sandy can do, except pitch, is another.
A. & Q.’s Pat Thomas—a great team player—he plays to win, always, would hit pro pitching, despite his awkwardness, and does a nice job at third base.
Smart young men like Jerry Waitman and Danny Galvin, and Bellingham’s Dick Plant and Hal Arnason would be welcomed here, too, even if they were with some other W.I.L. club.
And it would be kind of nice to have a Holden on hand again. We’re not to proud to cheer a Brooklyn man.

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