1955 Snapshots        

Willie Curly Williams Barney Brown

Collins Jones


Three key members of the 1955 Lloydminster Meridians. Above left - shortstop / third baseman Willie "Curly" Williams in his first of his nine seasons with the Meridians. 

Williams had experience in both the Negro Leagues and pro ball (in the White Sox system) before heading north to continue his career. He had played with Carman, Manitoba, in the ManDak League in 1953 before a season of winter ball in the Dominican and a final season in Negro ball with the Birmingham Black Barons.

Above right - veteran Barney Brown had a Negro League career which stretched back to 1931. The left-hander was 47 when he first joined the Meridians in 1954. He had a superb season, making 11 starts, all complete games while finishing with an earned run average of less than 3.00.

Left - Slugger Collins Jones.  Robbed of the batting crowd in 1954 (when qualification was set on games played rather than at bats), Jones was traded from Moose Jaw to Lloydminster. The Meridians gave up their top hurler, Max Weekly, to get Jones who hit .331 and led the league in doubles and runs batted in.

(Photos courtesy Leola Brost)

Below - Regina catcher Bill Schulz at Taylor Field, Regina, 1955. Schulz, from Fresno State University, had earlier played in Gilbert Plains, Manitoba, and Kamsack, Saskatchewan.

Bill Schulz at Taylor Field, Regina

    Below - Bill Schulz in the on deck circle - 1955, Regina. 

Bill SchulzTom Higa

    Above left - Catcher Bill Schulz.  (Photos courtesy of Bill Schulz)

    Right - Tom Higa of the Moose Jaw Mallards.

    Below - three of the 1955 Moose Jaw Mallards (left to right) Bill Sheffield, Roy Arnold and Rich Rubio.

Bill SheffieldRoy ArnoldRich Rubio

Joe KretschmarStan Kulka

Above Left - Shortstop Joe Kretschmar, up from the University of Arkansas to join the Saskatoon Gems of the Western Canada League. Kretschmar had Canadian experience the previous season playing in the Halifax & District League with the Liverpool Larrupers.

Above Right - Edmonton catcher Stan Kulka, a local athlete with two seasons of professional experience.

Below - Bob Bayless of the North Battleford Beavers slides home safely with the Beavers' first run in a 4-3 victory over Edmonton Eskimos.

Lou Green had slashed a single to right to bring in the first sacker as the throw to catcher Stan Kulka was not nearly in time. Umpire Johnny Lupul looks on. [Edmonton Journal, June 30, 1955]

Bayless scores

Ken Nelson & Ralph Masbee



Good friends for a few minutes before their clubs opened the Western Canada Baseball League schedule Wednesday night. At the left is Kenny Nelson, playing manager of the North Battleford Beavers. His smiling partner is Ralph Mabee, general manager of the Saskatoon Gems, who took the opener 5-3. (Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, June 9, 1955) 

Jim Shirley Night





Jim Shirley, catcher for the Saskatoon Gems of the Western Canada League, was showered with gifts from the fans and teammates Friday night at Cairns Field. It was "Jim Shirley Night" and the response to pay tribute to the popular player was tremendous. Shirley is pictured making his thank you speech. His mother is seated in the background, just in front of members of the North Battleford Beavers.


Team bosses

Above - Western Canada League carries on -- All six clubs in the Western Canada Baseball League signified their intentions of continuing next season at a meeting in the Macdonald Saturday and Sunday. Those present were, from left to right - front row - W.A. Thorpe, Lloydminster, Brant Matthews, Edmonton, Cliff Henderson, Moose Jaw, WCBL president, and Keith Erne, North Battleford. Back row - Ralph Mabee, Saskatoon, Denny Evenson, Regina, Lloyd Rathwell, Moose Jaw, and John Ducey, Edmonton.

Below - Three key figures with the 1955 Saskatoon Gems. Cliff Pemberton, the batting champion, pitcher Don Kirk, an outstanding Canadian hurler, and manager Ralph Mabee.

Pemberton, Kirk, Mabee

1955 SNAPSHOTS page one >>>