News & Notes Western Canada Baseball

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Update : 16 September, 2021

Wilkie headlineRed Star    Thanks go out to Glen McDonall for sending along material on his grandfather, pitcher Glen Wilkie a standout hurler in the 1920s and 1930s in Edmonton and area.

Among other things, he forwarded a copy of a letter from 1930 advising of the payment of all of $25 for the use of Wilkie to pitch in a tournament in Camrose.

Red Star    From the material sent, we were able to re-do the 1935 snapshot photo of Wilkie (also seen on the Snapshot page above) along with several entries for the Alberta Photo Gallery of 1933 - Eric Dolighan, Johnny Gerlitz, Fred Henderson, Phil Maher, Ed McHugh, Stan Mohr, Cliff Robinson, Hop Wilkie and Glen Wilkie

Red Star    Newspaper stories on Henderson allows us to combine three different Henderson Catcher entries into a Fred Henderson line covering a period from 1918 to 1935.

Red Star    In checking out some boxscores in 1933, happened upon a newspaper photo of the 1933 Edmonton Young Liberals, a junior team.  It seems notable as several of the names became prominent senior players in the following years, including the likes of Carl Loblick, Rusty Wynn, Russell Dolighan, Duke Baer, and Fred Lupul.

14 September, 2021

Red Star    OK, back to school !

After quite the crazy summer, which included extreme heat and then forest fires pretty close to home, it's time to try and fill in some more blanks in our baseball coverage.

Our Rich Necker is doing his best, digging out gems this time from back in 1921 for prairie ball.

Red Star    The Alberta coverage includes game reports and rosters for the Edmonton Senior League, Mercantile League, Calgary City League, Hand Hill semi-pro league (which included a few former pros from the Western Canada circuit and local stalwarts such as Lester Slim Haynes), the Central Alberta League, Rosebud League, Lethbridge City League and more.

Red Star    Over in Saskatchewan, there's game reports and rosters for The Regina Northside League (and it's second division clubs as well), the Saskatoon City League and Mercantile League to name just a few.

Red Star    And, in Manitoba, we concentrate on the Winnipeg Senior League, Western Manitoba League and Brandon City League. But, in addition, there are snippets on many smaller leagues.

The amateurs of the Winnipeg Senior League drew big crowds, 5,500 for one double-header at Wesley Park early in the season. Keep in mind, the city also had a pro team, the Winnipeg Maroons, competing in the Western Canada League with Calgary, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Regina and Moose Jaw.

Mel KerrRed Star    Among the photos added to the Saskatchewan Photo Gallery of 1921 are those of Mel Kerr, Jack Leachman, Frank Lyle and Guy Pool/Poole. Kerr (right), an all-sports star in Saskatoon, advanced to the major leagues for one game with the Cubs in 1925 as a pinch runner. The 22-year-old scored a run, but that was the extent of his MLB career. The speedy outfielder played in the minors for five seasons.

We've added in Herb Foreman and Darky Bouchard to the Manitoba Gallery and the Alberta Gallery adds in Mooch Gill, Norman "Dutch" Gainor and Frank "King" Kelly.

In a bit of a weird twist, we did find some statistics for the Saskatoon City League of 1921, but no hitting averages, mainly just pitching stats with just stolen bases and extra base hits for batters.

Red Star    Yes, the Billy Molisky of Regina ball (1915-1922) turned out to be the same Billy Molisky of Rossland and Trail, BC baseball (1923-1932). 

Red Star    And, in search for more information on 1921 players, happened upon a team photo of the Saskatoon CPR entry in the Saskatoon City League of 1923.  The Cee Pees captured the league title that season. 

Red Star    From Jeff Swick, whose dad Jules Swick played with Gordie Howe and others on Roy Taylor's Saskatoon 55s of the Northern Saskatchewan League of 1951, we have the jacket crest of the club, now posted on the 1951 home page.

Red Star    Ah, the dreams of youth. That's Joe Cardle, then a 20-year-old at a 1976 tryout camp for the Lethbridge Expos of the Pioneer League. While the hope of a pro ball career didn't work out, one in education sure did.  Thanks to Joe we've been able to fill in lots of info on Barrhead baseball in the mid 1970s.

10 September, 2021

Jesse RichardsonRed Star    My how the time goes flying by. 

Rich NeckerIt was just 69 years ago, that young Rich Necker (right) chased bats and balls of an imported team from the states, the Florida Cubans who came to Saskatchewan for the summer of 1952, settling up shop in Indian Head, Saskatchewan.

Rich could identify all the players, but one of the Cubans, then identified as the Business Manager, was illusive. Until now.  With some sleuthing through the sports pages of old newspapers, Rich has discovered that the man in the Panama hat was Jesse Richardson (above, left), the team owner.

Richardson had formed the club out of Lakeland, Florida in 1951 and the team had won the Florida State Negro League title. One of the old clippings noted that when the Cubans took on the Tampa All-Stars at Plant Field in Tampa to kick off the 1952 season, a special section of the grandstand was reserved for white fans.

Rich picks up the story, " ... Turns out the ’52 team was still subjected to playing before racially segregated fans at their home base in Lakeland and throughout the southern states both before heading for Western Canada in early June and upon their return in August after copping the Saskatchewan National Baseball Congress championship. The team had won the Florida State Negro League the year previous and most of the players played winter ball in and around Havana before heading back to Lakeland to prepare for the trek to Western Canada (specifically Indian Head) in the spring of 1952. Indian Head was selected as a base of operation since Richardson had received positive input from Jacksonville Eagles’ owner Cutprice Washington about the acceptance of his franchise within the community the season previous."

09 September, 2021

Barry SealRed Star    The versatile Barry Seal of the Rossland Capilanos was quite the star in the 1973 edition of the West Kootenay Major Baseball League.

It appears he led the team to the league title, but we've yet to uncover the results of the final series.  Our thanks to Lou DeRosa and Rich Necker for delving into the old issues of the Trail Times and sending along some highlights.

Red Star    Seal not only won the batting title, .419, but was among the pitching leaders too with a 5-1 record and league-leading 39 strikeouts. He was tops in home runs and runs batted in.

Red Star    Our update includes some game reports, rosters and final statistics.

Red Star    Lou, a resident of Trail, also sends along some additional names for the 1956 edition of the Trail Smoke Eaters. 

Red Star    And, I think we've finally got a version that displays of 1974 East Trail Senior Babe Ruth Leaguer Pat McLaughlin

08 September, 2021

Kaz SugaDick GernetRed Star    Max Weder keeps collecting and we continue to benefit!  From a 1965 program on Manitoba junior and senior ball we've extracted photos of Pete Stemkowski, Ted Irvine, Laurie Langrell,Terry Moore for the Manitoba Photo Gallery.

Also from Max and his program from the 1948 Kentville Wildcats of maritime baseball, Dick Gernet (right), a future major leaguer.

And, a photo of Asahi star Kaz Suga (left) when playing for St. Jerome in Quebec in 1951 (Max teased us with a newspaper photo which led to a hunt which resulted in a copy from the Pat Adachi book on the Asahi).

Red Star    Not sure we noted this previously but we managed to find a few stats from East Kootenay ball for 1959 and 1962 ,

07 September, 2021

Red Star    So pleased to add in a couple more team photos.

Red Star     With a big thank you to Michael and Beth Cook of Edmonton for the team photo of the 1944 Edmonton Arrows featuring among others Elmer "Lefty" Thomas, a relative of the Cooks. Soon, I hope to extract individual photos for the 1944 Alberta Gallery.

Red Star    And, Brian Morrison an ol' friend of our site, has dug up a photo of the Chemainus Green Lanterns of Vancouver Island ball in 1936. They were the champions of the island baseball league. The group, high schoolers three years previous, stuck together as a unit and, under the coaching of Clare Johns romped to the title.

They had finished third in the Vancouver Island League then downed the Longshoremen in a semi-final before topping the defending champion McBrides in the final.

Red Star    We managed to stumble upon the pitching stats from the 1936 Vancouver Senior League (Hal Straight 10-1)  and additional first names for the batting stats along with batting and a few pitching stats from Montreal's Atwater League in 1945.

Larry CunninghamRed Star    To the Negro League Gallery we've added an individual picture of centre fielder Larry Cunningham, the long-time star in Southern Ontario ball with Hamilton and Galt. The photo (left) is Cunningham when he suited up with Galt in the early 1960s.

Red Star    By 1952 former player Denny Evenson was the owner of the Regina team in the Saskatchewan League and we located a better photo for the Photo Gallery.

Red Star    So interesting, the fame of Satchel Paige. In search of a Paige photo, happened upon an obituary of Lloyd Sevalrud of Southern Alberta in which in was noted he had once played against Paige. In the process, made a correction in the spelling of Lloyd's surname in posts of the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Red Star    For the 1954 Saskatchewan Gallery, pitcher Charlie Peerless.

03 September, 2021

Bob MabeeRed Star    Finally, the names for the 1970 Victoria Centennials, the Canadian Senior Champions (from a story in the Victoria Times-Colonist in December last year).

From the team photo we've managed to extract some individual pics for the BC Photo Gallery. Among the photos is long sought after Bob Mabee (right).

Red Star    Added a bit to the 1973 BC Interior report to indicate the end of the Okanagan Mainline League.

Red Star   On the Tournament page for 1973, we now have details of the 2nd Annual Trail International Tournament which featured a team from Seattle with future major leaguers Floyd Bannister and Ken Phelps. They are shown on the 1973 BC Snapshot page along with Trail Babe Ruth stars Keith Van de Keere and Rick Babcock.

Red Star    New for 1974 are the game reports for the West Kootenays and an updated roster page. On the 1974 BC Snapshot page note the addition of Trail's Pat McLaughlin.

Red Star    And, so pleased to locate a better photo of Rich's 1974 Selkirk Selects squad, the champs of the Trail International Tournament along with a team photo of Rich's 1980 Western Canada champion, Lethbridge Senior Little Leaguers.

01 September, 2021

Red Star    Robyn Jensen, president of the Indian Head Museum, is chasing information on the uniforms of the old Indian Head Rockets. It's a reach, but does anyone recall the eagle emblem on the shoulder of the uniforms?  Robyn is working on a replica uniform and wants to know if the eagle was red or blue. 

Red Star    Managed to find a report on the 1954 Winnipeg Senior final, won by the CUAC Blues in a wild, 15-14, 10-inning contest. 

South End jacketRed Star    Anne Fraser had the jacket -- 1952 South End Softball -- from her dad William "Gordie" Fraser, but not much else to go on.

We managed to dig up a fair number of clippings showing her dad , a southpaw, as a renown hurler and bowler in the 1940s and 1950s in Vancouver.

In 1952, the Nanaimo Daily News ran a story on a rare bowling feat -- a 7-10 split in a ten-pin league -- by Fraser. It was viewed as such an accomplishment that it was to be forwarded to the American Bowling Congress.

Red Star    Our thanks again to Herb Morell, statistician Intercounty Baseball League, for spelling corrections and more info on the Southern Ontario circuit.

Red Star    Thank you Kenny Warner ! He managed to pick out his grandfather Larry Warner in the 1948 photo of the Oliver, BC team. He was pretty pumped about find the picture as they are the only baseball photos he's seen of his gramps. With that ID we've also got him in the 1948 BC Photo Gallery. Still a few IDs needed for that Oliver team.

Red Star    Happy to assist Matt Hungerford with a couple of higher res copies of team photos which included his grandfather, Fred Condon.

31 August, 2021

Dave McLayRed Star    Came across another photo of Dave McLay, a mainstay of ball in Kimberley in the 1950s and 1960s. From the cap it would appear he was with the Kimberley Angels, but we have him with the Hobos, for the most part, during his career in the city.

Red Star    All the way back to 1907, we add to photos to the Manitoba Photo Gallery, Stuart "Fuzz" Cuthbert and Earl Lobdell of the Winnipeg Shamrocks.

Red Star    Lou DeRosa, digging around the newspaper files, has some interesting tidbits from 1907 ball in the BC Interior even a little poetry and opinion piece too!

Doug HudlinRed Star   For a kid who had to help form his own team in Victoria, B.C., back in the 1930s in order to play baseball and then softball, Doug Hudlin carved out quite the career, topped by his induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017. After his playing days, cut short by an injury on the soccer field, Hudlin took up a stance behind the plate.

"Doug Hudlin is the most famous umpire the city of Victoria has ever known. His career, which began in 1954, spanned more than three decades. He was widely respected for his good humour, sense of fair play and gentle approach to the game ... It was no surprise that Hudlin was the first non-American umpire ever invited to work the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. In fact, Hudlin was at one time the first umpire outside of Williamsport itself ever invited to work the fabled event twice. As well as umpiring the Little League World Series in 1967 and 1974 he also twice umpired at the Senior Little League World Series in Gary, Indiana. He is a member of the B.C Baseball Hall of Fame." (Greater Victoria Baseball Hall of Fame)

Thanks to niece Barbara Hudlin for the photo of the 1939 Victoria Brown Bombers !  From that team photo we've also extracted individual pictures of the Hudlins - Doug, Joe and Parnell - for the Snapshot page. Barbara's dad, Parnell Hudlin was also a renown umpire in Victoria ball after his playing days.

"The Hudlins, Alexanders and Woods were among the first black families to settle in Victoria. They were not allowed to play on other baseball teams at the time, so Hudlin helped form the all-black Brown Bombers squad. It played at what is now named Alexander Park, near Bay and Fernwood." (Victoria Times-Colonist, June 12, 2020)

In honour of Hudlin, the B.C. Baseball Umpires Association each year presents the Doug Hudlin Distinguished Service Award to an umpire in the province. And, in Victoria each year in June (pandemic permitting) it"s Doug Hudlin Day with a charity game to raise funds for children to participate in sports.

Hudlin passed away on January 5, 2014 at the age of 91.

17 July, 2021

Red Star     And while we're at it, let's include an update of the 1926 Saskatoon Exhibition Tournament, both the game reports and the rosters.

Red Star    1939 Newark Eagles - An enquiry about the photo led me to a search for names which proved successful. And, at the same time, re-did the photo for a tad better presentation. The names are confirmed via Seamheads.

Ron PerranoskiRed Star    Ron Perranoski, the lefty ace reliever of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins, among others, passed away last October at his home in Vero Beach, Florida. He was 84. His sister said he died as a result of complications from a long illness. 

I was batboy for the Lloydminster Meridians in 1956 when Perranoski, then just 20, joined the club late in the season from the Basin League to help the team in it's playoff run.

He went on to a 13-year playing career in the major leagues before lengthy stints as pitching coach for the Dodgers and the Giants and a front office role in San Francisco.

In 1963 in the Dodgers bullpen, Perranoski went 16-3, 1.67. Later with the Twins he set save records in 1969 and 1970 with back to back seasons of 31 and 34 saves.

 31 August, 2021

Red Star   The last batch of news bits has been moved over to the Archives, News Page #25.