Vancouver and Victoria strayed into professional baseball in 1905, both landing franchises in the newly-formed, four-team Northwestern Baseball League. The Vancouver entry, known as the Veterans, was competitive during the first half of the schedule, finishing second, but floundered during the second-half of play and finished third overall. The experiment proved to be unsuccessful and the backers of the team decided against a second season. The Victoria situation was even more dire and the struggling team, called the Legislators which was sporting a 14 – 38 record, was pulled out of the Capital City and relocated to Spokane WA on July 11.
Within Vancouver and environs, amateur baseball saw a growth in 1905 with junior-aged teams, in particular, rapidly expanding. A bevy of senior teams which, for the most part, were leagueless abounded and played exhibition matches against any and all-comers for most of the summer. In the first week of August, the Vancouver Amateur Baseball Association formed a short-season Commercial loop with 12 sponsored teams within two divisions. Over 200 players were signed to participate.
The established Lower Mainland Amateur Baseball League, comprising the same four entries as in 1904, got underway in early June but was given virtually no coverage by the press. The Athletics and New Westminster squads battled for sole possession of first place into late July. Once the Commercial League got into action, nothing was seen again in print relative to the Inter-city circuit.
Kootenay Mail (Revelstoke, BC) May 27, 1905 on an extra-inning game between Revelstoke and Golden, played on Wednesday, May 24, 1905.
The baseball game, Revelstoke vs Golden, on the 24th was beyond doubt the best game ever played on the Golden diamond. The game was fast and keenly contested from start to finish, it requiring an extra inning to be played before Revelstoke could claim the victory. It was a pitcher’s battle from start to finish, Golden having imported pitcher Neilson from the Vancouver City League, who pitched fine ball and it looked as if Revelstoke was doomed to defeat. At the beginning of the eighth inning, a word of encouragement from Manager Lehman helped the boys to find Neilson’s drops and curves, which resulted in the score being tied. In the ninth inning, both sides were retired in one, two, three order. In the tenth inning, Potter hit the sphere, making first base and by a neat steal managed to reach second, a sacrifice by Read advanced Potter to third. Moir, who then came to bat, sent the little sphere twirling through space for a two-bagger, thus allowing Potter to score the winning run. Sowerby, the last man to bat, knocked a grounder to Neilson which was fielded to first, retiring the side. Sickles’ fine pitching held Golden from scoring any runs in the last half of the tenth inning, leaving the score 5 to 4 in favor of Revelstoke. The team work of both sides was very good and many fine plays were made at critical times. A double play by Sickles to Calder and from Calder to Livingston was the star play of the day. Potter and Read through a ruse made a nice base play which brought hearty applause from the Golden bleachers.
Score by innings:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Revelstoke......... 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 5 6 3
Golden............... 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 4 5 3
Batteries: Revelstoke – Sickles and Potter
Golden – Neilson and Porter
Baseball news from the Hedley Gazette, Thursday, July 20, 1905.
The dragons, griffins and devils with forked tails, with which the Chinese used to scare their enemies, were not more terrible than a Hedley baseball player seemed to a Vernonite. Last week as Wes Rodgers was coming home from Ashcroft, he fell in on the train with the Enderby baseball team who were going down to Armstrong, one man short, to play the Vernon team in an exhibition game. The Enderby boys at once prevailed upon him to play with them. When the game was ready to start with the Enderby men on the field, Wes at first base and a Vernon man at bat, the Vernon team refused flatly to play. The grandstand was filled with spectators who had paid to see the game, and the Enderby men agreed to proceed without their Hedley reinforcement, but Vernon’s nerves had been so badly shattered by the sight of that one Hedley man on first base, that there was no more play in them.
Hedley Gazette, September 7, 1905 on Oroville WA vs Hedley Labor Day game played Monday, September 4/1905
The main feature of Monday afternoon was the baseball match between Oroville and Hedley. For more than a week, preceding the game the impression became general that no team would show up to compete for the $200 prize, and Hedley players began to scatter about. The result was that when it became known on Saturday that Oroville team were coming, a scratch team had to be got together to play the game. For the first time this season W.P. Rodgers was in the box for Hedley, but the difficulty was to procure a catcher who could hold him. Donnard, who is working in the Nickel Plate mine, did fairly well but was clearly out of form and many of the bases obtained by Oroville were due to fumbles behind the bat if he had practiced and had been otherwise in form. The Oroville battery, the Bartell brothers, played a very good game and.were for the most part fairly well supported by the field, although the pitcher was batted freely at times. For Hedley, Rodgers, Mott, Messenger and McQueen played steady ball. Skewing, at third, made clean pick-ups and threw promptly to bases but was inclined to throw a trifle strong. In batting, Rodgers had hard luck in being twice caught out on long flies. Mott, Messenger, Bragg and Skerving also laid on the wood with commendable regularity, but there was some loss from too risky baserunning and considerable loss in unhatched runs from men being left on bases. Hedley obtained a substantial lead at the very off-set, getting in four runs in the first inning. When eight innings had been played, the score stood 10 to 8 for Hedley, but it was then too dark to play proper ball. The game was therefore given in Hedley's favor, but to show their appreciation of the effort made by Oroville to bring a team, Mott, as captain of the Hedley team, agreed to give them $150 o u t of the $200 allowed by the sports committee.