1937 Southern Saskatchewan League      



Following the surprise one year interlude in 1936, the Southern League got back to business in the spring of 1937 as four combatants lined up to be a part of the action.

Most of the pre-season enthusiasm came from the camp of the Weyburn Beavers who went into the campaign with great expectations. The team from Broadview, a formidable opponent during exhibition engagements of previous summers, joined the loop as the Buffaloes, shedding the Red Sox moniker of the past. The Buffaloes upgraded their roster with several Negro imports to compliment their core of home-grown talent. The resuscitated Moose Jaw Athletics, back from the graveyard of 1936, went modestly with a homebrew line-up complemented by a few outsiders in an effort not to repeat the disasters encountered during the last season. Another new entry, the Notre Dame Hounds were a group of hard-nosed students who lived the Spartan life that the Wilcox institution afforded them. A light schedule of no more than twelve league games was drawn up without any provision for either the make-up of rain-outs or replays of ties, allowing each club a generous amount of time for exhibition and tournament play. Furthermore, no intra-league playoff system was put in place as the plan was to have the best team or teams enter directly into the south Saskatchewan senior playdowns.

The biggest surprise of all was the absence of an entry from the Queen City. After five seasons of being "King of the hill", the Nationals simply abdicated their crown and the players split up amongst city league teams. Many of them got together from time to time to engage in exhibition encounters but not under the Nationals' banner. Their opting out created a fresh fervor within the ranks of those remaining, having the assurance that the dynasty had ended.

(May 31)  The revived Southern League got underway as a new entry, the Notre Dame Hounds of Wilcox, hosted the Moose Jaw Athletics. With imposing, big "Bud" Turley on the hill for the homestanding Hounds, the visiting Athletics were easy prey as Notre Dame marched to a 7 to 3 victory. Turley whiffed eleven in picking up the win, one which was relatively easy as his teammates leaned on the slants of three Moose Jaw hurlers for nine safeties. Of the five Moose Jaw hits garnered off Turley, third baseman Hafford picked up two of them. Three of the collegians, first baseman Demers, outfielder Scott and second sacker Inglis had two hits each with one of Demers falling for a double.

Gordon (L), Thompson (7), Hafford (8) and R. Bentley
Turley (W) and Cooke

(June 2)  Blanketed under a 5 to 0 shutout by the invading Weyburn Beavers, the Moose Jaw Athletics lost their second in a row in the re-born Southern League. Portsider Art Walter of the Beavers  struck out seven to pick up the whitewash win. Walter also had the game's longest clout, a triple. First baseman George Frederickson of the Weyburnites was the only batter on either team to rap out a pair of hits, both of his being singles.

Walter (W) and Lach
Thompson (L), Gordon (8) and Toombs

(June 4)  The upstart Hounds of Notre Dame pulled one out of the bag, trimming Broadview's touted Buffaloes 4 to 1 in the league debut for the Mainline Town nine. "Bud" Turley, on the mound for the Wilcox aggregation, held Broadview to six hits. Dempson, shortstop for the youthful Hounds, led all batters with a double and two singles. Losing chucker Bibbons picked up a brace of singles.

Turley (W) and Cooke
Bibbons (L) and Labatt 

(June 4)  In a game that produced only eight hits, the Weyburn Beavers again blanked the Moose Jaw Athletics, this time 7 to 0, in their Southern League home opener. A comedy of errors by the Athletics in the second inning sent five Beavers scampering home although no hits were recorded. No one player on either team produced more than one hit. The game's deepest blow was a seventh inning triple by Weyburn's Les Wilder. Ralph Hogg recorded the shutout win for the Soo Liners.

Gordon (L) and Toombs
Hogg (W) and Lach

(June 6)  While "Lefty" Walter was holding the Notre Dame Hounds to five scattered hits and one run, his mates leaned on the offerings of "Bud" Turley unmercifully, banging out a total of 14 safe smashes as the Weyburn Beavers remained undefeated with an 8 to 1 verdict over the Wilcox collegians. Batting honors for the game went to Archie Wilder and Elmer Lach of the Beavers who both had three hits with one of Wilder's going for three bases.

Walter (W) and Lach
Turley (L) and Cooke

(June 10)  Before the best crowd of the season, the Broadview Buffaloes defeated the homestanding Weyburn Beavers 15 to 10. The Bisons scored five counters in the top of the first inning and maintained their lead throughout this free-hitting game. Winning pitcher Bibbons of the Buffs picked up a double and two singles from the batters' box. Teammate Brian Fitzgerald chipped in with three singles. For the Beavers, Les Wilder and Simonson both had three-hit games while catcher Elmer Lach belted a home run.

Bibbons (W) and Labatt
Walter (L) and Lach

(June 12) The high-powered Broadview Buffaloes dropped the Moose Jaw Athletics 8 to 4 in the first meeting of the season between these two Southern League clubs. The Bisons, boasting four imported colored players, had to go all out to beat the young and inexperienced A's. Winning pitcher Degrury and outfielder Mack Sinclair led the winners offensively with a triple and single each. The two Bentley brothers, Doug and Reg of hockey fame, paced the Moose Jaw attack, Doug getting three safeties and Reg a brace, one of which was a double.

Degrury (W) and Decuir
Gordon (L) and R. Bentley

(June 14)  The Moose Jaw Athletics fell to the Broadview Buffaloes 9 to 4 in a Southern League tilt in the Mainline Town. Dick Webb struck out ten in pitching the six-hit win for Broadview. Bibbons drilled a brace of triples for the Buffaloes.

Thompson (L) and Ferris
Webb (W) and Labatt

(June 19)  The Broadview Buffaloes maintained their winning streak when they visited Wilcox and came away with a 9 to 6 win over the Notre Dame Hounds. Harold Horeak, the Buffaloes' shortstop, had four base hits in this encounter.

Barkley, Degury (3) (W) and Decuir
Turley (L) and Cooke

(June 25)  Although the disparity in the final score is deceptive, the Broadview Buffaloes nevertheless were full value for their 9 to 1 Southern League win over the Weyburn Beavers. Leadoff hitter Roy Schappert started things off for Broadview by jacking one out of the park off loser Art Walter to give the Buffs a 1 to 0 lead. Degrury tossed a five-hitter for the win. He also picked up a double and a couple of singles. Broadview outfielder Alex Chilton also had three base raps.

Degrury (W) and Decuir
Walter (L) and Lach

(June 29)  The Weyburn Beavers won a ten-inning struggle 6 to 5 over the Notre Dame Hounds in a game played in the Soo-Line city. The Hounds had rallied with four tallies in the ninth to tie things but then blew it in the tenth on an error which allowed the winning run to cross home plate. Ralph Hogg struck out nine in posting the win. Loser Bud Turley gave up nine hits and fanned eleven. He was also the Hounds' top batter with a double and single.

Turley (L) and Cooke
Hogg (W) and Lach

(July 4)  After a lengthy layoff, play in the Southern League resumed in a game that saw the Broadview Buffaloes trounce the Notre Dame Hounds 13 to 0.  Isaacson tossed a four-hitter in recording the shutout win for the Broadview. Bibbons, colored first sacker for the Buffaloes cracked out a triple and two singles.

Isaacson (W) and Bates
Balderson (L), Scott (2) and Cooke

(July 5)  The Moose Jaw Athletics appeared headed for their first Southern League win of the season but they blew up in the fifth inning and the Weyburn Beavers, down 4 to 0 at one stage in the contest, managed to pull out a 4 - 4 tie in a game that ended after seven innings because of darkness. Coming to the aid of starter "Lefty" Walter, Ralph Hogg limited the A's to three hits in the six innings that he hurled. In addition, he was the game's leading hitter with four singles in four trips against lanky Bill Gordon. Walter came in with three safeties, including a double. Moose Jaw shortstop Casey was the only member of the A's who picked up two hits.

Walter, Hogg (2) and Lach
Gordon and Toombs

(July 9 )  Playing without some of their regulars, the Weyburn Beavers went down to defeat 8 to 2 at the hands of the hosting Broadview Buffaloes. Both chuckers, winner Dick Webb of the Buffs and Weyburn's "Lefty" Walter struck out six batters. Lionel Decuir, Broadview's snappy catcher, poled out a triple which turned out to be the longest hit of the night. Les Wilder was the big hitter for the Dam Builders, collecting three hits in five times at bat.

Walter (L) and Lach
Webb (W) and Decuir

(July 13)  Seven errors proved to be the undoing of the Weyburn Beavers when they were dumped 8 to 3 by the Broadview Buffaloes. The Beavers out-hit the visitors 8 to 5 as "Lefty" Walter fanned ten. Winning chucker Lionel Decuir laced a three-bagger in support of his cause. Weyburn's Les Wilder also belted a triple to go along with two singles.

Decuir (W) and Bates
Walter (L) and Lach

(July 27)  The Weyburn Beavers pounded out twelve safeties on their way to a 5 to 3 win over the Notre Dame Hounds as the two teams met in a postponed Southern League fixture in Weyburn. The Beavers scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth when reliever Jones of the Hounds walked a pair of batters. Weyburn's Les Wilder whiffed seven in a snappy mound performance.

Reynolds (L), Jones (6), Scott (7) and Cooke
Wilder (W) and Lach

FINAL STANDINGS          W   L    Pct
Broadview Buffaloes      8   1   .888
Weyburn Beavers          5   4   .555
Notre Dame Hounds        2   5   .286
Moose Jaw Athletics      0   5   .000

POST  REGULAR  SEASON  HAPPENINGS
     
As the Southern League had no plans for playoffs within their own circuit, all four member teams had the option of applying to enter the provincial playoff picture. The Saskatchewan Amateur Baseball Association planned to accept two clubs from the Southern loop to participate in the southern Saskatchewan playdowns. As it turned out, the pennant-winning Broadview Buffaloes, who had by far the best regular-season record, were denied amateur cards on the basis that one of their players had been declared a professional last year. A further allegation made against the Broadview organization stemmed from their playing against touring clubs without receiving the necessary S.A.B.A. permit to do so. Since the Weyburn Beavers and  Notre Dame Hounds had abided by these regulations, they were the two Southern League teams selected to represent the circuit in further play.

A team from Assiniboia, the south-east representative which was scheduled to meet Weyburn in one semi-final, defaulted sending the Beavers into the southern final. The Hounds were relegated to take on a Regina city league entrant, the Garnet Service team, in a semi-final with the winner to meet the Beavers in a best-of-three final for the championship of southern Saskatchewan. The youthful collegians, most of whom also played for the Notre Dame junior baseball team, put up a gallant fight against the more experienced Reginans but lost a pair of games, both by a one run margin. This set up a Weyburn - Regina southern final.

SOUTH   SASKATCHEWAN  CHAMPIONSHIP  SERIES

Regina Garnet Service player roster for the south Saskatchewan senior baseball championship
Allan R. OF, Laing L. P, May R. C/SS, Naylor C. 1B/2B, Nicholson Art P, Nicholson B. C, Righetti Tony SS/3B, Rollinger OF, Shaw C. OF, Thompson OF, Volhoffer 3B, Zetterstrand 1B

Weyburn Beavers player roster for the south Saskatchewan senior baseball championship
Fraser OF, Garner 2B, Hogg Ralph P/OF, Hooper OF, Krivel Barney 3B, Lach Elmer C, Munro OF, Porteous Dunc SS, Thompson OF, Tucker OF, Walter Art "Lefty" P/OF, Wilder Les 1B

(August 4)  The Southern League's Weyburn Beavers advanced a step nearer the southern Saskatchewan baseball title when they chalked up a close 2 to 1 victory over Regina Garnet Service in the first game of a best-of-three final. Highlighting this tilt were the stellar pitching performances of Weyburn's "Lefty" Walters and Regina's Art Nicholson. Walter sent 16 Servicemen down swinging and was touched for but three hits, one a double by snappy shortstop Tony Righetti, and two scratch hits that just dropped over the infield. Hurling for the Reginans, Art Nicholson baffled 12 Beaver stickmen for strikeouts and allowed two singles, both springing from the bat of Art Walter.

Walter (W) and Lach                                                             
A. Nicholson (L) and May

(August 6)  The Weyburn Beavers blanked the Garnet service team of Regina 9 to 0 to decisively win the Southern senior baseball crown in two straight games and annex the Anderson trophy for 1937. Weyburn pitcher Ralph Hogg was the hero of the evening, whiffing eleven batters and allowing only one hit, a single by C. Naylor who was the leadoff hitter in the first inning. Beaver sluggers had a good day at bat, collecting ten hits, six of them off loser Art Nicholson who hurled the first three innings for the Reginans. Barney Krivel was the big gun of the Weyburn htters, producing a four for five evening, including a triple and a two-bagger. The Beavers will now take on the winners of the north, the Saskatoon Maroons, for the championship of Saskatchewan.

A. Nicholson (L), Laing (4) and B. Nicholson
Hogg (W) and Lach

SASKATCHEWAN  SENIOR  BASEBALL  CHAMPIONSHIP  SERIES

Saskatoon Maroons player roster for the 1937 Saskatchewan senior baseball championship series
Bamford 3B/C, Booker Percy P, Clark 3B, Crawford 1B, Jantz Orlando P, Jones Ossie P, Major Eddie 2B/3B, McLeod OF, Morben C/OF, Parsons Garnet OF/3B/2B, Rittinger OF, Stark Bobby OF, Wilder Archie SS

Weyburn Beavers player roster for the 1937 Saskatchewan senior baseball championship series
Craddock Sid 3B, Fraser OF, Garner 2B, Hogg Ralph P/OF, Hooper OF, Krivel Barney OF, Lach Elmer C, Munro OF, Porteous Dunc SS, Thompson OF, Walter Art "Lefty" P, Wilder Les 1B

(August 12)  Combining two of their three hits with three errors by their opponents, the Saskatoon Maroons blanked the Weburn Beavers 3 to 0 in the opening game of the Saskatchewan senior baseball finals. Outstanding performances by the rival hurlers, Percy Booker for the Maroons and Ralph Hogg of the Beavers, highlighted the game. Booker fanned 17 Weyburn batters and allowed only six hits. With the exception of the second inning when the Beavers' defense faltered, losing pitcher Ralph Hogg was equally effective against the Maroon batters. He fanned 13 and only allowed three singles, two of which came in the one disastrous frame. Art Walter was the most successful Weyburn batter against Booker's delivery, collecting three clean singles in four at bats.

Hogg (L) and Lach
Booker (W) and Morben

(August 13)  The Weyburn Beavers evened the Saskatchewan senior baseball playoffs for the Leader-Post trophy when they defeated the Saskatoon Maroons 8 to 4 in a loosely played, seven-inning game at the Saskatoon exhibition park. Errors were far more numerous then hits as far as the Saskatonians were concerned. As well, the Maroons were hopelessly weak against Art Walter's left handed deliveries. The Weyburn hurler allowed only four scratch singles while fanning 13 of the Bridge City boys. The Beavers, although booting the ball seven times, showed a distinct liking for Orlando Jantz' deliveries and nicked him for ten hits including a homer by Les Wilder, a triple by Elmer Lach and a double by Art Walter. Bobby Stark of the Maroons and Walter both wound up with a two-bagger and single for their respective clubs as Wilder with the dinger plus a single led the Weyburn offensive production.  

Jantz (L) and Bamford
Walter (W) and Lach

(August 14)  The Weyburn Beavers, winners of the southern senior baseball title, added the Leader-Post trophy and the 1937 Saskatchewan crown to their collection when they defeated the Saskatoon Maroons twice by 3 to 2 scores at Cairns Field. The double victory gave the series to the southerners three games to one.

Weyburn's Ralph Hogg and Ossie Jones of the Maroons were the opposing hurlers in the afternoon game. Hogg fanned 14 Saskatonians and allowed seven hits including a home run by Bobby Stark. Jones gave up six hits and whiffed four. Shortstop Archie Wilder of the Maroons topped everyone at the plate by smashing a triple, double and single. Dunc Porteous of the Beavers led his team offensively with a double and single. The Beavers were never behind in this game, taking a 2 to 0 lead in the fourth, adding another tally in the top of the seventh and then fending off a late charge by the Maroons who plated a pair in the last half of the same frame.

Hogg (W) and Lach
Jones (L) and Bamford

The Beavers opened a two-run lead in the third as the Maroons booted the ball three times in succession behind Percy Booker. Saskatoon tied the score with singletons in the fourth and sixth frames. Weyburn cashed in on a seventh inning break when Saskatoon catcher Morben threw wild to third base in an attempt to catch Elmer Lach stealing. The overthrow allowed Lach to tally the series' winning marker. With a five-hitter, Art Walter got the win although Archie Wilder lit him up for a triple and single. Ralph Hogg with two singles was Weyburn's top dog at the dish.

Booker (L) and Morben
Walter (W) and Lach           

EPILOGUE  TO  1937  SEASON

With a perfect record of having spawned a provincial winner during each year of its existence, the Southern League's overall success masked some internal difficulties. The Moose Jaw franchise had again been a disappointment and seemed to be in a constant state of mismanagement. The league had adopted a very light schedule so each member club had played more, and in some cases many more, exhibition and tournament contests than league games. This tended to come across as putting the interests of the league in a secondary position.

On the positive side of things, the youthful Notre Dame Hounds were a competitive group and, following their elimination from the senior playoff picture, went on to capture the 1937 provincial intermediate crown with a team made up almost entirely of junior-aged players. Although the pennant-winning Broadview Buffaloes team was clearly the class of the 1937 Southern League, their banishment from the playoff scene left the door wide open for the Weyburn Beavers who did themselves, and the Southern League, proud by winning all the marbles.