Western Canada Baseball 1939
1939 Rosters 
1939 Stats  
1939 Tournaments / Exhibitions    
1939 Newark Eagles
Moose Jaw Canucks
Liberty Eagles
Notre Dame Hounds
Regina Army & Navy
1939 Game Reports   
1939 Photo Gallery    
1939 Notre Dame

Saskatoon Lions
Prince Albert Bohemians
1939 Game Reports 
1939 Photo Gallery  
1939 Snapshots 
1939 Saskatoon Lions   
Bowbells ND, Bromhead ND, Columbus ND, Crosby ND, Estevan Maple Leafs, Lignite ND, McGregor ND, Noonan ND, Weyburn Beavers
Climax, Frontier, Shaunavon, Val Marie
Buchanan, Canora, Hyas, Pelly, Preeceville, Sturgis
1939 Saskatchewan Game Reports 
1939 Saskatchewan Photo Gallery
1939 Notre Dame Hounds 

Clive, Delburne, Donalda, Erskine, Mirror, Stettler Elks
1939 Alberta Game Reports 
CUAC Blues, Morse Place, Selkirk Fishermen, St. Boniface Native Sons, Transcona Railroaders, Wesley Bees (Transcona won the league championship)
1939 Transcona Railroaders   
1939 Winnipeg Maroons 

Angelus, Diethers, Lowneys, Shores,
Asahi, Merritt-Gordon, Patricia Hotel , Western Monarchs
Giants, Hammond, Mikado, Steveston, Union Fish
Fairview, Hompa, Kitsilano
Duncan Cubs, Chemainus Green Lantern Hotel, Chemainus Longshoremen, Chemainus Nippons,
Courtenay, Nanaimo, Port Alberni Kingsways, Port Alberni Waterfronts
Nelson, Rossland, Salmo, Trail
Blairmore Columbus Club Cardinals, Coleman Pucksters, Elk Valley Senators, Fernie, Hillcrest Miners, Natal-Michel Buffaloes
1939 Vancouver Game Reports     
1939 BC Interior Game Reports
1939 VCR Island Game Reports     
1939 BC Photo Gallery 
1939 BC Snapshots       
1939 Chemainus Longshoremen   



Alberta Senior Baseball

Neither Calgary nor Edmonton had any senior amateur baseball clubs nor city leagues operating during the summer of 1939. Within rural areas, particularly in the southern and central portions of the province, baseball seemed to have maintained its strong appeal but, in northern Alberta, a lack of interest prevailed and diamonds, in many areas that had previously seen a plethora of activity, remained idle.

It appears that interest had waned so much in Edmonton and other northern environs that not even a single team from that half of the province applied to the AABA to enter the Alberta senior baseball playdowns, leaving the field open exclusively to the southern representatives.

Manitoba Senior Baseball, Winnipeg & District Senior League

The defending champion and pennant winning Transcona Railroaders swept CUAC Blues in four straight games in the best-of-seven final in the playoffs.

Transcona had earlier disposed of Morse Place in three straight games in a best-of-five semi-final while the Canadian Ukranian Club edged St. Boniface Native Sons three games to two.

Names?  A story in the Chilliwack Progress of May 3rd, 1939, provided a hint of the difficulty in tracking down first names of the players of the era.

Dean Ballam, former problem pitcher of the Cherries, cracked into the new semi-pro league in Vancouver with a smashing slab performance Monday night, when he limited Angelus Hotel to one run, two hits . . . he struck out three and walked six in five innings  . . . the sportswriters did their best with Dean's name  . . . he was originally Aberdeen, you know, then developed into "Crab" and "Hab" and according to Jimmy Coleman in Tuesday's Province it is now Paul  . . . the news story alongside says the first name is Frank . . . it's enough to drive a man to drink.


Famous Ball Club Has Long and Checkered Career

Of all the Nisei organizations perhaps none can equal the long and colorful history that is a part and parcel of the Asahi tradition. Even the most casual mention of the name "Asahis" flashes to one's mind a baseball nine -- speedy, clever and clean, a team that also brings to mind the terms "inside baseball: and "fielding a la(sic) major league/"

Since gaining that reputation and since being voted the most popular team in the city in 1925, the Asahis have kept up their winning ways both off and on the diamond. Their record remains as an inspiration to the Niseis of today.

Few of us realize the difficulties that the team had to face before they won their enviable reputation. And that part of the club's history is the most outstanding.

Anti-Japanese Feeling

When the Asahis in 1918 broke into the International League, which was later renamed the Terminal, the team was faced by a hostile crowd that on several occasions almost prevented the nine from further participation in the loop.

Face with such adverse conditions the nine decided to "take" the biased decisions of the umpires. Harry Miyasaki relates "we never protested a call no matter how "raw" it was and if any of the players even showed the slightest disapproval of the umpires's verdicts in a way of facial distortion I "yanked" him immediately."

Within a few years, however, the policy of the Asahis bore fruit and they were accorded the respect that has been theirs since. At that time Terminal League was a very strong division, almost on equal standing with the Senior A. Even today most of us remember such strong teams as the Hanbury's and the Mount Pleasant.

Youthful Players

Having more or less youngsters to choose from, Harry Miyasaki, with the determination to win the Terminal League championship, set out to train them. Every morning before work commenced he put them through their paces. Matoba, veteran slugger of yesteryears, still recounts, "Gosh we used to practice hard those days, but we enjoyed it because we were baseball crazy. I used to get up at 5:30 in morning to get a couple of hours workout before going to work at Hastings Mill."

All the hard work was finally rewarded in 1926 when the squad won the championship after being runners-up the year before.

The players recalling "those good old days" remind us."we really had a team that season."  Mayor Taylor at the post-season banquet mentioned in his speech that the other teams could learn a few pointers from the Asahis "who are the masters of the scientific side of baseball."

Athletic Park

The popularity gained by the Nipponese put them into the Senior A Class at the Athletic Park from the next year, 1927.

Though they didn't do as well as they hoped during their three seasons there, they nevertheless won many friends who still come all the way down to Powell Street Grounds to see them in action. In 1930 they voluntarily withdrew from the circuit and returned to Powell Grounds.

Proving that they were still tops even though they failed at Athletic Park, they maintained their supremacy in the Terminal League for three consecutive years.

Con Jones Park

It was not until the league moved to Con Jones Park in 1933 that the Asahis were given serious competition. On the new grounds they were able to win the trophy during their first season there. The next two seasons, 1934-45, the powerful Ioco nine came into the picture and brought an end to the Asahi domination.

Breaking up a friendly feud that existed with Ioco, Asahis in 1936 started their baseball season at Powell Grounds, joining the Commercials, saying goodbye to Terminal forever, as the next term it folded up.

Remembering the immense popularity the Asahis enjoyed at Con Jones, Bob Brown, at the outset of the 1937 season invited the team to perform at Athletic Park. Though they strengthened the club with "imports" in the persons of Hinaga, from San Jose, and Takami, from Portland, they could not reach the high standard set by Senior A and so they returned once more to Powell Grounds. And since, they have been thrilling crowds at home.

Backyard Troubles

Like all organizations the Club has experienced a great deal of petty squabbles in its own backyard. In 1921 when a team to tour Japan was named, so much trouble arose over the choice of players that the Club divided into two, one team playing under the name of the Asahi Tigers. Fortunately the teams amalgamated before the next term.

During its colorful career the nine has had the honour of meeting several well known teams each time they have proved worth of their reputation.

When the Asahis met the crack University of Washington ball players in 1928 they barely lost 10-11 after a couple of extra innings. Again when the touring Tokyo Giants visited Vancouver, Asahis were just defeated by a very small margin.

Ace Asahi Mentore

The history of the Asahis is never complete without the mention of Harry Miyasaki. Until recent years it was always Harry Miysaki's Asahis.

It was he who formed the nine and who nursed it from its infancy. And it was he who coached and managed the team until it became an outstanding aggregation. Even today, behind the scenes Harry works hard and unselfishly for the club giving encouragement and helpful advice.

Here is the all-time, All-Star Asahi aggregation selected by Harry in batting order : Roy Yamamura ss, Herb Tanaka 1b, Frank Nakamura 2b, Barry Kasahara 3b, Frank Shiraishi lf, Tom Matoba rf, Eddie Kitagawa cf, Reg Yasui and Y. Hori c, Ty Suga, H. Kitagawa, Nag Nishihara and Roy Nishi p.  Substitutes and pinch hitters : George Ito, Kaz Suga, "Sally" Nakamura and Mousie Masuda.   (The New Canadian, May 27, 1939)