Game Reports, 1939     

 

With Moose Jaw back in the fold, under the banner of the Canucks, and a new entry from Liberty, the Eagles, the Southern League remained a four-team loop for 1939. The Weyburn Beavers, dissatisfied with the abrupt ending of things last season, decided to join the Border League. Broadview hedged for some time before making a decision to withdraw and throw its support behind a top-notch junior club. The team from the Queen City, having acquired a new sponsor, the Army & Navy department store, assumed the name of their benefactor.

The Regina Leader-Post reported that the Southern League would operate as an "outlaw organization" as was supposedly the case in 1938. Reading between the lines, this appeared to be a reference to non-affiliation with the Saskatchewan Amateur Baseball Association.

The original schedule called for each team to play twelve games. It turned out to be a wet spring and early summer so that objective was not attained. The resurgence of the Moose Jaw club, playing well under new management, was the most surprising development. The young Canucks finished in first place and, as the league had no internal playoffs, went directly into the south Saskatchewan senior playoffs where they faced the two-time provincial champion Weyburn Beavers who had won the Border League. The series was a best-of-five affair and went the distance with an extra game thrown in because of a tie. In the end, the well experienced Soo Liners came out on top and went on to meet the northern winners, the Saskatoon Lions. The Saskatonians disposed of the Beavers in three straight games, giving northern Saskatchewan its first provincial title since 1930.  Just a week after the final game of the series, Germany invaded Poland sparking the beginning of World War II.

With Canada's entry into the European front, some of the young men participating in the 1939 Southern League would be enlisting in the armed forces to serve their country. 

(May 27)  A mid-game rally lifted the Moose Jaw Canucks past the Regina Army & Navy in the 1939 Southern League opener in the Friendly City. The visitors held a 6 to 1 lead following three innings of play but the Canucks began to eat away at that deficit and finally edged ahead by a single tally in the bottom of the sixth. Errors proved to be prevalent in Regina's downfall, six being charged to their account. Army & Navy third baseman Zora had the game's longest blow, a home run. The Canucks' Bill Emerson and "Muttsy" Schmidt of the Reginans both accumulated a trio of singles.

Maze, Grossman (5) (L) and Wenaus        
Molitor, Jinks (5) (W) and Clements            

(May 28)  The Notre Dame Hounds proved to be ungracious hosts as they drubbed a new entrant, the Liberty Eagles, 10 to 4 in the first league game of the season for both clubs. The Collegians had two big innings in which they ran up most of their runs. A four run fourth frame put the Hounds ahead for good. John Jones tossed a six-hit complete game to earn the mound triumph. With three base blows each, first sacker Garth Boesch, outfielder Kyle and second baseman Bates led the Dogs' 15-hit offensive assault. 

Dewitt (L), Evenson (6) and Brucker
Jones (W) and Brown

(May 31)  Playing in Regina, the Notre Dame Hounds battled gamely and held off a Regina Army & Navy rally to gain a 3 to 2 decision over the Storemen. The Hounds led all the way after assuming a 3 to 0 advantage by the end of three frames. Army & Navy narrowed the gap with single tallies in the sixth and eighth but their ninth inning comeback attempt was cut short. Vince Germann of the Collegians and Regina's Tony Maze led their respective clubs with the hickory, each nabbing three hits. 

Reynoldson (W) and Kyle
Grossman (L) and Wenaus

(May 31)  The Moose Jaw Canucks bunched their hits in one big frame to take down the touted Liberty Eagles 4 to 3. Matt Dewitt, the starting Liberty pitcher, blanked the Canucks for the first five frames but, in the sixth, two infield errors, a single and hit batter gave Moose Jaw their first run. Denny Evenson, on in relief for Liberty, failed to hold the lead, allowing all three inherited runners to score. Bill Roney and Cecil Tannahill collected four of the six Liberty hits with one of Roney's blasts being a triple. Outfielder Lorne Carr singled twice for Moose Jaw.

Dewitt (L), Evenson (6) and Brucker 
Thompson (W), Jinks (7) and Clements, Mills

(June 4)  The Moose Jaw Canucks jumped into top spot in the Southern League when they handed the Notre Dame Hounds a 5 to 3 defeat at Lane Field in Wilcox. A four-run sixth inning, spearheaded by "Sandy" Thomson's three-run homer, put the Canucks in the lead and sewed up the game. Both teams had six hits. Thomson had a single to go along with his circuit blast. John "Smokey" Reynoldson drilled a brace of singles for the Collegians.

Molitor (W), Jinks (6) and Lach, Mills (6)
Singleton (L), Jones (6) and Brown

(June 10)  The Liberty Eagles posted their initial win in the Southern League when they edged the Regina Army & Navy team 5 to 4 in Liberty. No game details or batteries were printed.

xxxx (L) and xxxx
xxxx (W) and xxxx

(June 11)  John "Smokey" Reynoldson was at his finest as he struck out ten and allowed but two singles in leading the Notre Dame Hounds to a 5 to 0 whitewashing of the Liberty Eagles. The Hounds picked up ten hits off the slants of loser Doug McLean with "Tub" Demers and second baseman Bates accounting for two singles each.

McLean (L) and Brucker
Reynoldson (W) and Kyle

(June 12)  Moose Jaw's Canuck baseballers scored their fourth straight Southern League victory when they knocked over the Regina Army & Navy squad 6 to 2 at Park de Young. "Molly" Molitor had a six-hitter with six strikeouts in earning the pitching win. With the bat, he was deadly, slamming a double and three singles off losing hurler Johnny Grossman of the Storemen. Regina outfielder Tony Maze had a two-bagger and single.

Molitor (W) and Clements, Mills
Grossman (L) and Wenaus

(June 21)  The Moose Jaw Canucks kept their leadership of the Southern League in good order when they defeated the Liberty Eagles 12 to 3 before a large turnout at Ross Wells Park. The Canucks blew a tight game wide open by scoring four runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings. Lorne Carr walloped a home run and triple for the winners. Winning hurler "Molly" Molitor was no slack either, pounding out a pair of three-baggers. Moose Jaw first sacker Bob Emerson chipped in with a round-tripper. For the Long Lakers, third sacker Haley had a triple and single while outfielder Clyde Tannahill picked up a double and one-bagger.

Evenson (L), L. Johnson (6), McLean (6) and Brucker
Molitor (W) and Mills

(June 27)  The Regina Army & Navy finally entered the win column as they toppled the short-handed Notre Dame Hounds 10 to 0 in a seven-inning Southern League affair. Minus a number of their regular players, the Dogs were easy prey for the hungry Reginans. Bases on balls and errors didn't make things easier for the Collegians. Outfielder B. Chorpita with a double and single had the best night at the dish for the Storemen.

Jones (L), Lyons (6), Browns (6) and Brown
Rosnoski (W), Maze (6) and Wenaus

Southern League standings (as of end of June 27)
                         W    L     Pct.
Moose Jaw Canucks        5    0    1.000
Notre Dame Hounds        3    2     .600
Liberty Eagles           1    4     .200
Regina Army & Navy       1    4     .200

(July 2)  The second-place Notre Dame Hounds strengthened their hold on that rung in the Southern League with a 5 to 2 win over the Regina Army & Navy in Wilcox. Entering the bottom of the seventh stanza knotted at 1 - 1, the Hounds pushed across a pair of tallies and then wrapped things up with another brace in the eighth. Herb Singleton picked up the win with  six innings of relief work in which he limited the Reginans to three hits. Playing manager "Jersey" Campbell of the Army & Navy boys led all hitters with a double and single.  

Schmidt (L) and Wenaus
Reynoldson, Singleton (4) (W) and Kyle, Brown (7) 

(July 3)  After riding high and wide for five straight wins, the Moose Jaw Canucks bit the dust as the Liberty Eagles dropped them 6 to 2 in the Long Lake town. "Lefty" Johnson held the Canucks to four hits and fanned nine in earning the mound win for the Eagles. He also had three base blows to lead all batters.

Molitor (L) and Mills
L. Johnson (W) Brucker

(July 6)  The Liberty Eagles pounded out a one-sided 12 to 1 win over the Notre Dame Hounds to move within a game of second spot in the Southern League. Denny Evenson hurled a two-hitter in earning the victory for the Long Lakers. His batterymate, Rudy Brucker, drilled three singles in his support. 

Bent (L), F. Germann (4) and Kyle
Evenson (W) and Brucker

(July 7)  The Moose Jaw Canucks snatched a comeback 8 to 6 win from the Regina Army & Navy by virtue of a huge, six run seventh inning. Jim Jinks hurled 7 2/3 innings of relief ball to get the win for Moose Jaw. Outfielder Don Gillies led the Canucks offensively with a double and three singles. Murray Armstrong homered for the Reginans.

Molitor, Jinks (2) (W) and Mills
Rosnoski (L), Maze (8) and Nicholson 

(July 8)  The heavy-hitting Canucks of Moose Jaw lambasted the Notre Dame Hounds 14 to 2 in a five and a half inning Southern League encounter in the Mill City. The Canucks rattled off six runs in the bottom of the first in breezing to victory. "Molly" Molitor gave up five hits in earning the win. Moose Jaw first baseman Larson went four for four at the dish for the winners. Outfielder Lou Scott was next in line with three one-baggers. 

Lyons (L), F. Germann (1), Browns (4) and Brown
Molitor (W) and Clements

Southern League standings (as of end of July 8)
                          W    L     Pct.
Moose Jaw Canucks         7    1     .875
Notre Dame Hounds         4    4     .500
Liberty Eagles            3    4     .429
Regina Army & Navy        1    6     .143

(July 9)  With a barrage of 12 hits, four of them for extra bases, the Liberty Eagles pounded out a 7 to 4 decision over the Moose Jaw Canucks at Manitou Beach. First baseman C. Johnson ripped a double and two singles for the Eagles in support of winning hurler Denny Evenson.

Jinks (L) and Clements
Evenson (W) and Rowe

(July 10)  A big fifth inning gave the Liberty Eagles another victory to add to their string when they downed the Regina Army & Navy 7 to 2 at Park de Young. The triumph moved the Eagles into second spot in the Southern League, a half game in front of the Notre Dame Hounds. Coloured import "Lefty" Johnson twirled a complete game win for the Eagles. Hitting star of the night was "Red" Haley, the Liberty second baseman who had four singles.

L. Johnson (W) and Rowe
Maze (L), Grossman (6) and Newton

(July 15)  The Liberty Eagles, riding a hot streak, knocked over the Southern League leading Moose Jaw Canucks for the third time this campaign when they stormed into the Mill City and walked away with a 3 to 1 win. Both teams had seven base blows with C. Johnson of the Eagles and Don Gillies of the Canucks collecting two apiece.

L. Johnson (W) and Rowe
Jinks (L) and Lach

(July 16)  The Moose Jaw Canucks saw their lead in the Southern League shrink to half a game when they lost an eleven inning tussle to the Notre Dame Hounds by a 6 to 5 count. Shortstop Bob "Red" Browns' single in the bottom of the second extra frame drove in the lead run for the Collegians, making a mound winner out of John Jones. Moose Jaw playing manager Don "Haddo" Mills came up with four singles in five at bats to pace all swingers.

Molitor (L) and Mills
Jones (W) and Brown

Final Standings          W    L   Pct.
Moose Jaw Canucks        7    4   .636
Liberty Eagles           6    4   .600
Notre Dame Hounds        5    4   .556
Regina Army & Navy       1    7   .125

No league playoffs were held and, as the 1939 Southern League pennant winner, Moose Jaw advanced to play the Weyburn Beavers in a best-of-five series for the south Saskatchewan title.

SOUTH  SASKATCHEWAN  SENIOR  BASEBALL  CHAMPIONSHIP  SERIES

Moose Jaw Canucks player roster for the 1939 south Saskatchewan senior baseball championship
Bakke SS, Carr Lloyd OF, Carr Lorne OF, Emerson R. "Bob" 1B, Emerson W. "Bill" OF, Gillies Don OF, Jinks Jim P, Maze Tony P/OF, McDonald D. 3B/SS/2B, Mills Cliff 2B, Mills Don "Haddo" C, Molitor "Molly" P, Thomson Alexander "Sandy" 2B, Wilson Les 3B/OF

Weyburn Beavers player roster for the 1939 south Saskatchewan senior baseball championship
Garner Johnnie OF, Hogg Ralph OF/P, Kawuza C, Leflar Dick OF, Matheson George 2B/OF, Maxwell 3B, Tucker Phil 2B, Walter Art "Lefty" P/OF, Walter Earl C, Wilder Archie SS, Wilder Les 1B

(August 9)  The Moose Jaw Canucks took a one-game lead in their best-of-five playoff series with the Weyburn Beavers with a 5 to 2 victory in the Friendly City. Both teams played a tight brand of ball with the Beavers gathering six hits to the home crew's five. Both first baseman, Les Wilder of the Beavers and Moose Jaw's Bob Emerson, had two singles. Lefthander Art Walter fanned twelve batters but it wasn't enough as he lost the pitching decision to Jim Jinks.

A. Walter (L) and E. Walter
Jinks (W) and D. Mills

(August 14)  Ralph Hogg struck out 15 Moose Jaw Canucks and his club mates lashed out almost as many hits as the Weyburn Beavers shutout the Mill City nine 5 to 0 to tie the South Saskatchewan senior playoff series at one game each.  Hogg held the Canucks to four scattered hits while the Weyburn hickory holsters banged out 13, two of them three-baggers from the sure hands of Archie and Les Wilder. The Wilder boys finished the game with three hits each.  

Jinks (L) and D. Mills
Hogg (W) and E. Walter 

(August 15)  Rain spoiled the battle of the southpaws at Weyburn's exhibition grounds diamond when "Lefty" Walter and Tony Maze, hurling for the Moose Jaw Canucks, hooked up in a terrific pitching duel in the third game of the South Saskatchewan senior baseball series. Neither side had scored a run when the game was called in the seventh frame. Walter fanned 17 Canucks during his seven innings on the hill while yielding but two hits and Maze had nine Beaver pelts for the same number of safeties.

Maze and D. Mills
A. Walter and E. Walter

(August 16)  Playing a smooth game all the way through, the Moose Jaw Canucks jumped into the lead in the South Saskatchewan senior baseball playoffs by trimming the Weyburn Beavers 9 to 3 before 3,000 fans at Ross Wells Park in the Friendly City. Tony Maze fanned eight in going the route for the victory over Ralph Hogg. Helped by erratic Weyburn fielding, the Canucks established a four-run margin in the early innings to keep the Soo Liners down all the way. Playing manager Don "Haddo" Mills led the offensive assault for the winners, pasting a double plus a brace of one-baggers.

Hogg (L), A. Walter (8) and E. Walter
Maze (W) and D. Mills

August 17)  The Weyburn Beavers walloped the Moose Jaw Canucks 5 to 2 in the fifth meeting of their current playoff series. In helping his mates to square the series, "Lefty" Walter struck out 14 Moose Jaw batters while holding the Canucks to five hits, the longest one being a two-run homer by Tony Maze. Walter, along with Beavers' teammate Les Wilder, also had a pair of singles off loser Jim Jinks.

A. Walter (W) and E. Walter
Jinks (L) and D. Mills

(August 18)  The power-packed Weyburn Beavers climbed to Southern Saskatchewan senior baseball supremacy for the third successive season when they shutout the Moose Jaw Canucks 6 to 0 in the Soo City. Once again, Weyburn's Ralph Hogg, veteran of many a ball battle, stole the laurels with 17 strikeouts in whitewashing the invaders. A five-run fifth inning did the trick for the hosts. The Wilder brothers, Archie and Les, as well as Art Walter and Johnnie Garner, all had a pair of singles for the winners off the slants of portsider Tony Maze. Weyburn will now move on to meet the Saskatoon Lions for the provincial crown.

Maze (L) and D. Mills
Hogg (W) and Kawuza

SASKATCHEWAN  SENIOR  BASEBALL  CHAMPIONSHIP  SERIES

(August 23)  At Weyburn, the Saskatoon Lions took both games of a double-header, 4-1 and 3-2, to take a stranglehold on the Saskatchewan Senior baseball final series. They lead the best-of-five set, two games to none. A pair of country lads, Reinie Kembel of Wilkie and Bill Vogeli of Kenaston, hurled solid games to help the Lions to the twin triumph. 

Kembel allowed just six hits in the opener, including a home run by Archie Wilder, and set down 12 via strikeout. He walked just one.  Roy Schappert led the Lions at the plate with two doubles.  Garnet Parsons had a double and single while Ian Lowe and Eddie Major added two singles apiece.  For Weyburn, Les Wilder had a pair of two baggers.

Kembel (W) and Harney
Walter (L) and Kawuza

In the second game, Vogeli fired a five-hitter, fanned 11 and helped with two hits as the Lions won 3-2. Roy Schappert 's 5th inning homer, with Vogeli aboard proved to be the winning blow. Saskatoon had ten hits off loser Ralph Hogg, who compiled 12 strikeouts.  Archie Wilder had a triple for Weyburn.

Vogeli (W) and Harney
Hogg (L) and Kawuza

(August 25)   Third baseman Ian Lowe led the offense with a pair of doubles and a single as the Saskatoon Lions downed Weyburn 9-3 to take the Saskatchewan Senior title in three straight games. Lowe also scored two runs, stole a base, and made the game's defensive play with a catch of a high fly ball near the third base grandstand.  Centre fielder Max Bentley, second baseman Roy Schappert and shortstop Eddie Major each added two safeties for the Lions.  Saskatoon had 12 hits overall and were helped by six Weyburn errors. Reliever Bill Vogeli picked up the win.

Walters (L), Hogg (3) and Kawuza
Kembel, Vogeli (W) (3) and Harney

(August 26)  Saskatoon and Weyburn divided an exhibition doubleheader at Saskatoon.  The hosts romped to an 11-2 win in the opener, and the Beavers trounced the Lions 9-1 in the evening game.

Saskatoon backed up Reinie Kembel's seven-hit pitching with a 15-hit attack in taking the first game. Archie Wilder belted a homer for the losers.

Leflar (L) and Kawuza
Kembel (W) and Stark

Art Walter tossed a three-hitter as Weyburn took the second game 9-1.  Beavers pounded out 12 hits off Lions manager Laurel Harney and reliever Bill Vogeli.

Walter (W) and Kawuza
Harney (L), Vogeli (4) and Stark

(August 27)   Weyburn and Saskatoon split another exhibition double-header, Lions winning the opener 8-7, Beavers taking the second game 4-3.  Eddie Major, the Lions' shortstop, took to the hill and survived a late rally by the Beavers to take the win. After six shutout innings, Weyburn erupted for four in the 7th, two in the 8th and another in the top of the 9th to tie.  However, in the bottom of the 9th, Major knocked in the winning run with a two-out single to right.  Bobby Stark had a homer for Saskatoon.

Hogg, Hooper (L) and Kawuza
Major (W) and Stark

In his third game in three days, Art Walter held Saskatoon to six hits as the Beavers took the nightcap 4-3. Lefty Skarban took the loss. 

Walters (W) and Kawuza
Skarban (L) and Stark

EPILOGUE  TO  1939  SEASON

Although the Regina entry in the 1939 Southern League didn't play up to expectations, the quality of the Moose Jaw and Liberty teams was a pleasnt surprise. The other team in the circuit, the student-based Notre Dame Hounds, went after the provincial intermediate title and were successful, knocking off the Saskatoon Outlaws in a sudden-death game in the Hub City. Overall, the Southern circuit regained most of its credibility, which had been badly slipping, in completing the 1939 campaign. The only question remaining now is whether this progress can be maintained down the road with the uncertainties hovering over the world.