(Brandon Sun headline, August 26, 1948)
Brandon (Manitoba) Greys emerged as the power on the prairies, while the London, Ontario, Majors beat the American champions to take the North American "sandlot" title.
In the city's return to semi-professional baseball, Brandon captured the pennant in the newly formed Manitoba Senior League and went on to defeat the Winnipeg Reos in the playoffs.
In the biggest tournament in the west, Greys beat a tough Sceptre squad to take first prize at Indian Head, Saskatchewan.
With a core of imported players, the Greys led the way in providing a home for former Negro leaguers who began to find fewer opportunities across the border as Jackie Robinson's integration of the major leagues, in 1947, marked the beginning of the end of the Negro leagues.
" Five imported Negro stars, Coney Williams (above), Bus Quinn (aka Armando Vasquez), Thad Christopher, Raphael Cabrera (right) and Steve Wylie proved a sound investment for the backers of the Greys as they turned a "good" club into a "dream team". (Brandon Sun, December 30, 1948)
The Greys, who opened the season with three loses, romped to 58 wins in their 75 game schedule. They finished 28-5-1 in league play. A 17-game winning streak was just one of the highlights.
Wylie (12-1), Quinn (10-1) and Jack Sinclair (10-5) combined to win 32 games. Christopher finished second to Elmwood's Terry Sawchuk (left) in the batting race. Quinn came third. Sawchuk batted .376 to take the crown.
Sawchuk would go on to a Hall of Fame career as a goaltender in the National Hockey League. The Winnipeg native captured NHL Rookie of the Year honours in 1951 and was named the league's best goalie four times.
Winnipeg Tribune's 1948 Manitoba Senior League All-Star team -- Catcher: Gus Merlevede, Reos, First base: Hugh Gustafson, Elmwood, Second base: Jack Raleigh, ANA, Third base: Ian Lowe, Brandon, Shortstop: Coney Williams, Brandon, Left field: Jack Vicars ANA, Centre field: Ed Leier, Elmwood, Right field: Bill Antoniak, Reos, Utility: Terry Sawchuk, Elmwood, Pitcher: Johnny McManus, Reos, Manager: Jack Hind (Winnipeg Tribune, August 19, 1948)
Eddie Morris guided the Edmonton Eskimos to the title in the Alberta Big Four Intercity League. Esks downed Calgary Buffaloes in the final series.
In amateur ball in Southern Alberta, the tiny communities of Bow Island (pop. 600) and Burdett (120) formed an entry in the senior loop and beat the big boys (Lethbridge, pop. 20,000, and Medicine Hat, 14,000) and others to capture the Southern Alberta championship.
The Muskogee Cardinals were among the barnstorming teams to hit the prairies after the war years. The Cardinals played in Camrose, Alberta in 1948, beating the locals 9-8. The Camrose Canadian of July 21st carried a little information about the Cardinals :
"The Cardinals, a darky club, were the champions of the Southwest from 1934 to 1947. It remains to be seen whether they will be champions for 1948 or not. They are highly publicized but are reported to be one of the best teams of their kind. Those who have seem them play report they put on the best show any touring ball club has ever shown. They play to win, but add enough comedy to the game to give you your money's worth."
The paper also mentioned an upcoming series with another barnstorming team, the Oakland Beavers. Among the other touring teams were the Ligon's All-Stars, House of David, Kansas City Monarchs, San Francisco Cubs, Birmingham Stars and San Francisco Sea Lions.
The Weyburn Beavers repeated as the Southern League's playoff champion, knocking off the 1948 regular season kingpins, the Regina Caps, in a showdown between the league's two powerhouses. Beaver hurler Gayle Shupe (left) tossed a perfect game early in the campaign while the Capitals' burly backstop, Walter "Gus" Kyle, ran away with the batting title, pasting the cowhide at a .552 clip, some .122 percentage points higher than the runner-up.
Two American teams met in the final of the Okanagan Valley International League which featured teams from Kelowna, Oliver and Penticton, BC.
Bob Corson of Omak, WA, pitched three straight playoff victories, two of them by shutouts, as Omak swept to the league title downing Bridgeport in the final.
Pennant-winning Kamloops Legion captured the BC Interior League championship defeating the Vernon Aces in the final.
Prince George Pollards crushed Giscome 17-3 in a sudden-death final to win the championship of the Prince George and District League.
New Denver was the class of Slocan & Arrrow Lakes baseball taking two league titles.
In Ontario, the London Majors of the Intercounty Baseball League, defeated the Fort Wayne (Indiana) General Electrics in a best-of-seven series to capture the North American Sandlot championship. Fort Wayne was fresh from winning the National Baseball Congress title in the United States.