Three senior-level baseball loops operated in Vancouver and vicinity during the 1949 campaign although none of the trio of circuits received much more than passing notice in the print media during the regular season where the focus was on the professional class B Vancouver Capilanos. Playoff coverage was an improvement, at least for the Vancouver Senior City League, although still not to the extent given to the teams in the Western International League.
The Senior City League was still considered Vancouver’s elite senior league in 1949 although both the Kingsway Senior and Industrial Union Leagues had closed the gap and were readily shedding a previous senior B designation, utilizing many veteran stars of past days from the Senior City loop.
New Westminster had an entry in the Kingsway circuit, the Luckies, which faced head-to-head competition with a Royal City semi-pro team. The New Westminster Royals semi-pro outfit played against teams from northwest Washington and coverage of their games in Vancouver newspapers was virtually non-existent with the exception of the odd exhibition game.
VANCOUVER SENIOR CITY BASEBALL LEAGUE
Vancouver Athletic Club (VAC)
*regular-season first-place finisher
PLAYOFF GAME REPORTS
SEMI-FINALS (best-of-three series)
West Vancouver vs VAC and Tigers vs Westerns
(August 16) The Tigers went one game up on the Westerns in their semi-final playoff round, copping a 5 to 1 victory at Capilano Stadium. Tom Jenkinson was the winning pitcher.
xxx (L) and xxx
Jenkinson (W) and xxx
(August 17) West Vancouver took a one-game lead over the defending champion VAC nine, taking down the Clubbers 7 to 3 in the opener of a playoff doubleheader at Capilano Stadium. In the late game, the Westerns tied their best-of-three semi-final with the Tigers, blanking the Bengals 8 to 0.
West Van took advantage of erratic pitching by VAC’s Barry Dunn, who walked five in 1 1/3 frames, to score three runs in the first and three more in the second. Base hits were at a premium, the winners collecting only three while the Athletics got to winner Rod Owen for just four.
Owen (W) and Mulhern
Dunn (L), Holgren (2) and Bellamy
In the second game, the Westerns never gave the Tigers a chance to get organized, pouncing on the Striped Cats for two-spots in the first, second, fourth and fifth cantos. Gary Zailo fired a five-hitter for the shutout win. Fly chaser Ernie Thrower of the victors had two safeties, the only player in the game to acquire plural swat totals. Outfielder Bill Pelek hammered a two-run homer in the first stanza to get things started for the Westerns.
Surphlis (L), Parish (5) and McDonald
Zailo (W) and Tough
(August 18) With another playoff twin-bill on the agenda, the Tigers came through to win 6 to 3 over the Westerns in the matinee match to grab their semi-final series two games to one. West Vancouver then dethroned the VAC aggregation, champions of the Senior City circuit for the past three seasons, upsetting the Clubbers 10 to 2 in the finale to take their series in two games straight.
Tigers’ Pete Younie set the Westerns down on four hits in going the route for the opening game win. Third baseman Joe Kanik had a home run and single for the Bengals, an offensive production replicated by Westerns’ first baseman Doug Hunt.
Murphy (L), Leskiw and Tough
Younie (W) and McDonald
Five hit batters defined the fierce enmity which evolved in the VAC elimination encounter. West Van racked up eight safeties off a trio of hurlers from the vanquished nine with Jack “Lefty” Alton leading the way with three. Rival backstops, VAC’s Vince Bellamy and Ivan Spees of West Van checked in with two bingles apiece.
Crosato (L), Dunn, Curby and Bellamy
K. Spees (W) and I. Spees
West Vancouver vs Tigers
(August 20) The Tigers took a one-game lead in the Senior City Baseball League finals, defeating West Vancouver 3 to 1 at Capilano Stadium. A bad first inning when West Van pitcher Rod Owen couldn’t seem to get control of things, proved costly to the losers. Tigers’ leadoff hitter Gordie McLellan singled and Frank Vaselenak followed with another one-bagger. Owen then walked three in a row to force in a pair. Joe Kanik, toeing the rubber for the Bengals, was nicked for just two hits. Rain in the sixth inning terminated the game early.
Kanik (W) and McDonald
Owen (L) and I. Spees
(August 22) A loosely played affair resulted in a 14 to 6 mauling of the West Vancouver baseballers by the Tigers. The Bengals are now just one win away from capturing the Senior City League title. Both teams had a bad performance defensively, with seven errors each. The Striped Cats raked in 11 base hits with outfielder Frank Vaselenak stroking three, an output equaled by shortstop McIntyre of West Van.
K. Spees (L), Cliff (9) and Mulhern
Jenkinson (W), Surphlis (6) and McDonald
(August 23) Sweeping West Vancouver in three straight games, the latest triumph being a 10 to 8 verdict, the Tigers are the 1949 champions of the Vancouver Senior City Baseball League. The Bengals built up huge lead in the middle innings but West Van plated five in their final turn at bat to lessen the deficit. Veteran first baseman Billy Adshead was the spearhead of the victors’ offensive punch, belting a fourth-inning home run to go along with a single. Winning elbower Bill Parish was nicked for eight hits while fanning seven.
Parish (W) and McDonald
Owen (L), Alton (8) and Mulhern
(September 5) In an all-Vancouver final, VAC scored four times in the ninth inning to defeat the Tigers 5 to 2, earning first-prize money at the Kamloops tournament. The champs defeated Kamloops 2 to 0 in the first round with Arnie Hallgren tossing the shutout as Ron Curby homered. Hallgren homered in the second game as VAC swept Revelstoke 19 to 0 with Gary Zailo, a pickup fron the Westerns, and Curby dividing the pitching.
KINGSWAY SENIOR BASEBALL LEAGUE
Grandview Chiefs *
New Westminster Luckies
South Burnaby Athletics
*regular-season first-place finisher
PLAYOFF GAME REPORTS
SEMI_FINALS (best-of three series)
Grandview Chiefs vs Steveston Hotel and South Burnaby Athletics vs New Westminster Luckies
(August 25) Grandview Chiefs took a one-game lead in the Kingsway League semi-finals, defeating Steveston Hotel 8 to 2 at Clinton Park. Six hits and six runs in the fifth inning provided the Chiefs with their winning margin. Third baseman Ricketts drilled three bingles for the winners.
Homenuik (L) and Sawden
Mathews (W) and Robinson
(August 26) The New Westminster Luckies edged South Burnaby Athletics 3 to 2 in the opener of their playoff series at Central Park. Winning tosser Gordy U’ren fired a three-hitter, a pair of which were garnered by losing pitcher Forbes who was the only player in the contest to pick up two hits.
U’Ren (W) and Keeley
Forbes (L) and Phipps
(August 28) Grandview Chiefs ousted Steveston Hotel from the playoffs, taking the second game to capture the series in two straight. No final score, game details or batteries found in print.
(August 28) South Burnaby deadlocked their semi-final series with New Westminster. No final score, game details or batteries found in print.
(August 29) Although outhit by a 9 to 8 margin, South Burnaby Athletics prevailed 8 to 5 over the New Westminster Luckies to win their semi-final series two games to one. A five-spot in the fifth frame carried the A’s to victory. South Burnaby infielders Kelly and Kozak as well as New Westminster outfielder Churchill all picked up a brace of bingles.
U’Ren, Poole (L) (5) and Black
Drummond, Scambler (W) (3), Booth (6) and Phipps
South Burnaby Athletics vs Grandview Chiefs
(August 31) The Grandview Chiefs nipped the South Burnaby Athletics 6 to 5 in the first game of the Kingsway League finals. Grandview acquired seven base hits to five for the Burnabyites. Third baseman Kelly and catcher Phipps of the losing nine both had two safeties to lead all swatters.
Forbes (L) and Phipps
Mathews (W) and Robinson
(September 1) The second game of the series was won by the Grandview Chiefs. No final score, game details or batteries located in the print media.
(September 7) Grandview Chiefs won the third game in their series with South Burnaby 6 to 0 at Central Park. Regular catcher Harry Robinson took over pitching duties for the Chiefs and allowed but six hits. First baseman Mathews was the top dog with the lumber for the winners, smashing a home run and triple.
Drummond (L) Booth (3) and Lamont
Robinson (W) and McKinnon
(September 9) Kingsway League final playoff action saw the South Burnaby Athletics grab a 7 to 6 win over the Grandview Chiefs at Central Park. Winning flinger Forbes slammed a four-bagger and a single while teammate Hughie Bickerton contributed a double and single.
Bodeck, Mathews (L) (3) and Robinson
Forbes (W) and Phipps
(September 12) South Burnaby remained in the running for the Kingsway Baseball League championship when they took down the Grandview Chiefs 7 to 5 at Central Park. The A’s rang up eleven base hits with catcher Lamont and shortstop Kozak leading the way with three apiece. Athletics’ outfielder Buckle belted a home run.
Booth, Drummond (4), Scambler (W) (4), Forbes (7) and Lamont
Ballam, Mathews (L) (6) and Robinson
(September 14) Continuing to play vastly-improved baseball, the South Burnaby Athletics won their third straight game from the Grandview Chiefs, an 8 to 2 victory which ties the best-of-seven finals at three-all. Tempers were high during part of the fracas with Hughie Bickerton and Doug Adams involved in flareups. Both teams stroked the horsehide for six safeties. Darkness limited the teams to five innings. McKay of the Chiefs led the hit parade with three singles. Shortstop Kozak ripped two doubles for the A’s, driving in four runs.
Robinson (L), Bodeck (2), Ballam (3) and McKinnon, Robinson (2)
Scambler, Drummond (W) (1) and Lamont
(September 18) Completing an amazing comeback after losing the first three skirmishes, the South Burnaby Athletics captured the 1949 Kingsway Baseball League crown by edging the Grandview Chiefs 3 to 2. Grandview had plenty of opportunities, outhitting the A’s 6 to 5, but stranded ten baserunners. Keystone sacker Doug Adams of the vanquished nine was tops with the lumber, smashing a triple and two one-baggers.
Forbes (W) and Lamont
Mathews (L) and Robinson
INDUSTRIAL UNION BASEBALL LEAGUE
Pacific Dry Dock
*regular-season first-place finisher
PLAYOFF CAME REPORTS
SEMI-FINALS (best-of-five series)
Pacific Drydock vs Longshoremen and Western Bridge vs Boilermakers
(August 21) Longshoremen, first-place finishers, had to score three runs in their final turn at bat to salvage a 4 – 4 tie with Pacific Dry Dock at the Powell Street Grounds. The Stevedores rang up six hits to just two for the Dockers off Bailey. Longshoreman Ray Rondpre, with a pair of safeties, led all batters.
McLean and Garrison
Bailey and Smith
(August 25) The Longshoremen took a two-game lead in their playoff showdown with Pacific Dry Dock, defeating the Dockers 4 to 1. Winning chucker Doug Hemmerling stymied the losers on two hits. First sacker R. Hemmerling gathered in two of the winners’ five base blows.
D. Hemmerling (W) and V. Rondpre
McLean (L) and Bent
(August 27) The Longshoremen scored a 5 to 3 win over Pacific Drydock. A three-run second inning proved the winning margin. No game details or batteries printed.
August 21 – 27) Western Bridge won a best-of-three semi-final series from the Boilermakers sometime during this time span. No final scores, game details or batteries found for any of the games.
(August 31) With both teams registering just three hits, the Longshoremen and Western Bridge played to a 2 – 2 tie in an exhibition Industrial Union game. Joe Kanik, who played for the Tigers in the Senior City circuit, pitched for the Longshoremen, ringing up a dozen strikeouts.
Clark and Bell
Kanik and Smith
FINALS (best-of-seven series)
Longshoremen vs Western Bridge
(September 1) Western Bridge defeated the Longshoremen 5 to 1 at the Powell Street grounds in an Industrial Union final playoff encounter. The Bridgemen outhit the Stevedores 8 to 5 and played near perfect baseball. No game details or batteries printed.
(September 7) Even with Joe Kanik of the Senior City champion Tigers on the hill for the Longshoremen, Western Bridge hammered out 13 base blows en route to a 7 to 3 victory in the second game of the league finals. Rudy Clark pitched a superb three-hitter for the victors. Second baseman Donegan and outfielder Bell had three hits apiece for the Bridgemen.
Clark (W) and Mauro
Kanik (L) and V. Rondpre
(September 8) Western Bridge made it three in a row, blanking the Longshoremen 3 to 0 at the Powell Street grounds. Veteran Nick Craig chucked a three-hitter in posting the mound victory. Shortstop Keith Watley drove in two of the three Western runs. Both teams played flawlessly afield.
D. Hemmerling (L) and V. Rondpre
Craig (W) and Clark
(September 12) The Longshoremen kept alive their hopes of winning the Industrial Union Baseball League title when they took a doubleheader from Western Bridge 13 to 3 and 8 to 1 at the Powell Street grounds.
In the first contest, the Stevedores put together rallies of five and four runs in the third and fourth cantos to take control of the game. Fly chaser R. Hemmerling drove in three runs for the winners while another outfielder, Westerns’ Miscisco, batted in his club’s entire trio of counters. Joe Kanik hurled the win, giving up seven safeties while fanning eight.
Craig (L) and Clark
Kanik (W) and V. Rondpre
Complete game chucker Bailey throttled the Bridgemen on four hits and whiffed seven in the finale and also contributed a home run. His teammate, J. Hemmerling, rapped out three base knocks in support of his twirler.
Bailey (W) and V. Rondpre
Campbell (L) and Mauro
(September 18) Western Bridge won the Sparling Trophy for the 1949 championship of the Union Industrial Baseball League. After losing the opener of a twin-bill to the Longshoremen 4 to 1 at the Powell Street grounds which tied the finals at three games each, the Bridgemen stopped the Stevedores in a crucial and thrilling 1 to 0 finale. Rudy Clark struck out nine in hurling the shutout win for the title.