1952 ... Beavers again, the Rosetown Riot & Kamsack's Cyclones

1952 Stats
1952 Rosters
1952 Tournaments
1952 Baton Rouge Hardwoods 
1952 Bellingham Bells

SASKATCHEWAN
SASKATCHEWAN LEAGUE
     
North Battleford Beavers 30 18  
Saskatoon Gems 28 17 0.5
Regina Caps 21 23 7.0
Moose Jaw Maples
19 28 10.5
Estevan Maple Leafs  15 28 12.5
1952 Game Reports/Playoffs  
1952 Photo Gallery
1952 Snapshots
1952 North Battleford Beavers
1952 Saskatoon Gems  
1952 Florida Cubans
1952 Indian Head Rockets

SOUTHERN LEAGUE      
Regina Royal Caps 12 6  
Avonlea Arrows 12 7 0.5
Weyburn Beavers 12 7 0.5
Notre Dame Hounds  8 8 3.0
Milestone Athletics  6 11 5.5
Regina Red Sox    4 15 8.5
1952 Game Reports/Playoffs  
1952 Photo Gallery  
1952 Marquis Cubs

NORTHEASTERN SK LEAGUE
NESBL History
1952 The Rosetown Baseball Riot 
 
ALBERTA
EDMONTON & DISTRICT SENIOR LEAGUE

Army-Navy Cardinals, Carter Motors, Beverly Drakes, Leduc Oilers
       
CHINOOK LEAGUE      
Purity 99
34
12
 
Drumheller
29
13
3.0
Carstairs
27
16
5.5
Twin Cities
25
21
9.0
Universal Mercurys
24
22
10.0
Air Force
14
29
18.5
Standard
2
42
31.0
Carstairs won the league title defeating Twin Cities in the playoff final
       
BIG SIX LEAGUE (Incomplete)      
Magrath Eagles  7 5  
Lethbridge Miners  8 6  
Taber Firemen   5 5 1.0
Lethbridge Cubs   6 8 2.0
JCCA Niseis      4 8 3.0
       
FOOTHILLS LEAGUE      
Granum White Sox 8 3  
Nanton 6 4 1.5
Stavely 5 4 2.0
Claresholm Meteors 4 4 2.5
Claresholm RCAF 1 8 6.0
1952 Alberta Game Reports 
1952 Alberta Photo Gallery
1952 Lethbridge Cubs 
1952 Brooks Buffaloes         
1951-52 Vulcan   
       
CROW'S NEST LEAGUE
Blairmore Canucks, Coleman Cubs, Pincher Creek Dominoes, Michel Red Sox, Fernie Falcons
       
BROOKS-MEDICINE HAT & DISTRICT LEAGUE
Brooks Buffaloes, Bow Island Combines, Medicine Hat Mercurys, Redcliff Red Sox, Vauxhall
       
ALBERTA SUGAR BEET LEAGUE
Raymond Busseis
       
NORTH PEACE LEAGUE      
West Division      
Fairview 9 1  
Peace River Stampeders 8 2 1.0
Hines Creek 5 5 4.0
Grimshaw 3 7 6.0
Whitelaw 2 8 7.0
Berwyn 1 9 8.0
       
MANITOBA      
MANDAK LEAGUE      
Minot Mallards   32 22  
Carman Cardinals 27 27 5.0
Winnipeg Giants 25 29 7.0
Brandon Greys  25 29 7.0
1952 Game Reports
1952 Playoffs
1952 Photo Gallery
1952 Snapshots
1952 Minot Mallards
       
GREATER WINNIPEG SENIOR LEAGUE
C.U.A.C., Selkirk, St.Boniface, St.James, Stonewall, Transcona
1952 Game Reports 
       
MANITOBA-SASKATCHEWAN LEAGUE
Bowsman, Dauphin, Gilbert Plains, Grandview, Roblin, Yorkton, Kamsack
1952 Game Reports 
1952 Snapshots 
1952 Kamsack Cyclones
1952 Grandview Maroons
1952 Gilbert Plains
       
BRITISH COLUMBIA
KINGSWAY SENIOR LEAGUE 
BCE, Leckies, New Westminster Lucky Royals, North Stars

The North Stars defeated the pennant-winning Royals in the playoffs to claim the league title.
       
LOWER MAINLAND LEAGUE
Hammond, Langley, South Burnaby, Vancouver Merchants, Whalley

Whalley Chiefs captured the pennant but South Burnaby defeated Hammond in the playoffs to take the LMBL championship.
       
VANCOUVER INDUSTRIAL LEAGUE
Boilermakers
23
7
.767
Western Bridge
20
10
.667
Lynn Athletic
10
9
.526
Nisei
15
15
.500
Longshoremen
14
16
.467
PT Clippers
13
17
.433
West Vancouver
5
13
.278
North Van Cubs
4
15
.211
The two top teams (Boilermakers & Westerns) met in the playoff final with the Boilermakers capturing the championship
       
NORTHWEST SEMI-PRO LEAGUE
Bellingham, Sedro Wooley
       
DEWDNEY LEAGUE      
       
UPPER FRASER VALLEY LEAGUE 
Abbotsford, Agassiz, Chilliwack, Princeton, RCSME
       
VICTORIA SENIOR AMATEUR LEAGUE
Chinooks, Eagle, Farmer Construction, Harris Cyclers, Master Plumbers, Oak Bay Oaks
       
MID-ISLAND SENIOR AMATEUR LEAGUE
Alberni Athletics, Chemainus Red Sox, Duncan Athletics, Nanaimo Sport Centres, Parksville Loggers
       
COMOX DISTRICT LEAGUE
Campbell River Athletics, Campbell River Cougars, Comox Valley Tigers, Courtenay Legion, Cumberland Cubs, Union Bay Braves
       
OKANAGAN MAINLINE LEAGUE
Penticton Athletics
15
5
Kamloops Elks
11
9
4.0
Summerland Macs
9
11
6.0
Oliver Elks
9
11
6.0
Kelowna Orioles
9
11
6.0
Vernon Canadians
7
13
8.0
       
BC INTERIOR LEAGUE      
Rutland Adanacs
7
1
Kamloops Okonots
5
3
2.0
Revelstoke Spikes
5
3
2.0
Winfield Aces
3
5
4.0
       
WEST KOOTENAYS (No formal league) 
Fruitvale Beavers, Nelson Outlaws, Nelson Tigers, Rossland Capilanos, Trail Smoke Eaters, Waneto Hydros
       
KOOTENAY BOUNDARY INTERNATIONAL
Colville, Fruitvale Beavers, Grand Forks, Kettle Falls, Rossland Capilanos,
       
ARROW LAKES / SLOCAN VALLEY
(Leagues not known)  Burton, Edgewood, Nakusp, New Denver, Silverton, Slocan City, Winlaw
       
CENTRAL INTERIOR LEAGUE
Giscome Dodgers, Prince George Lumbermen, Prince George Merchants, Quesnel Clippers, Quesnel Lumbermen, Vanderhoof Cubs, West Lake Loggers, Willow River Red Sox
1952 Vancouver Game Reports
1952 BC Interior Game Reports   
1952 VCR Island Game Reports    
1952 BC Photo Gallery  
1952 BC Snaphots     
       
ONTARIO      
INTERCOUNTY LEAGUE
Brantford Red Sox, Galt Terriers, Guelph Maple Leafs, Kitchener Panthers, London Majors, St. Thomas Elgins, Waterloo Tigers
       
WEST TORONTO SENIOR LEAGUE 
B&A Motors, Mahers, Milwaukee Sports, Peter Pans, Westerns, West York
       
EAST TORONTO VIADUCT LEAGUE 
Best Cleaners, Defoe Motors, Drive Grill, Kingsway Lumber, Stanton Fuels,
       
HAMILTON INTERMEDIATE LEAGUE
Caledonia, Crawfords, Dofascos, Niseis,
       
HAMILTON NISEI LEAGUE
Cardinals, Cubs, Giants
       
TORONTO NISEI SUNDAY LEAGUE
Bestway Cleaners, Busseis, Buzzers, Club Rhapsody, Nobbies, Sam Kamo Builders
1952 Ontario Game Reports 
1952 Ontario Photo Gallery      
MARITIMES
1952 Truro Bearcats
       
MINNESOTA
SOUTHERN MINNY LEAGUE

Albert Lea Packers
27
15
Waseca Braves
26
16
1.0
Winona Chiefs
26
16
1.0
Austin Packers
25
17
2.0
Faribault Lakers
21
21
6.0
Owatonna Aces
19
23
8.0
Mankato Merchants
13
29
14.0
Rochester Royals
11
31
16.0
1952 Minnesota Photo Gallery   
1952 So. Minny All-Stars    
       
       
       

 

North Battleford program" ... Baseball fans in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and North Battleford are witnessing what many veteran observers think is better than Class B professional baseball ...

The league is drawing big crowds, the ball is top notch, there's plenty of hustle and it looks as though the way has been paved for a solid setup for years to come." (Don Pilling, Lethbridge Herald, June 5, 1952)

With their backs to the wall, North Battleford's Beavers got shutout pitching then awesome hitting to crush Saskatoon to win the Saskatchewan Baseball League championship.

John ColemanBob HerronDown three games to one, Beavers first got a four-hit shutout from Johnny Coleman (left) in a 2-0 win, then exploded for a 12-3 triumph to tie the series. 

In the deciding game, the Beavers handed the Gems an early 5-1 lead before storming back to whip Saskatoon 22-9. Bob Herron (right) had four hits, including a pair of homers, good for five RBI.  Art Stone belted a grand slam. 

North Battleford had won the regular season and swept Moose Jaw in four games in a semi-final.

Indian Head, under manager Jim Williams, dropped out of league play to concentrate on exhibitions and tournament ball.  They were joined by another touring club, the Florida Cubans.  The Cubans won big tournaments at Lethbridge, Camrose, Lacombe and Indian Head.  The Rockets won the tourney in Kamsack.

Cubans captured the provincial title with 9-2 and 16-11 wins over the Rockets.

Lethbridge Cubs won the Alberta championship defeating Brooks Buffaloes in a best-of-three series.

Zoonie McLeanMinot Mallards were crowned ManDak League champions beating Carman in the final series.  Zoonie McLean (right) won the batting title with a .369 mark. 

Hal Price of Winnipeg led the league in wins, with 10, and strikeouts, 130.  

Roy TaylorLen TuckerRoy Taylor's (left) Kamsack Cyclones won the title in the Manitoba - Saskatchewan League. 

Taylor was selected as the top manager in the seven-team circuit and three of his players made the all-star team -- pitcher John Zeeben, 1b Len Tucker (right), of Stan Green.  Tucker led the league in average (.480) home runs, triples and stolen bases.  

It was the first year of George Wesley's Granum clubs.  It was one of four teams in the Foothills League (with Fort McLeod, Claresholm, and Stavely). 

It was quite a season. Western Canada League clubs shared a playoff pool of $11,496.60, representing fifty percent of gross receipts from all playoff games. 

The champion North Battleford Beavers took the lion's share, $3,140 while the runners-up, the Saskatoon Gems, received $2,637. Regina Caps were awarded $1,845, Moose Jaw Maples $1,582 and Estevan Maple Leafs $1,318

Gus KyleRegina's Gus Kyle (also a hockey star) won the Saskatchewan League batting title with a .368 average, nearly 20 points higher than the runner-up, Curtis Tate of North Battleford. 

The Beavers Bob Herron was the home run champ with 12 and also led the loop in RBI with 46.

Ken Nelson of the Beavers, who finished third in the batting race at .348, led the league in runs with 50 and tied Estevan's Ray Patterson for the lead in doubles with 12.  Jim Shields of Saskatoon and Bill Shea of Estevan swiped the most bases, 14 apiece.  Jim Harford of Moose Jaw had the most triples, six. 

Cotton PippenThe leading pitchers were Les Dean, NB with a 6-1 record, Bob Singleton of Saskatoon at 5-1, Chuck Holdaway, Saskatoon 6-2, and Johnny Coleman, NB, 7-3.  Cless Hinckley of Regina finished at 3-0. 

Moose Jaw imported a former major leaguer, Henry Harold Cotton Pippen (left).  However, 1940 was Pippen's last year in the majors and he made little impact for Moose Jaw.

A North Battleford player needed help from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to escape a sticky situation during a fracas at the Rosetown Tournament

"Tate, the Negro third-baseman of the North Battleford Club, already had quite a reputation for some un-baseball-like antics at previous Rosetown money shows, but his part in Wednesday's riot will outlive them all." 

"It was he who beaned a Cuban All-Star opponent with a baseball bat and then made a hurried and desperate exit out of the ball park through a surrounding hedge of willows, across 200 yards of summer fallow and eventually into the house of a North Rosetown grain-buyer." 

Riot headline

Charlie BeeneJim WilliamsCharlie Beene as "White Lightning" of the Jacksonville Eagles?  

The Eagles, of Jacksonville, Florida, were a part of the Negro American Association.  In Canada, they played under the banner of the Indian Head Rockets.  Jim Williams (right), a veteran of the Negro leagues, was the playing-manager of the club.

Charlie Beene was a teenager from Oklahoma, via Visalia, California. He had pitched in 1951 with Roy Taylor's Saskatoon 55's in the Northern Saskatchewan league.

Jacksonville EaglesThe Eagles were a "coloured" team.  Beene's pale complexion didn't seem a particularly good fit.  But, beginning in August of 1951, Williams began to try and sign Beene to play with the Eagles/Rockets.  First it was for the 1951 playoffs (Williams also noted he wanted Sherman Watrous, Pete Polus and Andy Swota).

At the time, Beene didn't see anything unusual about the offer. "I never thought about the colour thing at all just that I had pitched against them two or three times and had my real good stuff."

As Beene passed on the '51 offer, Williams resumed his courting of Beene in January of 1952.  Beene was even penciled in to be the starter in the Eagle's season-opener in March.  Negotiations progressed well and Beene was informed than a transportation ticket will be arranged for him to go to Florida for spring practice.  They even agreed on salary. 

$400 a month

"I probably had that one-hundredth of a doubt so I said well how about I bring Bob Garcia, my buddy for life", said Beene.  The team agreed. "Me and Bob were all ready to go."

The club was expected to make a trip to Japan in April, then play in Canada for the summer.  A major league tryout camp in California changed plans.  Beene was offered and accepted a contract from the Pittsburgh Pirates and began the 1952 season as a pro in Visalia.

In 1954, Williams tried to recruit Tom Mulcahy who had pitched for the Lloydminster Meridians. But, Mulcahy too would sign a pro contract with Pittsburgh.


The Regina Caps had a mid-season makeover.  On June 10th the Caps unveiled a revamped lineup which featured eleven new players headed by playing-coach Pete Beiden.  Among the newcomers were pitchers Jack Hannah, Larry Bolger, Ted Wills, Frank Warren and Truman Clevenger. (Wills and Clevenger would go on to become major leaguers.) Also joining Regina were first baseman Fred Bartels, infielders Fred Sommers and Bob Newton, outfielders Frank Ball and Art Shahzade. Two catchers were on the way, Bob Bennett and Bill Clevenger. Most of Beiden's recruits were from his baseball program at Fresno State. An additional four Fresno players were slated for jobs with Dauphin and Great Plains of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan League.

Beiden and Roy Taylor were instrumental in placing dozens of college players (more than seventy from Fresno State alone) on teams in Western Canada.  At the time, college programs had a tough time convincing the pros they had something to offer.  "The pros had an attitude against college players", said Taylor, "They just thought that college kids were a bunch of green nothings."  It was a time, said Taylor, "when they didn't move the kids up and, if they were college kids they hated them.  The pros and the college kids were always at battle."


Garnet CampbellIn a season wherein Southern League pitchers seemed to have an upper hand on the hitters, Regina Royal Caps first sacker Doug Hingley took batting laurels with a .333 average. There were only seven batters in the 1952 circuit who could claim hitting .300 or above as Avonlea Arrows' chucker Garnet Campbell (left) of Brier curling fame topped all hurlers with a perfect 5 - 0 record. The Regina Royal Caps edged out both the Weyburn Beavers and Avonlea Arrows by half a game to claim top spot during the regular season. Their success continued into the post-season as they picked up the playoff silverware by taking three games out of four from the Notre Dame Hounds in a best-of-five final series.


Stan Obodiac (later to be a long-serving PR officer with the Toronto Maple Leafs) writing in the Yorkton paper in July, 1952.

Wednesday afternoon I was in New York City -- the Brooklyn Dodgers were playing Cincinnati at Ebbetts (sic) Field, over television.  Thursday afternoon I was in Kamsack with the Cardinals playing ball in the Man.-Sask. League. You get a quick comparison of the play.  Negro Len Tuck (sic) of the Cyclones hits the ball as powerfully as Jackie Robinson, but who knows whether he could hit major league pitching.  Eddie Panser of the Cardinals can run the bases as fast as any Dodger.  Surely he must be the fastest thing on two feet in Yorkton.

The same issue carried a story of Kamsack's 7-3 win over Yorkton and noted, "Big Negro Len Tuck, one of the best ball players to ever show in this district, led Kamsack at bat."   Len Tuck (somehow the "er" went missing), of course, was Len Tucker one of Roy Taylor's imports from the College of the Sequoias.  


Five teams comprised the Brooks, Medicine Hat and District League -- Brooks Buffaloes, Redcliffe Canadian Legion Red Sox, Bow Island Combines, Medicine Hat Mercurys and Vauxhall.  The Wheatbelt League operated in northern Alberta with clubs from Grande Prairie (Mercury's and Legion), Beaverlodge, Sexsmith, Dawson Creek, Fairview and Roycroft.


Ron NecciaiOn May 13, 1952, 19-year-old Ron Necciai fanned 27 in pitching a 9-inning no-hitter for the Bristol Twins (then a Class D farm club of the Pittsburgh Pirates).  There was one groundout in the contest, but in the 9th as Necciai recorded strikeout number 26, his catcher let the pitch get away for a passed ball and the youngster promptly fanned the next hitter to end the game.

At Bristol, Necciai had an 0.42 ERA in 43 innings (with 109 strikeouts).  Promoted to Class B Burlington, he pitched another 126 innings with 172 Ks and an ERA of 1.57.  He finished the season in the major leagues with a 1-6 record in 55 innings (7.04 ERA, 32 BB, 31 K).  224 innings on a 19-year-old arm.  He never pitched in the majors again.

Joe JankolaOne week after Necciai's spectacular performance, 20-year-old Joey Jankola of Trail, BC fanned 24 batters in pitching a no-hitter for the Universal Mercurys in the Chinook League in Calgary.  Mercurys walloped Standard 19-0.

Jankola, attending Calgary Technical Institute, walked four and hit a batter.  Two reached on errors.  One putout was made in right field, one at second base and one at first.


In what may have been the first "deal" between American and Japanese baseball clubs, the St. Louis Browns loaded two black minor leaguer players to the Hankyu Braves of the Japanese Pacific League.  Abe Saperstein, owner of the Harlem Globetrotters negotiated the transfer and termed the deal, sending third-baseman John Britton and pitcher Jim Newberry to Japan, as a "lend-lease" arrangement of benefit to both countries. 

Baseball in Lethbridge