1953 Snapshots     

Rockets win !          McGuigan cast

Mario HerreraAbove Left : The host team, the Indian Head Rockets, topped Saskatoon 6-2 in the final of the Indian Head Tournament to take home top prize money of $1,200. 

A crowd of 65-hundred watched the final action. Manager Gilberto Yzquierdo receives the Coca-Cola Trophy from Gordon Gilbert, manager of the Regina Coca-Cola Bottling Co.  (National Baseball Congress Annual, 1954)

Above Right :  Chuck McGuigan, described as the "scrappy, young Moose Jaw infielder" is finished for the season.  McGuigan suffered a fractured ankle sliding into second base in the August 10th game against Saskatoon. (Moose Jaw Times-Herald, August 20,1953)

Left - Saskatoon centre fielder Mario Herrera who led the league in stolen bases, with 19.

Gordie Howe at first base


 

Gordie Howe, first baseman for the Saskatoon Gems, rushes to first to beat Brandon runner Johnny Banks to the bag. Gems' pitcher Jim Morrow was on the way to cover the bag, but Howe decided to make the play himself.  The umpire is Ivan Bell.



Fresno connection

Moose Jaw 1953

Above - Hoping for a potent offense, Moose Jaw offers a quartet of heavy hitters - (left to right) - infielder Johnny Ford, infielder Rip Robinett, catcher Tom Mannerino, first baseman Tom/Bob Peterson.  

Left - Fresno State baseball coach Pete Beiden chats with righthander Truman Clevenger, centre, and catcher Bob Bennett, right.  Over the years Beiden would send dozens of FSU players to Western Canada to gain experience on prairie diamonds.  Clevenger pitched for Regina clubs in 1950 and 1952.  Bennett spent parts of four summers in Canada, playing in Regina, Kamsack and Saskatoon. Bennett would succeed Beiden as the Fresno coach.  (Fresno Bee, February 3, 1953) 


California kids going fine in CanadaEd Orman, The Fresno Bee, August 12, 1953

Vacationing Bruce Farris, one of The Fresno Bee sports writers, is taking a busman's holiday in Canada where he is following baseball teams for which a number of Fresno players perform.

Farris is headquartering in Saskatoon, Sask., whose ball club is being managed at present by Pete Beiden, the Fresno State College coach.

The Kamsack, Sask., team which won the league pennant this season, has been managed by Roy Taylor, a former FSC athlete and coach at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia.

The Kamsack team is disbanding and most of the players are heading back to California.  However, Bob Bennett, J.D. Peterson and Jack Ladra, Fresno Staters with Kamsack, will join Beiden and his Saskatoon Gems.

Farris makes the following report :

Bob Doig has been in three games for Saskatoon and has three wins.  He started two games and won one in relief.  His best effort was s five hit 4 to 2 win over Regina.  He looks pretty sharp.

Saskatoon has a nice ball park with the grandstand equipped with individual chair seats and a roof overhead.  The bleachers make the seating capacity about 4,000 and games there draw well with crowds averaging 2,000 to 2,500.  The infield is a skinned diamond but as smooth as a billiard table and far better than Fresno's.  The outfield is about the same as in the FSC park.

The four teams in the current league are Saskatoon, Regina, North Battleford and Moose Jaw.  Beiden really has put some hustle in the Saskatoon team and stands a good chance to nab the pennant.

Wills Whiffs 13

Ted Wills of FSC is hurling for Saskatoon and the other night he struck out 13 in beating Moose Jaw.

Last Sunday we traveled to Marysburg for an exhibition doubleheader with the Humboldt All Stars.  What a setup there -- the field was carved right out of a cow pasture and the players had to run uphill to first base.  The fences were about 250 feet away but only one home run was hit.

Bill Brennan, who used to star as a goalie for the Fresno Falcons, lives here.  Also Gordie Howe, the great Detroit hockey player, lives right across the street from the ball park.  Max Bentley, another major league hockey star, lives in nearby Leslie, and he plays part time for the Saskatoon ball club.