1956 BC Interior Game Reports     

1956 Vancouver, Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley 
1956 BC Interior 
1956 Vancouver Island


OKANAGAN MAINLINE BASEBALL LEAGUE

The league stabilized at six teams for the 1956 campaign which saw the Princeton Royals returning to the circuit while the Vernon Canadians dropped out.

(April 22)  The Princeton Royals celebrated their return to the Okanagan Mainline Baseball League with a 9 to 5 win over the Summerland Macs. Princeton garnered 11 hits off the slants of losing flinger Bill Eyre while winning tosser Wendell Clifton was nicked for eight. Best batting performance of the game was that of Summerland outfielder Bobby Parker who smote two triples.

Clifton (W) and xxx
Eyre (L) and xxx

(April 22)  The homestanding Oliver OBC’s opened the campaign by squeezing out a 4 to 3 decision over the Kelowna Orioles. Kelowna had eight safeties to seven for the OBC’s. The Oliver counters were driven in on a double by Ritchie Snyder. three-baggers by Doug Weeks and Johnny Vanderburgh plus a single by Vanderburgh. RBI hits for the Orioles were stroked by Al Schaeffer with a solo home run and a double as well as a single by Eddie Kielbiski.

L. Schaeffer (L) and Blinston
Radies (W) and Fritz

(April 29)  The Kamloops Okonots and Penticton Red Sox split a doubleheader at Kings Park in Penticton, the visitors powering their way to a one-sided 16 to 1 triumph in the matinee contest while the Red Stockings squared things by grabbing the nightcap 8 to 7. Jack Fowles of the Okonots picked up five hits in seven at bats during the double-dip.  In arrears by a 1 to 0 count, the Okonots exploded for twelve runs in a sixth-inning outburst to take control of the opener. Jackie Olson hurled a three-hitter for Kamloops while the homesters were forced to use four chuckers.

Olson (W) and Anderson
Durston (L), MacDonald, Stoochnoff, Drossos and Richards

The Scarlet Hose scored twice in the fifth and added three more in the sixth round to capture the owl event. Penticton’s Jim Staff, with a seven-hitter, took the mound decision over Kamloops’ Len Gatin in the finale. Though he gave up only five hits, Gatin surrendered blows in clutch situations when it really counted for the Sox.

Gatin (L) and Anderson, Stewart
Staff (W) and Richards

(April 29)  The Summerland Macs copped a 7 to 4 verdict over the hosting Kelowna Orioles. Shortstop Al Hooker’s three-run round-tripper in the top of the seventh round was the difference-maker in this game, giving the Macs a 5 to 3 margin, a lead they never surrendered. Hitters held the edge over the heavers in this contest which saw the Summerlanders collect 14 bingles to ten for the Orioles. Winning chucker Don Cristante singled on three occasions in support of his knoll toiling. Fly chaser Doug Flavell of Kelowna also had a triad of one-baggers. Hooker had a single to go along with his home run while Joe Kaiser of the vanquished nine replicated Hooker’s offensive production, clubbing a four-bagger and a single.

Cristante (W) and Egely
L. Schaeffer (L), Getz (7) and Blinston

(April 29)  Princeton defeated Summerland

(May 6)  The Kamloops Okonots had little difficulty in overturning the visiting Kelowna Orioles 15 to 5 in a somewhat loosely-played Okanagan-Mainline Baseball League contest at Riverside Park. The Birds were easy meat for diminutive chucker Jackie Olson who pitched a six-hitter in racking up his second win of the campaign. The Okonots split the game wide open with a five-run assault in the second frame and added a four-spot in the third chapter. Second sacker Bill McDonald paced the victors at the dish with three stinging base blows, one of which was a double.  

L. Schaeffer (L), Tostenson (3), L. Schaeffer (6) and Blinston
Olson (W) and Anderson

(May 6)  Princeton won their third in succession, knocking off the Penticton Red Sox.

(May 6)  Oliver vs Summerland

(May 13)  Hitting with authority in both contests, the Kamloops Okonots toppled the Princeton Royals from top spot in the OMBL by taking the measure of the Royals 15 to 7 and 13 to 1 in a twin-bill staged at Riverside Park.
In the early tussle, Kamloops’ right-hander Jackie Olson was credited with his third knoll triumph of the season in a somewhat unimpressive performance. He was touched for 11 base knocks but had a huge cushion with which to work from the fourth inning on. The Okonots collected 15 safeties with Bill McDonald leading the way with four of them while Jack Fowles and Len Fowles both connected for a triad of bingles. Keith “Buck” Buchanan and catcher Bob Anderson blasted circuit-clouts for the winners.

Eyre (L), Powell (4) and Gee
Olson (W) and Anderson

Kamloops took a commanding 9 to 0 lead in the opening round of the sundowner as outfielder Tom King’s first-inning round-tripper ignited the Okonots and allowed them to cruise to victory.  The Royals sent four chuckers: Bruno Ceccon, Gordon Sarich, Al Sidoni and Bob Powell, to the mound in the one-sided joust. King added a long triple in his next turn at bat. Winning hurler Len Gatin and reliever Pete Duck stymied Princeton on five hits.

Ceccon (L), Sarich (1), Sidoni (2), Powell (4) and Gee
Gatin (W), Duck (6) and Stewart

(May 13)  It took ten innings for the Oliver OBC’s to nose out the Penticton Red Sox 5 to 4, thanks to a stout relief job by Bill Martino after starter Bob Radies had been derricked from the knoll in a four-run Red Sox splurge in the sixth. In the bottom of the extra frame, Oliver playing-manager Ritchie Snyder bounced one over the left-centre field fence, off complete-game losing chucker Jim Staff, for a ground-rule double. John Vanderburgh followed with a sharp one-bagger between shortstop and third base to send Snyder romping home with the winning counter.

Staff (L) and xxx
Radies, B. Martino (W) (6) and xxx

(May 13)  The Kelowna Orioles dropped their fourth OMBL game in a row, losing their second to Summerland this season, this time by an 8 to 4 verdict. The Macs salted the game away with a three-run outburst in the seventh canto. Catcher Ollie Egely paced the Applemen offensively, creaming the orb for a triple, double and single. Teammate Geordie Taylor followed with a trio of one-baggers. Third baseman Eddie Kielbiski of the Birds laced four singles in a losing cause.

L. Schaeffer (L) and Koga
Cristante (W), Flichel (8) and Egely

Standings              W     L      Pct.
Kamloops Okonots       4     1     .800
Oliver OBC’s           3     1     .750
Princeton Royals       3     2     .600
Summerland Macs        2     2     .500
Penticton Red Sox      1     3     .250
Kelowna Orioles        0     4     .000

(May 17)  In spite of being out hit 11 to 7, the Kamloops Okonots were able to take full advantage of numerous walks issued by Kamloops Jay-Ray tossers and came out on top of their city cousins 11 to 5 in a lively exhibition match. The Okonots had to call upon rubber-armed Len Gatin to subdue a rampant band of Jay-Rays in the final two frames. Gord Tansley and Ken Pratt both belted homers for the Interior Leaguers, Tansley’s being a two-run shot while Pratt’s accounted for three tallies. Al Collier blasted a bases-loaded two-bagger which drove in three runs for the OMBL representatives.

P. Prehara, Tasko (4) and Tansley
Olson, Duck (4), Gatin (6) and xxx

(May 20)  The Kamloops Okonots salvaged an 11 – 11 tie with the visiting Quesnel Clippers of the Prince George & District League by plating three counters in the bottom of the ninth panel. This exhibition skirmish was all about hitting. No fewer than 12 extra-base clouts were recorded, one home run and four doubles by Quesnel and seven two-baggers by the Okonots. Fly chaser Norm Gronskei wielded a powerful bat for the Clippers, launching a solo homer, a double and a single. Teammate Frank Stevenson walloped two doubles. Pitcher Len Gatin and first sacker Jack Fowles both ripped two doubles for the Kamloops nine.

Rhodanets, Bryan (5) and Festerling
Gatin and Anderson

(May 20)  Roaring back from a 9 to 2 deficit, the Kelowna Orioles broke into the win column by downing the Oliver OBC’s 12 to 9. Winning pitcher Les Schaeffer did a stellar job in a relief role after entering the game in the top of the fourth frame when the Oliverites had a seven-run cushion. He held them runless for the remainder of the contest while yielding just two safeties. Meanwhile, the Oriole bats showed plenty of spark in the middle innings when they plated six tallies overall, with the biggest blow being a three-run homer in the sixth canto by second baseman Al Schaeffer who finished the game as co-leader of the Kelowna offense along with Cec Favell, each ripping three bingles. The Birds continued to pour it on and, in the eighth, were rewarded with a four-spot with two runs being driven in on Les Schaeffer’s single and the other pair on a double by shortstop Roamy Ito.

Larson, L. Schaeffer (W) (4) and Blinston
B. Martino, Radies (L) (6) , Snyder (9) and Fritz

(May 20)  Summerland over Princeton - Penticton idle

(May 27)  Exploding for eight markers in the top of the ninth inning, the Oliver OBC’s broke open a 4 – 4 tie and creamed the hosting Kamloops Okonots 12 to 4 in the first game of their OMBL twin-bill at Riverside Park. The homestanding Okonots bounced back in the evening affair to double Oliver 4 to 2. Kamloops had a modest 12 to 10 advantage in base swats in the curtain-raiser but blew many opportunities to take control of the clash. Oliver’s Ritchie Snyder earned the hurling triumph after coming on in relief in the seventh inning. Jack Fowles and Tom King of the Okonots led all willow wielders in the contest, each gathering a trio of safe blows.

Radies, Snyder (W) (7) and Fritz
Olson, McDonald (L) (6) and Anderson, Stewart (7)

Jack Fowles’ two-run double in the fifth inning produced the winning tallies in the follow-up match. Len Gatin, tossing a six-hitter, got the hillock win over Ritchie Snyder.

Snyder (L) and Radies
Gatin (W) and Stewart

(May 27)  Spearheaded by the pitching and hitting of Jack Power, their newest acquisition, the Kelowna Orioles took both ends of a doubleheader against the free-falling Princeton Royals, 7 to 5 and 6 to 5. Power walloped a four-master over the fence in the first game and got credit for the pitching win with a five-inning relief chore in the second encounter. Les Schaeffer went the route on the slab for the Birds in the lid-lifter, earning the win with an eight-hitter. Kelowna outfielder Greg Jablonski matched teammate Power by connecting for a homer in the second canto. Outfielder Ralph Anderson belted a two-run circuit-clout for the homestanding Royals in the fifth.

L. Schaeffer (W) and Blinston
Eyre (L) and xxx

Power relieved playing-manager Hank Tostenson on the hillock in the fifth panel of the sunset joust with the score tied 3 – 3 and went the remainder of the scuffle without turning the lead over to the Blue Bloods. A three-run explosion in the eighth round won it for the Birds. Tostenson’s two-run single put them ahead by a pair while Morio Koga followed with another RBI one-bagger which plated Al Blinston

Tostenson, Power (W) (5) and Blinston
Eyre (L), xxx (7) and xxx

Summerland Macs and Penticton Red Sox – did not see action

Standings               W     L      Pct.
Kamloops Okonots        5     2     .714
Summerland Macs         3     2     .600
Oliver OBC’s            4     3     .571
Kelowna Orioles         3     4     .429
Princeton Royals        3     5     .375
Penticton Red Sox       1     3     .250

(June 3)  The Kelowna Orioles, who had not won a game this season until two weeks ago, made it four in a row by slaughtering the kamloops Okonots 16 to 3 at Elks Stadium in Kelowna. Seven runs for the Birds in the sixth canto and another five in the seventh round decided the issue. Four of the 17 base knocks registered by Kelowna were four-baggers. Keystone sacker Al Schaeffer bagged a pair of taters, a three-run shot in the fifth and a two-run blast in the seventh. Joe Kaiser nailed an opening-inning dinger, good for a pair of tallies, while Greg Jablonski’s third-panel round-tripper came with the bases empty. In total, the Orioles cranked out 17 base swats with Schaeffer, Kaiser and shortstop Roamy Ito each ringing up a triad of raps.

Gatin (L), Olson (6) and Stewart
Power (W) and Blinston

(June 3)  Summerland swamped Oliver 10 to 4.

(June 3)  Penticton handed cellar-dwelling Princeton a 19 to 4 licking.

(June 6)  The Penticton Red Sox crushed the Oliver OBC’s 11 to 1 in the season’s first night game at Penticton. Playing-manager Jack Durston struck out 16 Oliver batters while cruising to the knoll win with a six-hitter. Outfielder “Bud” Russell of the Red Sox nailed a second-inning solo homer. Bill Nicholson drove in a pair of counters for the winners.

Snyder (L), Gervais (3), Englesby (4) and Radies
Durston (W) and Barber

(June 6)  The North Kamloops Mohawks of the Interior League out hit the OMBL Kamloops Okonots in an exhibition game at Riverside Park but could not stem a surging Okonot rally in the fifth frame which plated six runs and made the difference between victory and defeat. The winning margin was 8 to 2, a score which gives no indication of the closeness of the struggle. Winning pitcher Len Gatin was touched for ten hits, three off the bat of versatile Stan Kato who drove home his team’s only two runs. Gatin whiffed ten along the way and was backed up by errorless play by his mates. Okonot first baseman Keith “Buck” Buchanan’s two-run homer in the fifth round highlighted the winning squad’s uprising.

Gatin (W) and xxx
Varanai (L), Stan Kato (5) and Stan Kato, xxx (5)

(June 10)  All scheduled games rained out

(June 13)  The Penticton Red Sox staved off a ferocious ninth-inning rally by the hosting Oliver OBC’s to emerge with a narrow 8 to 7 verdict. Jimmy Staff, the winning pitcher, had a no-hitter going until the sixth panel but began to run out of gas as the game progressed and needed relief help from Jack Durston to save the game. Penticton collected 11 base knocks off losing chucker Bob Radies including a three-run homer by catcher Gerry Barber.

Staff (W), Durston (9) and Barber
Radies (L) and Gilchrist, Bastien (9)

(June 13)  Home runs by Ron Evensen and Tom King broke up a promising lead by the Kamloops Jay-Rays of the Interior League and enabled the Kamloops Okonots of the OMBL to power their way to an 8 to 4 decision over their City Brethren in an exhibition tussle at Riverside Park.

(June 17)  A bottom-of-the-ninth-inning home run by catcher Gerry Barber lifted the Penticton Red Sox to a slim 2 to 1 walkoff decision over the visiting Kelowna Orioles. Barber also drove in his club’s other run in the second canto. The Sox were only able to muster up two hits off the slants of hard-luck loser Les Schaeffer while winning tosser Jack Durston was nicked for five safeties. The Orioles plated their lone counter in the opening stanza when Roamy Ito touched home on a wild pitch.

Durston (W) and Barber
L. Schaeffer (L) and Blinston

(June 17)  The Oliver OBC’s displayed a sustained offensive approach in defeating the homestanding Princeton Royals 13 to 3. Ritchie Snyder tossed a nine-hitter to grab the hillock decision. Bob Radies had a two-run homer for the OBC’s.

Snyder (W) and xxx
Johnson (L) and xxx

(June 17)  Playing outstanding ball at Riverside Park, the Kamloops Okonots swept both ends of a doubleheader with the invading Summerland macs by counts of 6 to 5 and 11 to 4. With the double win, Kamloops regained leadership in the Okanagan-Mainline Baseball League. The Okonots had to make a come-from-behind push to capture the matinee joust in their last turn at bat. The teams traded three=run homers in the third inning with Al Hooker staking the Macs to a 3 to 0 lead, a margin which evaporated quickly after Jack Fowles reciprocated the feat in the bottom of the frame. Trailing 5 to 4 as they began their final kick at the cat, the Okonots knotted the count on “Buck” Buchanan’s RBI double. The winning pitcher Bill McDonald, who took over mound chores on a relief basis in the seventh, blooped a single into the right garden which plated Buchanan with the winner. It was McDonald’s second safety of the contest. He had previously homered in the sixth.

Cristante (L) and Egely
Olson, McDonald (W) (7) and Anderson, Evensen (4)

Kamloops’ first sacker Keith “Buck” Buchanan had three clean base knocks in the Okonots’ second-game triumph. Len Gatin pitched a seven-hitter for the victory and also counted a mighty bases-loaded home run among the three safeties that he garnered. Catcher Ollie Egely had a triple and single for Summerland. 

Flichel (L), Cristante (5) and Egely
Gatin (W) and Stewart

(June 20)  Penticton vs Summerland

(June 23 – 24)  The Kamloops Okonots of the OMBL had little difficulty overcoming a rather weak U. S. Air Force team from Othello WA 13 to 5 and 10 to 1 in two somewhat dull weekend exhibition matches at Riverside Park.
Winning tosser Peter Duck and teammate Ron Evensen both clouted home runs for the Okonots in the Saturday contest.

Stevenson (L), Foster and xxx
Duck (W), Olson (7) and xxx

Len Gatin allowed the Americans only one hit in the Sunday match while whiffing 13. Keith “Buck” Buchanan paced the Okonots with the hickory, slamming a homer, double and single.

xxx (L) and xxx
Gatin (W) and xxx

(June 24)  Lloyd Hayes batted in three runs as the Summerland Macs defeated the Kelowna Orioles 5 to 1 in the only OMBL weekend game scheduled. Al Hooker knocked in the final two Summerland runs with a single in the seventh panel. The Orioles managed to get only three hits off winning chucker Morley Flichel, including a double and single by Eddie Kielbiski, while the Macs combed the offerings of loser Jack Power for 12 safeties.

Power (L) and xxx
Flichel (W) and xxx 

(June 25)  The Princeton Royals managed to pick up a rare win, trouncing the hosting Penticton Red Sox 10 to 5 under the lights. The Royals lit up losing heaver Jimmy Staff for 17 base blows including a two-run homer by Bruno Ceccon which put them in the lead for good. Winning pitcher Bill Eyre allowed eight Penticton safeties and starred at the platter, driving in a trio of markers. Outfielder Charlie Preen slugged a solo four-bagger for the Sox in the opening panel.

Eyre (W) and Gee
Staff (L) and Barber

(June 27)  Jack Durston, playing-manager of the Penticton Red Sox, has been suspended for two games for assaulting a league official. OMBL president Leo McKinnon also announced that umpire Joe Sheeley has been suspended for four games for assaulting a player. The actions resulted from a fracas in Penticton June 20th in a game between the Red Sox and the Summerland Macs in which Durston and Sheeley were involved.

(July 02)  Kelowna Tournament  

(July 5)  Summerland vs Penticton

(July 8)  Summerland Macs trounced the tail-end Princeton Royals 19 to 2 on the home turf of the Similkameen Towners. Three bases on balls and a combination of errors gave the Macs six runs in the second inning and they never looked back. Morley Flichel got the hurling win over Billy Eyre, tossing an eight-hitter.

Flichel (W) and xxx
Eyre (L) and xxx

(July 8)  The Oliver OBC’s administered an 11 to 3 setback to the hosting Kelowna Orioles at Elk’s Stadium. With the combatants locked in a 1 – 1 tie, the Oliver nine struck for four markers in the fourth canto and added three more in the fifth to erase any doubt as to the final result. Third sacker Ritchie Snyder and flychaser Johnny Lingor  both crossed the platter three times for the victorious OBC’s. All of the Oriole counters were the result of home runs. Outfielder Greg Jablonski launched a solo four-ply clout in the fourth stanza while infielder Joe Kaiser cranked a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth.

B. Martino (W), Ball (7) and Radies
L. Schaeffer (L), Power (5) and Blinston, Culos (5) 

(July 8)  The Kamloops Okonots opened up a three-game lead atop the Okanagan-Mainline Baseball League standings by taking a hard-fought doubleheader from the visiting Penticton Red Sox, the scores being 7 to 5 in the curtain-raiser and 3 to 2 in the sunset match. The Okonots had a healthy 7 to 0 margin in the opener up until the eighth frame when the Crimson Hose began a belated rally. Gerry Barber smashed a three-run homer for Penticton to narrow the lead to 7 to 3. Errors accounted for two other Sox counters but that was as close as the Valley contingent would come. Jack Olson survived the late flurry to capture the knoll victory with a seven-hitter. Wes Stevens of the Okonots distinguished himself with three hits, two of them doubles, in three at bats while driving in three runs. Teammates Al Collier and Len Fowles both stung the sphere for a brace of safeties.

Staff (L) and xxx
Olson (W) and xxx

Kamloops hurler Len Gatin and portsider Jack Durston of the Red Stockings both spun five-hitters in the twilight contest. Veteran Ken Stewart drove home the winning run in the fourth frame after Jack Fowles had doubled and “Buck” Buchanan singled. Fowles registered another two-bagger to emerge as the game’s top swatter.

Durston (L) and xxx
Gatin (W) and xxx

Standings              W      L       Pct.
Kamloops Okonots       9      3      .750
Penticton Red Sox      6      6      .500
Oliver OBC’s           6      6      .500
Summerland Macs        5      5      .500
Kelowna Orioles        4      6      .400
Princeton Royals       4      8      .333

(July 11?)   Summerland defeated Kelowna?

(July 15)  Big Bob Radies pitched the hosting Oliver OBC’s to an 8 to 6 win over the Princeton Royals. The Oliver pastimers did their best to throw away the game by committing nine errors but even this wasn’t sufficient to put the Royals in front. Radies helped his own cause by slamming a home run.

Eyre (L) and xxx
Radies (W) and xxx

(July 15)  The Kelowna Orioles failed to pull themselves out of their slump and dropped their fourth game in a row, 7 to 4 to the Penticton Red Sox. Penticton’s Bob Russell socked a solo homer in the opening chapter to put the Red Sox ahead but, in the middle innings, their bats went silent as Kelowna grabbed a 3 to 1 lead. The Scarlet Stockings then broke their drought and went on a rampage, scoring one in the seventh, two in the eighth and finishing off with three in the ninth to handily claim the victory behind the eight-hit pitching of Jack Durston.

Durston (W) and Barber, Richards (3)
L. Schaeffer, Power (L) (8) and Blinston

(July 15)  The Summerland Macs and the Kamloops Okonots split a rain-interrupted doubleheader on the Macs’ home turf, the hosts prevailing 9 to 1 in the curtain-raiser while the Kamloops squad edged out the homesters 2 to 1 in the five-frame finale which had to curtailed because of the precipitation. Four Okonot errors in the matinee match helped swing the balance in the Macs’ favour as Morley Flichel went the distance on the knoll to win with a seven-hitter. His batterymate, catcher Ollie Egely, belted a two-run circuit-clout in the fifth frame.

Duck (L), McDonald (3) and Anderson
Flichel (W) and Egely

Jackie Olson chalked up his fifth triumph against one defeat in taking the decision from Summerland’s Al Hooker in the rain-shortened evening event. 

Olson (W) and Anderson
Hooker (L) and Egely

(July 18)  Len Gatin silenced the bats of the North Kamloops Mohawks with a vengeance at Riverside Park when he pitched the Kamloops Okonots of the Okanagan-Mainline Baseball League to a well-deserved 6 to 2 victory over the Interior Leaguers to go one-up in the best-of-three challenge series for a $200 purse. It was a pitcher’s game all the way as Gatin held the fiery Mohawks to a mere four singles while loser Ken Kochi and reliever Sam Aura were nicked for seven safeties. A sixth-inning error by North Kamloops outfielder Dave Kuromi opened the door for a three-run Okonot splurge. The OMBL leaders put the issue beyond doubt in the eighth with three markers on run-scoring swats by Al Collier and Ken Stewart followed by a bases-loaded walk.

Kochi (L), Aura (8) and xxx
Gatin (W) and xxx 

(July 18)  The Penticton Red Sox moved into sole possession of second spot in the OMBL by whipping the Princeton Royals 12 to 4 in Penticton. The Scarlet Hose bombarded starter and loser John Silovitch unmercifully in the opening round, piling up nine big tallies and making things easy for winning chucker Jack Durston who cruised to victory on a seven-hitter. Lloyd Burgart ripped three extra-base blows for the winners including a home run. Catcher Fred Gee smashed a two-run circuit-jack for the Similkameen Squad.  

Silovich (L), xxx (1) and Gee
Durston (W) and xxx

(July 21)  The normally slick-fielding North Kamloops Mohawks, runaway leaders of the Interior Baseball League, experienced a bad attack of fumble fingers which, combined with some solid hitting by the Kamloops Okonots, led to a convincing 9 to 4 win for the OMBL top dogs in the second and final contest in their $200 challenge series. The Northmen actually had a narrow 10 to 9 advantage in base hits but they seldom produced bingles at the optimum time and left ten baserunners stranded. On top of that, they were guilty of committing seven errors afield. The Fowles siblings were prominent in the offensive thrust for the victors. Len Fowles cracked a solo homer in the first round and finished with three safeties and a pair of RBI’s. Brother Jack Fowles hit a towering four-ply swat with two mates aboard in the eighth canto. 

Olson (W) and xxx
Joe Motokado (L), Aura (6) and xxx

(July 22)  The Oliver OBC’s eked out a 4 to 3 win over the Summerland Macs to take undisputed possession of third place in the OMBL, three games off the pace. Newcomer “Corky” Taber captured the mound conquest, spinning a five-hitter. Losing flinger Morley Flichel was clipped for seven safeties.

Flichel (L) and xxx
Taber (W) and xxx

(July 22)  The second-place Penticton Red Sox edged the Kelowna Orioles 6 to 4 in a battle of homers at Penticton. The Orioles had a substantive 12 to 5 margin in base knocks during the contest but it was the home run hitting of the Red Sox that made the difference. Doug Moore nailed a two-run shot in the opening stanza and “Bud” Russell followed with a solo blast in the sixth. Then, in the eighth panel, Sam Drossos nailed a two-run circuit-smash which was the game-winner. Kelowna’s Al Schaeffer had a bases-empty four-bagger in the sixth. Initial sacker Ron Trites of the Birds laced three bingles in four attempts.

Durston (W) and xxx
Power (L) and xxx

(July 22)  The Kamloops Okonots garnered 7 to 5 and 23 to 4 victories in doubleheader action against the hosting Princeton Royals. As a result of the twin-triumphs, the Okonots picked up half a game on runner-up Penticton.
Jackie Olson improved his 1956 mound record to 6 – 1 in the opener, a hard battle that went all the way to the wire.

Olson (W) and xxx
Fritz (L) and xxx

Lack of pitching strength told on the Royals in the second game and winner Len Gatin had an easy time of it, winning his fifth of the season against two defeats.

Gatin (W) and xxx
Fritz (L), xxx, xxx and xxx

Standings              W      L      Pct.
Kamloops Okonots      12      4     .750
Penticton Red Sox      9      6     .600
Oliver OBC’s           8      6     .571
Summerland Macs        7      7     .500
Kelowna Orioles        4      9     .308
Princeton Royals       4     12     .250

(July 25)  After suffering a string of defeats, the Kelowna Orioles finally got back on the winning track with a 7 to 6 victory over the Summerland Macs. The Orioles drilled three homers, two by Al Schaeffer and one by Joe Kaiser. Geordie Taylor slammed a four-bagger, two doubles and a single for the Applemen. Both pitchers of record, winner Jack Power and loser Al Hooker, came into the game in relief roles.

Flichel, Hooker (L) (4) and Egely
A. Schaeffer, Power (W) (6) and Culos

(July 29)  The Oliver OBC’s walloped the Princeton Royals 16 to 6 in OMBL action at Oliver. The victory for the OBC’s moves them into a second-place tie with Penticton. Mel Ball earned the mound decision over Frank Fritz. Four of Princeton’s runs came on a grand-slam homer by Fritz.

Fritz (L) and xxx
Ball (W) and xxx

(August 1) The Kelowna Orioles travelled to Penticton for a scheduled contest with the Red Sox but were advised, upon arrival, that a change of date for the game had been requested. League officials are investigating the matter.

(August 4)  It too the Brewster WA nine 11 innings before they disposed of the visiting Kelowna Orioles of the OMBL 3 to 2 in an exhibition thriller under the lights in the Washington town.

L. Schaeffer, Power (L) (6) and Culos
Parisan (W) and xxx

(August 5)  The Penticton Red Sox outlasted the Summerland Macs 5 to 4 in a 14-inning Okanagan-Mainline League game in Summerland. The Macs fell behind 4 to 1 in the top of the seventh when the Red Stockings put together a three-run outburst spearheaded by Gerry Barber’s two-run four-ply clout. Single tallies in the bottom half of the seventh, eighth and ninth rounds allowed Summerland to once again draw even. The tying counter came on a theft of home by Don Cristante in the bottom of the ninth. After four scoreless sessions of overtime, Sam Drossos stepped to the plate for Penticton and launched a solo round-tripper which stood up as the game-winning tally. Jim Staff went the entire 14-frame route for the Sox to take the mound verdict from reliever Bill Eyre.

Staff (W) and S. Dross as
Flichel, Eyre (L) (8) and Egely 

(August 5)  The hosting Oliver OBC’s pounded out 13 base blows in crushing the Kelowna Orioles 8 to 3. Six of the winners’ base knocks were doubles, two by ex-Oriole Johnny Lingor who also added a single for a three-hit game. Paul Eisenhut, Ritchie Snyder and winning pitcher Bill Martino all registered a brace of safeties. Cec Favell singled twice for the Birds while fellow Kelowna fly chaser Rich Wickenheiser smashed a solo homer.

Power (L), L. Schaeffer (8) and Culos
B. Martino (W) and Gilchrist

(August 12)  The Kelowna Orioles kept their playoff hopes alive by shading the league-leading Kamloops Okonots 3 to 2 at Kelowna. The clubs were knotted at 1 – 1 when playing-manager Hank Tostenson of the Birds went yard with a two-run dinger in the bottom of the seventh panel. A solo tater by Kamloops’ first sacker “Buck” Buchanan in the ninth narrowed the gap but left the Okonots one run short of the Kelowna total. Winning pitcher Les Schaeffer went all the way on the bump, surrendering six safeties while punching out nine. Len Gatin of the Kamloops nine, with a five-hitter, pitched well enough to ordinarily win but was let down by his mates in clutch-hitting situations. Jack Power of the Birds was the only player from either squad to collects two base hits.

Gatin (L) and Stewart
L. Schaeffer (W) and Culos

(August 12)  As the Penticton Red Sox failed to field a team against the Kelowna Orioles on August 1 and did not request a change of date in writing, the OMBL awarded the game to the Orioles.

(August 12)  The Summerland Macs bumped the Oliver OBC’s out of sole possession of second place after edging the invaders 11 to 10 in a slugfest in which the victors piled up 16 safeties to 11 for the vanquished squad. Danny Pinske/Pinski slammed a two-run triple for Oliver while winning pitcher Bill Eyre and reliever Al Hooker both belted three-baggers for the Macs.

Taber (L), M. Martino (3), Radies (3) and Radies, Bastien (3)
Eyre (W), Flichel (5), Hooker (7) and Egely

(August 15)   Eight teams from British Columbia will vie for $1,600 in tournament prize money at the Kamloops Labor Day weekend tournament.  Competing will be the Trail Smoke Eaters and Trail/Fruitvale A's of the West Kootenay League, the South Burnaby Athletics of the Kingsway Baseball League, the Vancouver Western Bridge nine from the Vancouver Industrial League, the Summerland Macs, Oliver OBC's and Kamloops Okonots of the Okanagan-Mainline circuit and Interior League’s North Kamloops Mohawks.

(August 19)  The Kamloops Okonots were dragged through the dirt by the fifth-place Kelowna Orioles 7 to 4 in an Okanagan-Mainline League game at Riverside Park. It was the second time in as many weeks that the league-leaders were humbled by the Birds. Fully deserving of the win, the Kelowna team received adequate, and at times inspiring, pitching from winner Les Schaeffer who went the distance and wound up with a nine-hitter to go along with seven punchouts. Only Kamloops third baseman Al Collier, who climbed on Schaeffer for three solid blows, was able to show any positive consistency at the plate for the vanquished nine. Jack Olson was tagged with the loss and lasted only three frames after giving up eight safeties. His successor on the hill, Len Gatin, held the hard-hitting Orioles to four bingles over the final six innings. Kelowna opened the scoring in the second round when fly chaser Greg Jablonski launched a solo homer while Schaeffer’s ninth-canto bases-empty four-ply shot ended the plate-touching. Roamy Ito, Joe Kaiser, Jack Power and first baseman Ron Trites of the Feathered Gang all had a pair of base swats.  

L. Schaeffer (W) and Culos
Olson (L), Gatin (4) and Anderson, Stewart (4)

(August 19)  The Summerland Macs knocked off the Princeton Royals 21 to 10 to maintain their one-game lead over Kelowna for the final playoff spot. Lloyd Hayes and Geordie Taylor powered round-trippers for the Macs while Anderson and Frank Fritz of the Similkameen Towners replicated the feat.

Hooker (W) and xxx
Fritz (L) and xxx

(August 19)  The Penticton Red Sox broke their second-place tie with hosting Oliver by taking the measure of the OBC’s 10 to 4. Bill Raptis led the Sox’ batting attack with two doubles and a single, driving in three runs. Infielder Eddie Johns’ fifth-inning single drove in the tying and winning tallies. Seven Oliver errors contributed to their downfall. 

Durston (W) and S. Drossos
Taber (L), Radies (4) and Gilchrist, Lingor (8) 

Standings             W      L      Pct.
Kamloops Okonots     12      6     .667
Penticton Red Sox    11      7     .611
Oliver OBC’s         10      8     .556
Summerland Macs       9      9     .500
Kelowna Orioles       8     10     .444
Princeton Royals      4     14     .222

(August 22)  Kamloops Okonots’ hold on first place in the Okanagan-Mainline Baseball League was reduced to a half-game when the home-standing Penticton Red Sox overpowered the Summerland Macs 10 to 1 in the re-play of a rained out game. Playing-manager Jack Durston of the Crimson Stockings gave up only four hits in winning his fifth game in a row. A pair of homers by first baseman Doug Moore ignited the Penticton offense and accounted for three runs. 

Eyre (L), Hooker (5), Cristante (7) and xxx
Durston (W) and xxx

(August 26)  The Penticton Red Sox had to go hard to nip the Summerland Macs 4 to 3 in a ten-inning tussle which nailed down second spot for the Sox in the OMBL. The defeat for the Macs was disastrous as it bumped them out of the playoff picture. A sacrifice fly by Bill Raptis scored the clincher for Penticton in the extra-round of play. George Drossos of the victors blasted a two-run circuit-smash off losing flinger Don Cristante in the opening chapter. Cristante slammed a bases-empty homer in the seventh and the Macs were able to tie the game in the ninth of two walks and a pair of Penticton errors. 

Staff (W) and xxx
Cristante (L) and xxx

(August 26)  In Princeton, the Kelowna Orioles continued their late-season surge by whipping the hometown Royals 11 to 0 and 5 to 1. The double-victory, coupled with Summerland’s loss, leap frogged the Birds past the Macs into the fourth and final playoff berth. Les Schaeffer shutout Princeton in the opener with a two-hitter. First baseman Ron Trites picked up a double and a pair of singles for the Orioles.

L. Schaeffer (W) and xxx
Fritz (L), Silovich/Silovitch, Ceccon (6) and xxx 

Kelowna tosser Jack Power won his own game in the finale, blasting a three-run round-tripper in the seventh round. The Similkameeners were only able to dent his armor for four safeties. Power and Ron Trites both collected two hits for the winners.

Power (W) and xxx
Ceccon (L) and xxx

(August 26)  An iron-man feat by rubber-armed Len Gatin, coupled with a timely home run blast by Ron Evensen, clinched the Okanagan-Mainline Baseball League pennant for the Kamloops Okonots at Oliver. Gatin went the route in both games against the OBC’s, winning the first 5 to 3 and the second 4 to 3 in ten innings with the help of a game-deciding four-bagger by Evensen in the top of the overtime session. Over the course of the two games, Oliver’s Paul Eisenhut ripped four base blows while Jack Fowles of the Okonots reached base safely eight times in nine plate appearances.

Gatin (W) and xxx
Radies (L) and xxx

Gatin (W) and xxx
Taber (L) and xxx 

Final Standings        W     L       Pct.
Kamloops Okonots      14     6      .700
Penticton Red Sox     13     7      .650
Oliver OBC’s *        10    10      .500
Kelowna Orioles       10    10      .500
Summerland Macs        9    11      .450
Princeton Royals       4    16      .200

* Oliver awarded third place in standings after winning coin toss with Kelowna


(September 2 - 3) Kamloops Labor Day weekend tournament   


(September 2 – 3)  Quesnel Labour Day Tournament   


PLAYOFFS

SEMI-FINALS  (best-of-three series) 
Oliver OBC’s vs Kamloops Okonots and
Kelowna Orioles vs Penticton Red Sox

(September 9)  The Kamloops Okonots hammered the offerings of three Oliver chuckers for 15 safeties in blowing past the OBC’s 10 to 3 to begin their best-of-three semi-final series. Winning pitcher Len Gatin had a sparkling performance on the mound, holding the home team to just two hits. It took the Okonots only three innings to drive starting southpaw Corky Taber to the showers. Ron Evensen and Bill McDonald both raked in three hits.

Gatin (W) and xxx
Taber (L), B. Martino (3), Snyder (4) and xxx

(September 9)  The Penticton Red Sox took a one-game lead in their best-of-three OMBL semi-finals at Kelowna, downing the Orioles 8 to 4. The Scarlet Stockings started quickly, scoring three runs in the second inning, adding one more in the third and then piling on another trio of counters in the fourth canto to assume a 7 to 0 lead. Both contingents socked the apple with authority. Complete-game winner Jack Durston was lit up for eleven safeties while his mates garnered 14 base blows off a pair of Oriole heavers. Les Schaeffer, who pitched the final five innings for Kelowna, had the only homer of the game in the sixth stanza.

Durston (W) and S. Drossos
Power (L), L. Schaeffer (4) and Culos

(September 16)  For the fourth time in a month, Kamloops twirler Len Gatin sent the Oliver balltossers down to defeat, the latest occurrence being a 6 to 5 squeaker at Riverside Park which eliminated the OBC’s from further playoff action. Gatin, who held the hard-hitting visitors to five blows, won his own ball game with a soaring homer in the eighth panel which broke a 5 – 5 tie. The first three frames were scoreless but, in the middle innings, the bats for both teams began to show some life and, after Johnny Lingor’s two-run four-bagger off a tantalizing Gatin change-up in the sixth, the OBC’s found themselves trailing 5 to 4. Oliver drew even at 5 – 5 in the seventh when Lingor nailed his second base knock of the game, a two-bagger, and came home when Ron Evensen misfielded an awkward grounder at shortstop. Gatin, batting leadoff in the eighth, looked at one offering for a ball and then launched Ritchie Snyder’s next pitch into the trees beyond the right field fence for the game-breaker. The Oliverites threatened in the top of the ninth but, with one retires, Snyder grounded into a game-ending double play. Jack Fowles belted a triple and single to lead the winners at the dish.

Taber, Snyder (4) (L) and Radies
Gatin (W) and Stewart

(September 16)  The Kelowna Orioles were eliminated from the OMBL playoffs as a result of a 13 to 5 trouncing at the hands of the hosting Penticton Red Sox. The Sox broke away for seven runs in the second chapter with the biggest blow of the outburst being a grand-slam home run by “Bud” Russell. They finished the scoring in the same manner that they started when Gerry Barber creamed the orb for an eighth-inning solo dinger. The game produced 29 base hits with Penticton acquiring 15 of them. The Red Sox now advance into the league finals against the pennant-winning Kamloops Okonots. 

L. Schaeffer (L), Power (2) and Culos
Staff (W) and S. Drossos

FINALS  (best-of-three series) 
Penticton Red Sox vs Kamloops Okonots

(September 23)  The Penticton Red Sox, runners-up for the 1956 Okanagan-Mainline Baseball League regular-season pennant, hammered the first-place Kamloops Okonots 9 to 1 at Riverside Park to begin the best-of-three OMBL final series. The Red Sox scored twice in their first turn at bat and put the issue to rest by plating seven more in the sixth frame. Defensively, they played errorless ball while the Okonots, in contrast, were sloppy afield. Penticton playing-manager Jack Durston yielded five hits and five walks while holding Kamloops to one run on this coolish afternoon. Len Gatin, a notorious hot-weather pitcher, was shelled from the hill in the sixth canto. Middle pasture custodian “Bud” Russell of the Scarlet Hose nailed a Gatin offering for a three-run round-tripper in the disastrous sixth. Jack Olson, who replaced Gatin, fared no better. Bill Raptis had a brace of two-baggers for the winners. Ken Stewart and Bill McDonald both laced a pair of singles for the Okonots.

Durston (W) and S. Drossos
Gatin (L), Olson (6) and Stewart

(September 30)  A three-run homer in the third inning by second baseman Bill McDonald earned the Kamloops Okonots a 3 to 1 victory over the Penticton Red Sox which tied up the Okanagan-Mainline League finals at a game apiece. A magnificent back-to-the-wall mound job by Len Gatin kept the Sox at bay throughout the tightly-fought skirmish. Gatin gave up just two hits, struck out nine batters and had a shutout going until the ninth inning when two walks, a passed ball and a wild pitch combined to allow Penticton’s only run. The losing chucker was bespectacled southpaw Jack Durston who was only touched for five safeties along the route.

Gatin (W) and xxx
Durston (L) and xxx

(October 7)  Great clutch hitting by first baseman Keith “Buck” Buchanan ignited the Kamloops Okonots to a narrow 4 to 3 conquest of the Penticton Red Sox at Riverside Park in the third and final game of the OMBL finals. With Kamloops trailing 2 to 0 in the sixth round, Buchanan poled a two-run homer to tie the score. Then, in the eighth panel, he doubled to drive in the lead run and scored the needed insurance maker from third on a routine infield play at first base.That last counter was mighty important as Penticton’s most dangerous hitter, outfielder Gerry Barber, who had singled in the first inning to drive in the opening run of the game, belted a leadoff home run to begin the ninth, narrowing the Okonots’ margin to a single run. That was as close as the Scarlet Stockings would come, however, as tireless right-hander Len Gatin quelled a mild threat, enticing Jack Richards to ground out weakly to shortstop for the final out and the championship. In earning the mound triumph, Gatin had his ups and downs but was always at his best in clutch situations. His was a five-hit job, the same as Penticton Left-hander Jack Durston who started strong but appeared to tire in the late stages. Aside from Buchanan and Barber, keystone sacker Bill McDonald of the victors was the only other player in the game with plural hit totals, stroking a pair of singles.

Durston (L) and S. Drossos
Gatin (W) and Stewart 


ARROW LAKES / SLOCAN

(May 13)   On opening day at Nakusp, the local squad notched a 7-3 victory over New Denver-Silverton. A three-run second inning proved to be the difference as winning hurler Buster Patterson, Tommy McInnis and Wayne Highland scored for Nakusp.  Patterson and Louis DeRosa combined on a four-hitter for the winners. However, Patterson issued 11 free passes.  Ken Gordon took the loss.

Gordon (L), B.Harcus, Pearson and N.Hayashi
Patterson (W), DeRosa and McInnis

(May 21)   New Denver Victoria Day Tournament

(June 3)   At Nakusp, the Old Timers beat the Seniors 3-2 as Otto Yanagisawa tripled and scored the winner in the final frame on Buster Patterson's fielder's choice. The Seniors scored both runs in the fourth as Don Bouvette belted a triple and came home on Louis DeRosa's single. DeRosa scored on errors.  The Old Timers got their first run when Sam Yano slammed a three-bagger and Yanagisawa bunted him home. Kaz Hoshizaki singled to drive in Patterson with their second counter. Patterson allowed just four hits in posting the win. He fanned seven and walked one. DeRosa allowed five hits and two walks while racking up 15 strikeouts.

Patterson (W) and xxx
DeRosa (L) and xxx

(June 17)  A five run third inning carried Edgewood to a 10-7 victory over Nakusp Sunday afternoon. Four singles, a walk and Albert Vennard's double produced the five markers. Edgewood had scored a pair in the first inning, highlighted by Johnny Old's three-bagger. They added three more in the second, as Ronny Volansky smacked a homer and Pat Bell had a triple.  Nakusp came back to tie at 5-5 in the second on two walks, two singles and three errors. They added two more in the fourth as Tommy McInnis and Wayne Highland crossed the plate. Old went the route for the pitching win giving up seven hits and five walks.

J.Old (W) and K.Vennard
Urban (L), Patterson (3) and McInnis

(June 24)   The senior ball club from tiny Nakusp upset the Nelson Outlaws Sunday taking both game of a double header, 14 to 2 and 9-6.  Nelson took the lead in the first game with a pair in the top of the initial frame on two walks, two errors and one safe hit. M.McDowell and Ken White plated the runs. The home club roared back with four runs in the bottom of the first and were never headed.  In the third, five hits, including a triple by Lino Zanier and a double by Tom McInnis, led to three more runs. They made it 10-2 with three runs in the fifth and added a singleton in the sixth and three more in the seventh. Louis DeRosa fired a two-hitter in gaining credit for the win. Nakusp collected 14 hits off two Nelson hurlers.

Gould (L), Storgaard and xxx
DeRosa (W) and xxx

Brothers Fred and Ed Desrochers each slammed three hits and scored two runs in leading Nakusp to a 10-7 win over Nelson in the second game of a double bill.  The winners had four two-baggers, by Otto Yanagisawa, Tom McInnis, Wayne Highland and Don Bouvette. Ed Isakson collected three hits for the Outlaws. Ken White had Nelson's only extra base hit, a double. Buster Patterson went all the way for the pitching win yielding seven hits and nine walks. He fanned ten.

W.Avis (L), Olsen, Craft and xxx
Patterson (W) and xxx

(July 2)   Nelson Outlaws captured the baseball attraction at Silverton's Sports Day Monday afternoon topping the home squad 7-6 in a 12-inning thriller. Outlaws took home $65 in prize money. Nelson twice came from behind, once in the bottom of the ninth, before a capacity crowd. Down 2-0, Charlie Burdette cracked a homer with Earl Lobb aboard to draw even with the New Denver-Silverton nine. After the Outlaws had taken a 4-2 advantage, the home club rallied with four runs in the top of the ninth to lead 6-4.  But, back came Nelson as Tom Marshall walked, stole second, made third on a ground out and scored on Barry McDowell's second two-bagger. Playing-manager Ron Nash rapped a two-out double to plate McDowell and send the game into extra innings. In the 12th, Al MacDonald and Don Holmes walked and Win Storgaard singled to load the bases. With a full count on Marshall, the little speedster dropped a bunt to scored MacDonald with the winner.

Gordon, Harcus (L) (11) and xxx
Grill, Storgaard (W) (9) and xxx

(July 2)   Rossland captured both ends of a Dominion Day twin bill at Nakusp, 6-4 and 10-4.  The visitors opened the scoring with three runs in the third inning on an error and three safeties. After Nakusp tied the scored in the bottom of the frame on hits by Tom McInnis, Stachevich and Wayne Highland, Rossland plated three more in the seventh for the win.  Pete Bourchier was the winning pitcher.

Bourchier (W) and xxx
Patterson (L) and xxx

Driscoll, Irv Lavorato and Bourchier each scored a pair in the second game to help Rossland to a 10-4 victory.

xxx and xxx
DeRosa (L) and xxx

(July 8)   Nakusp travelled to Creston on Sunday and came away with victories in both games, 10-7 and 8-5. Of the 18 runs scored by Nakusp, 14 were produced by squeeze bunts. Lino Zanier led the winners with five hits in the two games. Wayne Highland added three. Louis DeRosa pitched seven-hit ball in the first game and Dave Urban held Creston to nine safeties in the second.

DeRosa (W) and xxx
xxx and xxx

Urban (W) and xxx
xxx and xxx

(July 15)   Trail Smoke Eaters came up to Nakusp on Sunday and whipped the home club 13-4 scoring ten runs off Buster Patterson in the first four innings. Eight Nakusp errors contributed to the mayhem. Bill Jablonsky provided the highlight for the winners with a tremendous homer. The ball cleared the scoreboard in right field and was the hardest hit in Nakusp this year. Ken Gordon's one-handed stab in centre field was the fielding gem of the day.

Ferguson (W), McIntyre (7) and xxx
Patterson (L), DeRosa (5) and xxx, Hayashi

(July 22)   A seven run outburst in the sixth inning carried New Denver-Silverton to a 10-3 victory over the Nelson Maple Leafs Sunday at Dewis Memorial Park.  Nelson had taken a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth on consecutive hits by Frank Hufty, Ed Isakson and Les Hufty. Ken Gordon pitched stellar ball for seven innings before turning the mound work over to Lou DeRosa for the final two innings. Lenny Erickson led the winners' attack with a triple and two singles.  Barry Morrison delighted the home crowd with a long homer.

L.Hufty (L) and xxx
K.Gordon (W), DeRosa (8) and xxx

(August 12)  New Denver, the champs of the Slocan Valley, walked off with a 5-1 decision over the Rossland Capilanos of the Border League in an exhibition encounter Sunday at Rossland. Bill Harcus set the Caps down on three hits, one a double by Pete Bourchier. He walked five, hit two batters and fanned seven.  New Denver scored three in the first inning on two singles, two walks and an error and stayed in front all the way. First sacker Andy Avision led the winners with three hits. Nobby Hayashi belted a pair of two-baggers and Lenny Erickson added a double and a single.

Harcus (W) and N.Hayashi
Lavorato (L) and Driscoll

(September 2)    New Denver-Silverton rang up four early runs, fell behind then rallied to top Rossland Capilanos 10-7 Sunday.  Nobby Hayashi banged out two doubles and Louis DeRosa had three hits to lead the winners' attack. Kenje Hayashi electrified the crowd with his running catch of Simpson's fly to left field. Kosiansic led Rossland with four hits

Bourchier, Latch (7) and xxx
DeRosa, Harcus (6) and xxx

(September 9)   Nelson Outlaws and New Denver-Silverton All-Stars split their twin bill at New Denver Sunday afternoon with the home squad taking the opener 5-2 before the visitors ran wild in the second game winning 17-2. In the first game, Buster Patterson allowed two runs in the first inning then shutout the Outlaws the rest of the way. He yielded six hits.

W.Avis (L) and xxx
Patterson (W) and xxx

Outlaws exploded for 17 runs in the second game as Stan Grill tamed the locals on six hits. Grill helped his own cause with a three-run triple and two singles. Bernie Monteleone also had a bases-loaded three-bagger for Nelson.

S.Grill (W) and xxx
Harcus, xxx and xxx


WEST KOOTENAY

BORDER LEAGUE

Colville WA Radarts (dropped out in early June)
Fruitvale/Trail A’s
Nelson Maple Leafs
Rossland Capilanos
Trail Smoke Eaters

(May 9)  Jerry Long of Rossland was installed as the president of the new, five-team Border Baseball League. The circuit will feature the Trail Smoke Eaters and the Fruitvale/Trail A's, formerly of Fruitvale, Rossland, Nelson and Colville, Washington, Air Force Base. Opening day is set for May 25th. Each team must post a $25 bond which will be returned at the end of the season unless forfeited or if the league requires the funds for trophies. The league will also collect $5 from each club for general operating expenses. Club rosters will be restricted to 20, including managers and coaches, and players must be signed a week before their first game. In Colville, it was decided no inning would start after ten o'clock to allow teams enough time to make the border.

(May 9)  Andy Bilesky announced the Fruitvale/Trail A's would be playing out of Trail for the 1956 season. It has been arranged that the Smoke Eaters will continue to get Butler Park every Tuesday with the A's assigned Saturdays.

(May 21)  Fruitvale Victoria Day tournament.  Eighty-six runs were scored in three games that saw only 19 innings of baseball played as the Fruitvale/Trail Athletics claimed top prize in the 1956 Fruitvale Victoria Day tournament, downing the Rossland Capilanos 19 to 3 in the final game. The A’s had captured their first game by edging the Trail Smoke Eaters 15 to 14 while the Caps gained a slot in the final after rocking the Nelson Maple Leafs 22 to 12.          
                                                                                   
The tourney opener, in which the lead changed hands three times before the A’s came through with two counters in the bottom of the last inning for the win, was the only exciting and the most controversial clash of the tournament. Fruitvale runner Billy Johnson’s collision at the plate with Smokie catcher George McIntyre plated the winner but, in the process, ignited a heated argument..

Ferguson, B. McIntyre (1), Weilep (5), B. McIntyre (L) (5) and G. McIntyre
xxx (W) and xxx

Bourchier (W), Lavorato (7) and Price
L. Hufty (L) and Larsen

Laatsch (L), Mohoruk (3) and Price
Truswell (W) and Russell

(May 23)  A four-run third inning enabled the Trail Smoke Eaters to take the measure of the Colville WA Air Force Base Radarts 5 to 1 in an exhibition encounter at Butler Park. Bob Weilep went the distance on the bump for Trail in the abbreviated five-inning affair.

Shore (L) and xxx
Weilep (W) and xxx

(May 26)  The Trail Smoke Eaters opened the 1956 Border Baseball League by dropping the Colville WA Air Force Base Radarts with a bang 15 to 2 at Butler Park. Pitcher Bob Weilep of the Silver City nine looked sharp in blowing down the Flyers on six hits while ringing up seven strikeouts. The Smokies pounced on a tandem of Radart chuckers for 15 base blows. Ab Cronie laced a triple, double and single. Bill Jablonsky launched a two-run homer plus a brace of one-baggers while Adolf Tambellini chipped in with a triad of singles.

Morris (L), Montgomery (4) and Hitch
Weilep (W), Ferguson (9) and G. McIntyre

(May 27)  The Fruitvale/Trail Athletics scored three runs in the first inning and maintained a lead throughout in edging the resilient Nelson Maple Leafs 5 to 4 at the Civic Recreation Grounds in the Border Baseball League inaugural for both squads. Bill Johnson’s triple was the big blow for the A’s in their fast opening-canto start. The Leafs persevered and made things close, out hitting the visitors eight to six but their safeties were not as timely as those registered by the invaders. They stranded no less than 11 baserunners. Bob Seaman earned the hillock triumph over Marsh Severyn. Infielder Lorne Bay socked a fifth-frame four-bagger for Nelson. Wally Russell of the Fruitvale/Trail nine popped a two-run double in the fifth frame which proved to be the game-decider.

B. Seaman (W) and Russell
Severyn (L) and Larsen

(May 27)  A four-run opening inning propelled the Trail Smoke Eaters to a narrow 4 to 3 triumph over the hosting Rossland Capilanos in the season opener for the Golden City nine. The Caps out hit the invaders 11 to 8 but winning tosser Jack Ferguson was better able than losing chucker Pete Bourchier in scattering the safeties he yielded. Top swatter in the contest was Rossland’s Stu Price who collected three safeties including a triple.

Ferguson (W) and G. McIntyre
Bourchier (L) and Driscoll, Stuart (6)

(May 29)   Jim Bilesky drove in two runs with a long single in the seventh inning to give Fruitvale/Trail A's a 7-6 upset exhibition-game victory over the Spokane Indians at Butler Park. Spokane had assumed a 6 to 5 lead on George Huffman's home run over the right field wall in the top of the seventh stanza. After the Indians, of the Class B Northwest League, had opened the game with three runs in the top of the first inning against lefty Tony DeRosa, the A's came right back with four runs in their half of the frame on three hits, three walks and a sacrifice against right-hander Dave Malani. Bilesky, Leo Mailey and Wally Russell each had two hits for the A's. Ron Jackson and Ron Carlon both had three hits for Spokane. After the game, DeRosa was offered a tryout with Spokane.

Malani (L) and xxx
T. DeRosa (W) and xxx

(May 31)  The Trail Smoke Eaters of the Border Baseball loop clobbered three Nelson Outlaw pitchers for 14 hits and a 14 to 3 exhibition-game victory at the Civic Recreation Grounds. Hal Jones, with two home runs and a single, drove in seven runs for the Smelter Towners. Fast-balling right-hander George Lechuk gave up just six hits in recording the mound win over the Outlaws of the Washington – B. C. circuit. Earl Lobb, with two singles, was the only player from the Bandits to attain more than one hit.

Lechuk (W) and Hackett
Storgaard (L), Keller (5), Grill (7) and Isaakson

(June 3)  Nelson Maple Leafs won their first game in the newly formed Border Baseball League when they crushed the Rossland Capilanos 12 to 3 behind the four-hit hurling of Les Hufty. Right-hander Hufty fanned eight and walked none. Al “Swede” Larsen and Frank Hufty slammed doubles to knock in the first two runs of the game and the Leafs never looked back. They added another an inning later when Lorne Bay led off with a triple, his second three-bagger of the fracas, and came home on an error. Bay also made the fielding gem of the day leaping high in the air to snag a line drive and double off a baserunner in the sixth inning.

L. Hufty (W) and Larsen
Mohoruk (L), Lavorato (6) and Driscoll

(June 4)  The Colville Radarts, the only American team in the newly formed Border League have been forced to withdraw from the circuit. Radarts, who make their home at Colville Air Force station, have been ordered on manoeuvres and won't be able to make their league commitments.

The Fruitvale/Trail A’s are also on the move, announcing that they would be abandoning Butler Park in Trail for their
old stomping grounds in Fruitvale effective mid-June.

(June 9)  A lack of defensive support kept Nelson pitcher Les Hufty in continual hot water as the Maple Leafs dropped a 6 to 4 decision to the hosting Fruitvale/Trail Athletics at Butler Park. Hufty was touched for seven safeties by the A’s but the most telling aspect of the game were the eight fielding miscues generated by his mates. Winning pitcher Jim McKay’s two-run single sent home the eventual winning counter.

L. Hufty (L) and xxx
McKay (W), Truswell and xxx

(June 10)  Infielder Len Bay of the Nelson Maple Leafs had a grand-slam home run against the Rossland Capilanos wiped out when a heavy rain washed out the action in the bottom of the third inning at Nelson’s Civic Recreation Grounds. 

(June 11)  The Fruitvale/Trail A’s blasted six home runs in pulverizing an overmatched group of Rossland Capilanos 17 to 2 at Butler Park. Blasting dingers for the Athletics were Bill Johnson with two and Hugh “Pinoke” McIntyre, Jim Bilesky, Vern “Snook” Seaman and Bob Seaman with one each.

Mohoruk (L), Brown (2) and xxx
Truswell (W), xxx (3) and xxx

(June 12)  Jack Ferguson’s nine-hit pitching, backed by some snappy defensive work in the infield, sent the Trail Smoke Eaters to a 4 to 2 win over the Rossland Capilanos at Butler Park. The Smokies pulled off four double plays to go along with a triple play in the seventh inning. Catcher Jim Driscoll of the Caps hit a long bases-loaded sacrifice fly to left field which was the basis for the triple play. As Rossland runner Gene Kosiancic tagged up at third and scored, the relay from Trail left fielder George McIntyre was cut-off and runners attempting to reach third and second base were nailed in their tracks for the second and third outs. 

xxx (L) and Driscoll
Ferguson (W) and xxx

(June 13) Pinch-hitter Jim McKay slammed a two-run homer in the closing frame which allowed the Fruitvale/Trail A’s to nose out the winless Rossland Capilanos 7 to 6 in the Golden City. The Athletics fell behind 5 to 0 in the opening canto as Jack Stewart of the Caps lit up winning pitcher Tony DeRosa for a three-run round-tripper. During the remainder of the contest, however, DeRosa tightened up and finished with a five-hitter as his mates gradually closed the gap. 

T. DeRosa (W) and Russell
Bourchier (L) and Stuart

(June 17)  Playing their first home game of the season at their old stomping grounds in Fruitvale, the Fruitvale/Trail A’s combed the offerings of Nelson Maple Leaf chucker Marsh Severyn for 15 base knocks in trampling the Lakesiders 12 to 4 in a Border League skirmish. The Athletics did their scoring in bunches while the Nelson nine, although able to light up winning tosser Jim McKay for 11 safeties, had trouble producing a timely hit in clutch situations. Outfielder Bill Johnson ripped a triple and single for the winners, a production equalled by Lorne Bay of the vanquished nine..

Severyn, L. Hufty and xxx
McKay (W) and xxx

(June 17)  The Rossland Capilanos blew an early five-run margin in tasting a 9 to 8 defeat at the hands of the invading Trail Smoke Eaters. Danny Geranazzo’s two-out single in the top of the final canto drove in the winning counter for the Smokies. Keystone sacker Bill Jablonsky smashed a four-bagger for the Silver City nine.

Ferguson, B. McIntyre (W) (5) and Pugh, G. McIntyre
Bourchier (L), Mohoruk (7) and Campbell

(June 24)  Pull-hitting Al “Swede” Larsen defied the defensive shift afforded him by Rossland and crammed a single through the massed right side of the Capilanos’ infield, a blow which scored Lorne Bay all the way from first base to give the Nelson Maple Leafs an exciting 11 to 10 triumph over the Golden City nine in a 12-inning thriller in the second game of a doubleheader at the Civic Recreation Grounds. The Leafs won the opener 8 to 3 behind the nine-hit pitching of Les Hufty. Lefty Irv Lavorato of the Caps, who opposed Hufty on the hill in the matinee match, was touched for seven bingles but was effectively wild in the early going when the hosts built up their margin for victory.

Lavorato (L) and xxx
L. Hufty (W) and xxx

Larsen’s winning swat in the third round of overtime in the nightcap was bobbled slightly by Rossland outfielder “Wiggy” Davis which gave Bay the opportunity to scamper all the way home. Larsen, earlier in the skirmish had doubled in a brace of counters. Rossland thumped the offerings of Nelson starter John Starcevic to take a 4 to 0 lead after two frames had been played. Ronnie Brown, the Caps’ starter was derricked in the fifth canto when the Leafs scored eight times. Relievers Marsh Severyn and Dick Mohoruk then battled tooth and nail for the remainder of the contest.

Brown, Mohoruk (L) (5) and xxx
Starcevic, Severyn (W) (3) and xxx

(June 25)  The Fruitvale/Trail A’s chalked up their tenth straight win with a 4 to 1 verdict over the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters. Third sacker Hugh “Pinoke” McIntyre and shortstop Gerry Penner sparked the hitting attack of the Athletics with a double and single apiece. Tony DeRosa fashioned a nifty seven-hitter in going the route for the mound victory, mustering seven strikeouts.

Lechuk (L) and xxx
T. DeRosa (W) and xxx

(June 26)  The Rossland Capilanos collected 15 base blows, including a three-run homer by outfielder Jerry Sovka, in earning their first win in the Border Baseball League, a 15 to 10 conquest of the hosting Trail Smoke Eaters. Stu Price blasted four safeties for the victors including a double while Sovka and fellow Capilano, Lloyd McLellan, lit up losing flinger Jack Ferguson for a triad of base swats each. George McIntyre ripped three singles for the Trailites.

Bourchier (W) and Driscoll
Ferguson (L) and Handley

(June 29)  The Nelson Maple Leafs extended their win streak to three games with a 10 to 1 decision over the Trail Smoke Eaters at the Civic Recreation Grounds. The Leafs backed up the five-hit and 10-strikeout pitching performance of Les Hufty with a 13-hit attack against a pair of Silver City hurlers. The Lakesiders put the game on ice in the opening stanza when they scored four times, the big blow being a three-bagger by Hufty, one of three hits the Leaf chucker garnered. Reliever George Lechuk of the Smokies spoiled Hufty’s shutout bid with a solo home run in the fifth panel. Marsh Severyn had a two-run circuit-clout for Nelson in the third chapter. In addition to Lechuk’s tater, Hal Jones of the Trailites gave Hufty the most trouble, stroking three bingles.

Ferguson (L), Lechuk (5) and xxx
L. Hufty (W) and xxx
 
(July 1)  The Nelson Maple Leafs, with Les Hufty on the knoll, shackled the homestanding Rossland Capilanos  10 to 1.

L. Hufty (W) and xxx
xxx (L) and xxx

(July 2)  The Trail Smoke Eaters came from behind with two counters in the ninth round to tie the score then plated another pair in the tenth to upset the Trail/Fruitvale A's 6 - 4 in an exhibition encounter at Fruitvale. Trailing 4 - 2, Hal Jones doubled in both ninth inning runs to send the game to extra innings. Reno Zanier led off the tenth with a single and, with two out, came around to score the winner as Adolf Tambellini's fly ball was dropped in centre field. Successive singles by Danny Geronazzo and Albert Cronie drove in Tambellini with the insurance run. Jones led the winners with a double and two singles. Gerry Penner belted a homer and single for the A's. Jack Ferguson got the win with an eight-hitter and three whiffs, besting Tony DeRosa who also surrendered eight safeties while fanning the same number.

Ferguson (W) and xxx
T. DeRosa (L) and xxx

(July 3)  Four runs in the third inning were the backbone of a 9 to 6 Border League triumph by the Fruitvale/Trail Athletics over the Trail Smoke Eaters at Butler Park. The A’s piled up an 8 to 1 lead at one point in the contest before the Smoke Eaters made any semblance of a comeback. Bob Seaman secured the hillock triumph over Bob Weilep.

Seaman (W) and xxx
Weilep (L) and xxx

(July 6)  The league-leading Fruitvale/Trail A’s put a stop to the four-game winning streak of the Nelson Maple Leafs, downing the hosting Lakesiders 5 to 3 in a Border Baseball League clash at the Civic Recreation Grounds. Holding a 3 to 2 lead, the Athletics scored a pair of two-out markers in the sixth round on an inside-the-park round-tripper by Gerry Penner and consecutive doubles by Archie McKinnon and “Pinoke” McIntyre to salt the game away. McIntyre also nailed a three-bagger earlier in the contest. Winning heaver Bob Seaman twirled a seven-hitter while Nelson’s Les Hufty, who absorbed the loss, surrendered 13 safeties. 

B. Seaman (W) and Russell
L. Hufty (L) and xxx

(July 8)  The shallowness of the Nelson Maple Leafs’ pitching corps was magnified in an embarrassing 18 to 4 shellacking handed to the visiting Lakesiders by the Rossland Capilanos. Without the services of ace chucker Les Hufty, the Leafs were forced to dip into the ranks of their second-line starters who were unable to hold the fort. Nelson was able to keep the score close and, in the top of the sixth stanza, took a 4 to 3 lead when shortstop Gus Adams was plunked by a pitched ball, stole second, took third on an overthrow and scored on a wild pitch. Then, the roof fell in as the Capilanos responded by scoring nine runs in their half of the stanza as losing flinger John Starcevic and reliever Joe Postnikoff walked several and were lit up with key hits. Dick Mohoruk went the route for the Caps on the hill.  Fly chaser Ivan “Paddy” Bell and third baseman Lou Corrado both ripped three base hits for Rossland.

Starcevic (L), Postnikoff (6) and Larsen
Mohoruk (W) and Campbell

(July 10)  Hal Jones made his last game as playing-manager of the Trail Smoke Eaters a winning one as the Smokies held off the Nelson Maple Leafs for a 5-4 victory in a fast-action Border League contest. After the game, Jones. who led the winners' offensive with a triple and two singles to drive in a pair, handed over the managerial reins to Louis Demore but will continue on as a player on the squad.  George Lechuk won his first of the season for the Smokies giving up 12 hits. He ran into trouble in the ninth as Joe Postnikoff bashed a two-run homer with none out but was able to wriggle out of the jam for the victory. Postnikoff also had a two-bagger in the seventh frame.

L. Hufty (L) and xxx
Lechuk (W) and xxx

(July 11)  The Fruitvale/Trail A’s continued to stomp all over Border League opposition, doubling the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters 12 to 6 on their home turf in the Beaver Valley. Both teams spanked the sphere with authority and neither starting pitcher was able to go the distance. Archie McKinnon led the Valley nine at the dish with a double and two singles. Teammate “Pinoke” McIntyre ripped a triple and single. Reno Zanier belted a two-bagger as well as a brace of singles for the Trailites. Hal Jones continued his heavy hitting for the Smokies with a double and single, an offensive production equalled by his teammates Danny Geronazzo and Ab Cronie.

Ferguson (L), Lechuk (4) and xxx
McKay, Seaman (W) (3) and xxx 

(July 12) A big sixth-inning propelled the visiting Fruitvale/Trail Athletics to a 6 to 3 victory over the Nelson Maple Leafs at the Civic Recreation Grounds. The Border League combatants were locked in a 2 – 2 tie until the fifth canto when Hugh “Pinoke” McIntyre of the A’s singled and was eventually driven home on a one-bagger by fly chaser Bill Johnson. Then, in the following round, the Athletics scored the knockout punch, plating three counters, when McIntyre walloped a two-run triple and was able to reach the platter on Joe Postnikoff’s poor throw to the hot corner. A bottom-of-the-ninth comeback attempt by the Leafs was snuffed out when Tony DeRosa fanned pinch-hitter Les Hufty with the bases loaded.

Bodin (W), T. DeRosa and Russell
Severyn (L) and Larsen

(July 15) The Trail Smoke Eaters travelled to Nakusp and whipped the home club 13 to 4 in an exhibition encounter. Bill Jablonsky provided the highlight for the winners with a tremendous homer. Also clouting a four-bagger in the Smokies’ nine-hit attack was “Busher” McIntyre.

Ferguson (W), B. McIntyre (7) and xxx
Patterson (L), L. DeRosa (5) and xxx, Hayashi

(July 17)  The undefeated Fruitvale/Trail Athletics won their twelfth in a row, literally walking home with a 16 to 7 shellacking of the Trail Smoke Eaters. The A’s were recipients of nine bases on balls off four different Trail chuckers during a sixth-inning uprising in which they plated eight markers. Bill Johnson had a circuit-clout for the winners. 

McKay, T. DeRosa (W) (4) and xxx
Lechuk (L), Jorgenson (6), Ferguson (6), Jones (6) and xxx

(July 18)  The Trail Smoke Eaters registered just four hits in upending the hosting Rossland Capilanos 9 to 8. The Caps blew an early 7 to 1 lead in falling further into the league’s cellar. Rossland managed to comb two Trail twirlers for nine hits. Bill Jablonsky launched a solo home run for the victors. Kelly Campbell sparked the Golden City nine at the platter with a triple and single while sidekick Gene Kosiancic laced a brace of one-baggers.

B. McIntyre, Ferguson (W) (5) and xxx
Bourchier, Mohoruk (L) (5) and xxx

(July 21)  The Nelson News reported on this date that the Nelson Maple Leafs baseball club had been suspended from the Border Baseball League for failing to meet their league obligations.

(July 22)  A seven run outburst in the sixth inning carried New Denver-Silverton to a 10-3 victory over the Nelson Maple Leafs in exhibition game action at Dewis Memorial Park in New Denver.  Nelson had taken a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth on consecutive hits by Frank Hufty, Ed Isaakson and Les Hufty. Ken Gordon pitched stellar ball for seven innings before turning the mound work over to Lou DeRosa for the final two innings. Lenny Erickson led the winners' attack with a triple and two singles.  Barry Morrison delighted the home crowd with a long homer.

L.Hufty (L) and xxx
K. Gordon (W), L. DeRosa (8) and xxx

(July 22)  Dead arm and all, left-hander Irv Lavorato who just a few seasons ago was seemingly slated for stardom, took a rare turn on the mound and showed the odd bit of his old brilliance in pitching the Rossland Capilanos to a 7 to 4 Border League triumph over the Trail Smoke Eaters. Recognizing the limitations of his weakened flipper, Lavorato worked accordingly, pitching with his head and heart and held the Smokies to only four safeties. The Caps fell behind early, tied the score in the third frame on Pete Bourchier’s single and moved ahead to stay in the fifth canto when Bourchier again came through with a clutch two-run one-bagger. The Golden City gang combed the slants of losing flinger Bob Weilep for eleven bingles.  

Lavorato (W) and xxx
Weilep (L) and xxx

(July 24)  The Trail Smoke Eaters, with help from three former Nelson Maple Leafs, upended the Fruitvale/Trail A's 6-5. It was the Smokies second win over the A's but both have been exhibition games. The Athletics remain undefeated in Border League play with 13 straight wins. Hal Jones, who had belted a two-run homer in the fifth, scored the winner in the bottom of the ninth after drawing a walk and scampering home on a single by Danny Geronazzo. Adolf Tambellini had three hits for the winners. Leo Mailey poked a homer and single for the A's. Les Hufty, over from the Nelson Maple Leafs, was the winner in relief of starter Jack Ferguson.

McKay, Bodine, Seaman (L) and xxx
Ferguson, L. Hufty (W) (5) and xxx

(July 27)  Trail Smoke Eaters manager Louis Demore announced the acquisition of Frank and Les Hufty, Al “Swede” Larsen and Lorne Bay from the Nelson Maple Leafs who were given the boot from the Border Baseball league for what was described as “failing to meet their commitments to the league.”

(July 27)  The homestanding Fruitvale/Trail A’s of the Border League thwarted a seventh-inning rally by the invading Nelson Outlaws of the Washington – B. C. League and went on to claim a 9 to 7 victory over the Bandits in an exhibition inter-league affair. The Beaver Valley aggregation never trailed, climbing on Outlaws’ starter and loser Al Dawson for three runs in the fourth canto and adding four more in the sixth panel. The big gun with the baton for the victors was Wally Russell who drove in three markers with a brace of safeties. Tony DeRosa, who opposed the professional Spokane Indians in an exhibition game earlier in the season, scattered nine hits and fanned four in taking the mound decision. 

Dawson (L) and xxx
T. DeRosa (W) and Russell

(July 29)  A close 4 to 2 victory over the Rossland Capilanos allowed the Fruitvale/Trail A’s to lengthen their margin atop the Border Baseball League. Both pitchers of record, winning flinger Bob Seaman of the Athletics and losing twirler Pete Bourchier of the Caps, were in top form. Seaman was touched for just three hits, all singles, while the A’s got to Bourchier for four safeties, one of which was a three-bagger by outfielder Leo Mailey. The Fruitvale fly chaser also had a brace of singles for a three-hit production. Seaman chalked up 15 strikeouts while Bourchier fanned eight.

B. Seaman (W) and Russell
Bourchier (L) and Campbell

(July 31)  The Trail Smoke Eaters, appearing stronger than ever with their reinforcements from the Nelson Maple Leafs, crushed the bottom-feeding Rossland Capilanos 11 to 1 at Butler Park. Hal Jones started the offensive assault for the Silver City nine against loser Irv Lavorato by slamming a two-run homer in the first inning. The Caps picked up just five hits in the skirmish, two off the bat of Lloyd McLellan. The Smokies rapped the horsehide for 16 base knocks as Jones collected a double and single in addition to his tater. Ab Cronie added three singles while Adolf Tambellini and Frank Hufty both registered a triple and single.

Lavorato (L), Brown (3) and Campbell
Lechuk (W), L. Hufty (6) and Larsen, Hackett

(August 1)  The Nelson Maple Leafs captured a darkness-shortened, five-inning exhibition scuffle from the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters 6 to 3 when the two former Border League rivals duked it out at the Civic Recreation Grounds. The Nelson nine, recently evicted from the circuit for allegedly “failing to fulfil their obligations” used some of their former players, currently playing with the Smokies. Tied 3 – 3 after 4-1/2 innings, the Leafs were able to put a three-spot on the scoreboard before a lack of illumination curtailed the proceedings. Dunc Kennedy’s squeeze bunt plated the ultimate winning tally. Lorne Bay picked up three hits for the victors. Danny Geronazzo belted a bases-empty four-bagger for the Trail. Marsh Severyn, pitching for the first time in more than three weeks, gave up only four hits while fanning the same number during the abbreviated clash. Loser Jack Ferguson was touched for ten safeties.

Ferguson (L) and xxx
Severyn (W) and xxx 

(August 5)  In arrears by three runs entering the eighth frame, the Trail Smoke Eaters tallied a brace of counters in that round and another pair in the top of the ninth to edge the Nelson Maple Leafs 12 to 11 in a thrilling exhibition slugfest at Nelson’s Civic Recreation Grounds. A perfectly-executed squeeze bunt down the first-base line by Trail’s “Busher” McIntyre scored Ernie Secco from the hot corner station with the deciding run. Secco had driven in the tying marker with a two-bagger which plated Mario Geronazzo and had taken third base on winning pitcher Jack Ferguson’s single. Ironically, Secco had an opportunity to touch home on Ferguson’s base knock but had slipped rounding third and had to retreat, giving the pesky McIntyre the chance to squeeze him home. The Smokies collected 15 hits, two more than the Maple Leafs. Included in the Trail swats were a pair of homers by Dan Geronazzo and one each by Hal Jones and Bill Jablonsky. McIntyre was prominent with a triple, double and single. Dunc Kennedy smashed a mammoth round-tripper for the Lakesiders while teammate Joe Postnikoff, the losing twirler, clipped the orb for a three-bagger, double and single.

Benson, Ferguson (W) (4)   and G. McIntyre
Brown, Postnikoff (L) (5), L. Hufty (9) and Larsen

Motoring to Fruitvale for an evening encounter with their contingent of Nelson pickups, the Smokies then played their second contest of the day and fell to their nemesis, the Fruitvale/Trail A’s, 10 to 6. It took a huge eighth inning for the Athletics to turn the trick on the Smoke Eaters. Behind the sharp hurling of ex-Nelson Maple Leaf Les Hufty, the Smelter City gang was clinging tenaciously to a 5 to 4 lead. But, then all hell broke loose and the Smokies found themselves staring down the barrel of a shotgun with the Beaver Valley baseballers ringing up a six-spot. Billy Johnson rocked three doubles for the A’s. 

L. Hufty (L), xxx (8) and xxx
McKay, Seaman (W) (5) and xxx

(August 5)  New Denver-Silverton of the Slocan Valley, walked off with a 5-1 decision over the Rossland Capilanos of the Border League in an exhibition encounter Sunday at Rossland. Bill Harcus set the Caps down on three hits, one a double by Pete Bourchier. He walked five, hit two batters and fanned seven.  New Denver scored three in the first inning on two singles, two walks and an error and stayed in front all the way. First sacker Andy Avision led the winners with three hits. Nobby Hayashi belted a pair of two-baggers and Lenny Erickson added a double and a single. Irv Lavorato of the Caps whiffed 15 in a losing mound effort.

Harcus (W) and N.Hayashi
Lavorato (L) and Driscoll

(August 7)  After numerous failed attempts, the Trail Smoke Eaters finally inflicted a Border League defeat upon the Fruitvale/Trail Athletics, edging the A’s 5 to 4 in a controversial finish at Butler Park. George Lechuk fashioned a steady nine-hitter in grabbing the mound verdict for the Smokies. The Trailites had a 3 to 2 lead going into the ninth but fell behind 4 to 3 on Leo Mailey’s two-run double. In the bottom of the canto, Al “Swede” Larsen  and Hal Jones led off with back-to-back singles. Larson scored on Danny Geronazzo’s double to tie the score but Jones held up at third base. Left-hander Tony DeRosa, who had relieved Athletics’ starter Eric Bodine in the eighth, got Bill Jablonsky on strikes but committed a balk while pitching to Ab Cronie which allowed Jones to trot in with the winner.

Bodine, T. DeRosa (L) (8) and Johnson
Lechuk (W) and xxx

(August 12)  The Rossland Capilanos chalked up their second win in a row over the floundering Trail Smoke Eaters, edging the Smelter City nine 7 to 6 in the Golden City. Irv Lavorato of the Caps and Trail’s recruit from Nelson, Lorne Bay, both stroked three safeties.

Ferguson (L) and Pugh
Laatsch, Bourchier (W) (6) and Driscoll

(August 14)  A select group of Border League players, with the nucleus from the Trail Smoke Eaters, set the touring House of David baseball club back on its ears by dumping the travellers 10 to 6 in a friendly, exhibition contest at Butler Park. The Selects used four chuckers with the final one, Tony DeRosa of the Fruitvale/Trail A’s, getting credit for the hillock triumph. The Border Leaguers hammered 14 safeties off a pair of bearded heavers as Billy Jablonsky of the Smoke Eaters led the hit parade with four singles. Danny Geronazzo, Frank Hufty, Hal Jones and Al “Swede” Larson all had two base raps.

Egel (L), Graham (8) and xxx
L. Hufty, Mohoruk (4), Seaman (6), T. DeRosa (W) (6) and xxx

(August 15)  The runaway leaders of the Border Baseball League, the Fruitvale/Trail A’s clobbered the Rossland Capilanos 13 to 3 in the Beaver Valley town as the regular schedule for the circuit came to a close. The Athletics mauled losing chucker Dick Mohoruk for 13 base blows while winning tosser Bob Seaman was nicked for just three safeties. Initial sacker Jim Bilesky stroked a triad of one-baggers for the Athletics while teammates Leo Mailey, Gerry Penner, Archie McKinnon and Jim McKay all picked up a brace of base raps.

Mohoruk (L) and Driscoll
B. Seaman (W) and Russell

POST REGULAR-SEASON ACTIVITY

(August 19)  The New Denver/Silverton All-Stars gathered two unearned runs in the 11th inning at the Civic Recreation Grounds to defeat the Nelson Maple Leafs 5 to 3 in a tightly-fought exhibition tussle. The runs nullified a fine comeback effort by the Leafs who scored the tying tally in the ninth inning then failed in a futile attempt to squeeze home Gus Adams from third base as winning chucker Lou DeRosa pounced on Frank Hufty’s bunt and forced Adams at the dish. DeRosa fanned 13 batters while losing chucker Les Hufty punched out ten. The Stars were by far the superior defensive squad, committing one miscue to seven for their hosts. Barry Morrison stroked two hits for the winners while opposing tosser Hufty and Dunc Kennedy got to DeRosa for a brace each.

L. DeRosa (W) and N. Hayashi
L. Hufty (L) and xxx 

(August 25 - 26)  In a thrill-packed series that was forced to a third and deciding game, the Nelson – Trail All-Stars of the West Kootenays copped the Kinsmen Trophy, emblematic of Kootenay baseball supremacy, from the Kimberley Dynamos, defending champions from the East Kootenays. The series, originally billed for the Dynamos to meet the winner of the Border Baseball League, was an alternative measure put together when the Border League had not declared a champion in time to coincide with the annual Kimberley Fall Fair. The Kimberley contingent had, in the interim, pocketed the Eastern half of the Kootenay crown by disposing of the Windermere Valley All-Stars, the Fernie Falcons, the Cranbrook Lumbermen and the Kimberley Junior Hobos.

The Nelson – Trail Combines captured the opening game of the series 8 to 0, lost the second encounter 5 to 4 and, with an eighth-inning rally which produced four runs, took the finale 5 to 1.

Pitcher Les Hufty of the West Kootenay nine held the usual heavy-hitting Dynamo bats to a whisper in two sterling mound performances, rationing two hits in the first game and five safeties in the third and final tilt.

L. Hufty (W) and xxx
xxx (L) and xxx

The sandwich game of the showdown series, Kimberley’s lone triumph, was undoubtedly the most exciting and entertaining of the triad. The only two home runs of the series came in this second contest, one by Les Lilley of the Dynamos and the other by the All-Stars’ Dunc Kennedy. Ron “Slicker” Brown went the distance on the knoll for the East Kootenay champions, quelling a late rally by invaders.

xxx (L) and xxx
Brown (W) and xxx

Four Dynamo errors mixed in with four bingles by the West Kootenay squad in the fateful eighth canto broke a 1 – 1 tie and sent the All-Stars on to victory in the wrap-up contest.

L. Hufty (W) and xxx 
xxx (L) and xxx

(August 26)  The New Denver-Silverton All-Stars, representing the Arrow Lakes/Slocan baseball scene, took the measure of the Border Baseball League’s Rossland Capilanos 10 to 7 in an exhibition skirmish played on the New Denver diamond. Winning pitcher Bill Marcus relieved starter Lou DeRosa in the sixth panel with the Golden City nine in front 5 to 4. The victorious pitching tandem held the visiting Caps to seven bingles, four off the bat of Gene Kosiancic. The Stars pulled the game out of the fire late in the contest when they got to curve-balling Pete Bourchier for five hits which netted them six counters. Catcher Nobby Hayashi banged out a brace of doubles for the winners while DeRosa ripped three singles.  

Bourchier (L), Laatsch (8) and Campbell
DeRosa, Marcus (W) (6) and N. Hayashi

Semi-final playoffs
Rossland Capilanos vs Trail Smoke Eaters (best-of-three series)

(August 28)  In the opening Border Baseball League semi-final playoff clash, the Trail Smoke Eaters piled on six counters in the third frame in disposing of the Rossland Capilanos 12 to 8. Bill Jablonsky hammered a three-run homer for the Smokies in the free-hitting contest. Shortstop J. Kosiancic of the Golden City nine clipped the horsehide for a triple and two singles. The second game of the showdown is not scheduled to be played until September 9.

Mohoruk (L) and Campbell
Ferguson (W), Lechuk (9) and Hackett

(September 9)  Following a long layoff, the Trail Smoke Eaters blasted out a 9 to 5 victory over the Rossland Capilanos to sweep their Border League semi-final series in two straight games. The hosting Caps enjoyed a slight 11 to 10 advantage in base hits acquired as second baseman Lloyd McLellan led them offensively with three bingles, one of which was a double. Harold Jones of the Smokies and Rossland’s Pete Bourchier both belted home runs. Jones also added a two-bagger to his hit total.

Ferguson (W), L. Hufty (9) and Hackett
Lavorato (L) and Campbell

No further evidence of playoff action within the Border Baseball League (specifically a final series with the Fruitvale [Athletics) was located in print.]

(September 11)  The Trail Smoke Eaters, with Nelson reinforcements  Les Hufty and Lorne Bay in the lineup, pushed across nine runs in the first two innings and went on to take an exhibition encounter from the Nelson Outlaws of the Washington – B. C. circuit 11 to 2. Adolph Tambellini had a brace of one-baggers for the Smokies.

Avis (L) and xxx
L. Hufty (W), Lechuk and Hackett


DAWSON CREEK

(July 8) Willow River edged the host Dawson Creek Colonels 5-4 Sunday to win top money in the $2,000 Dawson Creek Tournament for the second straight year. In a thrilling conclusion before 2,500 fans the visitors scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning after two were out to grab the victory. Pitcher Bill Martino was credited with his second victory of the day having hurled the club to their 7-4 semi-final win over Edson, Alberta. Dawson Creek reached the final with an 8-7 11-inning triumph over Grande Prairie.


WASHINGTON - BC LEAGUE

Chewelah WA
Colville WA Eagles
Hunters WA
Inchelium WA Senators
Kettle Falls WA
Nelson Outlaws

(May 6)  The Nelson Outlaws served notice that they will be a force to be reckoned with in the Washington – B. C. Baseball League when they swept an exhibition double-bill from the highly-touted Colville Eagles squad at the Civic Recreation Grounds by scores of 6 to 3 and 7 to 3. Instrumental in both triumphs was the pitching of Wendy Keller

in the first game and the combined one-hit twirling of Jim “Lefty” Burby and Walt Avis in the nightcap.
Keller relied almost entirely upon a rising fastball in the matinee event which he used to strikeout 18 Eagles. His batterymate, catcher Ed Isaakson, ripped the most telling blow of the contest, a two-run triple.

xxx (L) and xxx
Keller (W) and Isaakson

An opening inning double by Loy Burgess off portsider Burby, which helped to give Colville an early 2 to 0 lead, was the only base blow that the Eagles were able to collect in the finale. Nelson’s Bernie Monteleone was the hitting star of the game, whacking three doubles.

xxx (L) and xxx
Burby, Avis (W) (5) and Isaakson

(May 13)  Chewelah WA rallied for four runs in the last half of the eighth inning to defeat the Nelson Outlaws 7 to 6 in the first game of the Washington – B. C. regular league schedule.  The Outlaws out hit their hosts 12 to 5 but their pitching tandem of Wendy Keller and Jim “Lefty” Burby were far too generous with bases on balls, issuing 12, which was simply too much to overcome. Maurie Lorentz went the route on the hill for the Washingtonians. Ken White of Nelson creamed the horsehide for a triple, double and single while teammates Tom Marshall and Gus Adams belted two doubles each.  

Keller(L), Burby (8) and xxx
Lorentz (W) and xxx

(May 20)  Scoring seven times in the third stanza, the Nelson Outlaws evened their Washington – B. C. Baseball League record at 1 – 1 when the smashed the Kettle Falls WA nine 19 to 2. Making his first pitching start of the season, Nelson’s Win Storgaard yielded three hits and fanned an equal number of batters in the five innings he toiled on the hill. Barry McDowell and Ken White of the Bandits both clipped the horsehide for a triple and double.

xxx (L), xxx, xxx and xxx
Storgaard (W), Avis (6) and xxx

(May 27)  The Nelson Outlaws blasted Hunters WA hurlers for 42 hits in a Washington – B. C. Baseball League doubleheader played in the American community, crushing their hosts 19 to 6 to begin proceedings and then pummeling them 15 to 3 in the finale.

Nelson pitcher Wendy Keller restricted the Hunters nine to just two hits in the opener as his mates were busy slamming losing flinger Hank Holland for 27 base knocks, including four each by Tom Marshall, Ron Nash and Bob McDonald. Gus Adams, Earl Lobb and Keller all clipped the orb for three safeties while Ken White nailed a home run and double.

Holland (L) and xxx
Keller (W) and xxx

The Outlaws continued to mangle Hunters pitching in the second tussle, collecting 15 hits. Winning pitcher Stan Grill and Ken “Lefty” White both pounded out a triple and double while Bernie Monteleone incorporated a home run and two-bagger into his three-hit performance.

xxx (L) and xxx
Grill (W), Olson (5) and xxx

(June 3)  The Nelson Outlaws dropped the Colville Air Force Base 6-1 in exhibition play as pitcher Wendy Keller lost a no-hitter in the ninth inning. Keller fanned seven and walked one. The Outlaws rapped nine hits and drew eight free passes off losing heaver Shore. George Benwell's two-out, two-on double in the sixth was the big blow for the winners.

Shore (L) and xxx
Keller (W) and Isaakson

(June 10)  The Inchelium Senators scored two unearned runs on a bloop single over third base in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the visiting Nelson Outlaws 12 to 11 in Washington – B. C. Baseball League action.

Grill, Storgaard (L) (4) and xxx                                                                                                               
Sandvig (W) and xxx

(June 16)  Hosting Creston was upended 7 to 1 by the invading Nelson Outlaws in an exhibition skirmish in the East Kootenay town. Youthful chucker Blair Olson of the Outlaws was spotted to an early five-run lead and relied upon his defense to pull him out of jams in going the distance for the knoll triumph. Creston had ten safeties and left 11 baserunners stranded.

Olson (W) and xxx
xxx (L) and xxx                                               

(June 17)  The Colville Eagles grabbed an extra-inning 11 to 9 exhibition game victory over the Nelson Outlaws in the late portion of a double-dip after the Outlaws had won the important match, a regularly-scheduled Washington – B. C. League fracas, 11 to 6 to start things off.

Wendy Keller scattered six hits and walked an equal number in going the distance for Nelson in the opening league tussle. The Outlaws trailed early in the contest but persevered to claim the lead as their offensive machine began to roll. Key hits for the Bandits were registered by Ken White who nailed a bases-loaded triple and by Ed Isaakson who crushed a two-run line-drive homer.

Carroll (L) and xxx
Keller (W) and xxx

Francis “Lefty” Gould, a former member of the Summerland Macs, made his mound debut for Nelson in the exhibition sunset event but was plagued with poor defensive support by his mates. On top of that, he served up a pair of juicy gopher balls. Second-sacker Jim McNabb of the Outlaws booted a routine grounder with two gone in the second round of overtime which allowed Hal Davis of the Eagles to crush Gould’s first pitch for a winning two-run, four-ply clout. Loy Burgess, Colville’s clean-up hitter, had a three-run dinger in the sixth panel. 

xxx (W) and xxx
Gould (L) and xxx

(July 1)  The Nelson Outlaws bowed to the Chewelah WA nine 8 to 5 in the opener of a Washington – B. C. League doubleheader at the Civic Recreation Grounds then romped back in the nightcap to triumph 8 to 2 behind the fine, four-hit hurling of lanky Walt Avis.

(July 2)  A split squad of Nelson Outlaws captured a 7 to 6 victory over the hosting New Denver-Silverton aggregation in a scintillating 13-inning encounter with a $65 purse at stake. Meanwhile, the remaining members of the Outlaws, bolstered by the addition of Lorne Bay, Len Bay and Frank Hufty of the Nelson Maple Leafs and playing at the Civic Recreation Grounds, downed the visiting Colville WA Air Force Base team in both ends of a doubleheader 3 to 1 and 8 to 4.

(July 4)  Frank Hufty pitched the Nelson Outlaws to a 3 to 1 exhibition game victory over the Colville Air Force Base Radarts on the home turf of the Stevens County nine.

F. Hufty (W) and xxx
xxx (L) and xxx

(July 8)  Nelson Outlaws held off a ninth inning charge by home-standing Kettle Falls to post a 12-8 victory in Washington – B. C. League play. Leading 12-3, pitcher Stan Grill retired two of the first three batters in the ninth inning with shortstop Bob Kylie reaching base on an error. Four straight singles and a triple by pitcher R. Harrington brought in five runs before Nelson got the last out. Both squads rippled the apple for a dozen bingles. Fleet middle pasture fly chaser Barry McDowell of the Outlaws, with a triple and two singles, paced the winners’ offensive attack. Best swatter for the Falls nine was Urhausen who connected for double and a pair of singles.

Grill (W) and Nash
R. Herrington and xxx

(July 15)  The Nelson Outlaws took advantage of nine errors by the invading Hunters WA nine to clobber the visitors 22 to 0 at the Civic Recreation Grounds as lanky Walt Avis twirled a nifty one-hitter. A scheduled second game between the same combatants was rained out after less than a full inning of play.

Nelson pitcher Avis surrendered only a first-inning single to Jack Sims while walking one in stymying the Hunters aggregation throughout the one-sided match. Avis and teammate Ken White led the Outlaws at the platter with a double and single apiece.

Flett (L), Dennison and xxx
Avis (W) and xxx

(July 22)  Combing three Nelson hurlers for 13 base hits and collecting 15 bases on balls, the Colville contingent dumped the visiting Nelson Outlaws 15 to 11 in a Washington – B. C. League encounter. The invading Lakesiders picked up nine safeties, including a pair of doubles by Bernie Monteleone.

xxx (L), xxx, xxx and xxx
xxx (W) and xxx 

(July 29)  The Inchelium Senators and Creston All-Stars collaborated in opposite ends of a doubleheader at the Civic Recreation Grounds to put down the hosting Nelson Outlaws twice. The Senators, beaten only once in Washington – B. C. League play this season, showed why they are top dogs in the circuit by combing four Outlaw heavers for 13 hits and a 13 to 7 victory in the opener. The bandits never recovered from shell shock after Inchelium’s Bill Stensgar blasted a first-inning grand-slam round-tripper in the opening panel.

xxx (W) and xxx
Keller (L), Dawson, Storgaard, Gould and xxx

Creston extracted revenge for a loss to the Outlaws last month by registering a 9 to 2 triumph in the late encounter.

Drysdale (W) and xxx
Olson (L), Avis and xxx

(August 12)  Sparked by the brilliant strikeout performances of Walt Avis and Francis “Lefty” Gould, the Nelson Outlaws swept a unique three-team twin-bill at the Civic Recreation Grounds, bowling over the Deer Park-Clayton WA nine 17 to 5 in the opener while New-Denver-Silverton went down 5 to 2 in the evening tilt. The Slocan Valley champs had earlier played a contest in Rossland before motoring to Nelson for the finale.

Lanky right-hander Avis limited the Americans to four safeties in the matinee match and rang up 13 strikeouts along the way. The visitors aided his cause by committing six errors. A three-run triple by Nelson’s Bernie Monteleone was the game’s most impactful blow.

xxx (L) and xxx
Avis (W) and xxx  

Portsider Gould punched out 16 New Denver-Silverton would-be swatters in the sunset tilt, including seven in succession. He struck out the side in the sixth, seventh and ninth frames. Ed Isaackson’s two-run double in the fifth canto put the Outlaws in front to stay. George Benwell’s mammoth sacrifice fly plated Nelson’s fifth run and sealed the deal for the winners.

Harcus (L), N. Hayashi (5) and xxx
Gould (W) and xxx   

(August 26)  The Nelson Outlaws of the Washington – B. C. loop disposed of a depleted squad of Trail Smoke Eaters of the Border circuit in a pair of exhibition jousts, taking the opener 20 to 5 and emerging triumphant 5 to 2 in a rain-curtailed nightcap. Several of the regular stalwarts in the Trail aggregation were absent, having journeyed to Kimberley as part of the Nelson-Trail All-Stars who were facing the hometown Dynamos in an East-West Kootenay baseball showdown series.

The Bandits virtually sewed up the lid-lifter after tallying ten counters in the opening round. The Smokies were held to five hits by winning tosser Francis “Lefty” Gould.

B. McIntyre (L), T. Derosa, J. Demore and xxx
Gould (W), Brown (5) and xxx

The evening tilt lasted 4-1/2 innings before rain stopped further play. Nelson chucker Blair Olson shackled Trail ‘s batters on two hits during the abbreviated fracas.

xxx (L) and xxx
Olson (W) and Kraft

(September 9)  The Nelson Outlaws and New Denver-Silverton All-Stars divided the spoils in their exhibition twin-bill at New Denver with the the home squad taking the opener 5-2 before the visitors ran wild in the second game, winning 17-2.

In the first game, Buster Patterson allowed two runs in the first inning, then shutout the Outlaws the rest of the way, finishing with a six-hitter. Walt Avis, back on the pitching slab for Nelson after a layoff of a couple of weeks, wasn’t as sharp as usual and yielded 11 safeties in absorbing the defeat.

Avis (L) and xxx
Patterson (W) and xxx

Outlaws exploded for 17 runs on 12 hits off Bill Harcus in the second game as Stan Grill tamed the Slocan Valley Gang on six hits. Grill helped his own cause with a three-run triple and two singles. Bernie Monteleone also had a three-bagger for Nelson, a bases-loaded blast in the eighth panel.

S.Grill (W) and xxx
Harcus, xxx and xxx


B. C. INTERIOR BASEBALL LEAGUE

The league alignment saw a reduction from six to five teams in 1956 with the Revelstoke Spikes and Head of the Lake Bluebirds departing and a new entry from Merritt joining the loop.

(May 6)  Running short of pitchers in their opening B. C. Interior League baseball game at MacDonald Park, the Kamloops Jay-Rays dropped a 12 to 7 decision to the reigning champion North Kamloops Mohawks. Steve Varanai, opening on the mound for the Mohawks, stayed in for two and one-third innings, long enough to get credit for the victory. Paul Prehara was dinged with the loss. Ken Pratt launched a third-inning homer for the Jay-Rays while the Mohawks’ Art Yuen reciprocated in the seventh canto.

P. Prehara (L), Tansley (6), Kusomoto and xxx
Varanai (W), Aura (3), Joe Motokado and xxx

(May 6)  The visiting Vernon Silver Stars opened the B. C. Interior League campaign by doubling the hosting Rutland Adanacs 6 to 3. The Stars scored all of their runs in the opening frame and, five of the six counters came after two were out. Winning tosser Doug Hay stymied the Adanacs on three safeties. Losing chucker Lloyd Duggan was nicked for seven safeties while punching out 13 strikeout victims. Shortstop Johnny Yarama and outfielder Ken Kulak both had two base hits for Vernon with a triple included in Yarama’s total. Fly chaser Len Wickenheiser drove in two of the three Rutland runs with a third-inning double.

Hay (W) and A. Kashuba
Duggan (L) and Holitzki

(May 13)  The Rutland Adanacs broke into the win column by taking an impressive 7 to 1 verdict over the invading North Kamloops Mohawks. Rutland’s Don Hickson scattered five safeties in grabbing the mound decision. The Adanacs roughed up two Mohawk chuckers for ten bingles with first baseman Morris leading the way with three base raps. Teammates Steve Duggan and Paul Holitzki both chipped in with a brace of swats as did outfielder Joe Yamake of North Kamloops.

Hickson (W) and Holitzki
T. Miyahara (L), J. Motokado (5) and Kato

(May 13)  The Vernon Silver Stars unmercifully hammered Merritt 20 to 1 in the latter team’s first game of the season. The Stars parlayed 16 hits and seven Merritt errors into their second win of the young campaign. Johnny Yarama led the Vernon offensive attack with a perfect four-for-four at the plate. Ken Kulak followed with a pair of two-baggers.

Irving (L), Covington (3), Moffatt (8) and Hogg
G. Dye (W), Hay (6) and A. Kashuba

(May 20)  In an atrocious performance at Riverside Park, the Kamloops Jay-Rays were dragged through the dirt by the invading Rutland Adanacs to the tune of 14 to 10. The Jay-Rays put on a woeful defensive display, committing eleven errors. Even though the Adanac pitching tandem served up 21 bases on balls to the Kamloops nine, the eleven fielding miscues proved to be too big a hurdle to overcome. Rutland secured 14 bingles from the offerings of losing twirler Paul Prehara while the Jay-Rays were able to amass eight safeties. Relief flinger Don Hickson of the Adanacs stroked three hits during his presence in the fracas, an offensive output matched by teammate Frank Hackler. Catcher Paul Holitzki, Vic Wickenheiser and Len Wickenheiser each acquired a brace of base knocks for the victors while outfielders Don Busch and Andy Huber both responded with a pair of swats for the vanquished nine.  

Reed (W), Hickson (4) and Holitzki
P. Prehara (L) and Tansley, G. Prehara (4)

(May 20)  The young Merritt baseball club retaliated from its opening-game drubbing a week ago to hand the Vernon Silver Stars an 8 to 4 setback on the Merritt diamond. The Nicola Valley nine came from behind with a magnificent rally starting in the sixth inning when they scored four runs and followed it up with three more in the seventh and another one in the eighth. Jimmy Irving pitched nine-hit ball for the mound victory while veteran Doug Hay, who was nicked for a dozen safeties, absorbed the loss.

Hay (L) and xxx
Irving (W) and xxx

Standings                     W      L       Pct.
Vernon Silver Stars           2      1      .667
Rutland Adanacs               2      1      .667
North Kamloops Mohawks        1      1      .500
Merritt                       1      1      .500
Kamloops Jay-Rays             0      2      .000 

(May 27)  Rangy Jim Tasko broke loose to engineer the Kamloops Jay-Rays to their first Interior Baseball League win of the 1956 season, a hefty 15 to 3 triumph over the Vernon Silver Stars. Tasko, making his initial mound appearance in league action, went the route on the knoll, spinning a sparkling six-hitter and made doubly sure by leading the offensive assault on Vernon’s Doug Hay with four hits of his own. The Jay-Rays took a 2 to 0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. Bill Lennox strung together a double and two singles for the winners while Rudy Morelli and Andy Huber both hit safely twice.

Tasko (W) and G. Prehara 
Hay (L), Roth (9) and A. Kashuba

(May 27)  A wild and woolly Interior League fracas at Riverside Park saw the North Kamloops Mohawks crush the pitching-challenged Merritt baseballers 23 to 9. Both squads pulverized the horsehide for 15 base blows but the big difference in the game was the deplorable lack of control by the four Merritt tossers who gave up 17 bases on balls. Gordie Miyahara led the Mohawk hitting parade with five bingles in six at bats. Tosh Takenada followed with three safeties including a home run. Joe Motokoda also connected for a North Kamloops circuit-clout. J. Thom ripped four bingles for Merritt while Bill McCreight had three.

Irving (L), Ovington (3), Moffatt, Emmerich and xxx
xxx, Varanai (W), Joe Motokado and xxx 

(May 30)  Ken Kochi, with relief help from Sam Aura, effectively silenced the bats of the Kamloops Okonots, current penthouse dwellers in the Okanagan Mainline League, in a well-played exhibition game at Riverside Park in which the North Kamloops Mohawks of the Interior Baseball League doubled the mighty Okonots 6 to 3. The Mohawks collected ten safeties of losing flinger Jack Fowles and his successor Jackie Olson while the OMBL representatives rang up seven bingles off the slants of Kochi and Aura. Kochi’s bat was also instrumental in the victory as he slugged a solo homer in the sixth round. His teammate, third baseman Tosh Takenaka hammered the pill for a trio of base knocks which drove in a pair of runs. Fowles ripped three safe swats in support of his mound effort and drove in a brace.

Kochi (W), Aura (6) and xxx
J. Fowles (L), Olson (7) and Evensen

(June 3)  The North Kamloops Mohawks, riding the four-hit pitching of Ken Kochi, decisively thrashed the Kamloops Jay-Rays 17 to 3 at Riverside Park. For eight innings, Kochi tied the Jay-Rays in knots but, in the ninth, he began to weaken and the Kamloops nine broke through for their three counters. The Mohawks blasted losing chucker Paul Prehara from the knoll in the first frame when they counted seven markers. Shortstop Joe Motokodo led the batting onslaught for the winners with three hits and an equal number of RBI’s. Kochi along with Gordie Miyahara and Stan Kato each kicked in with a pair of safeties.

Kochi (W) and Kato
Tasko (L), P. Prehara (1) and Witt, G. Prehara (1)

(June 3)  Showing a good brand of ball despite playing in a drizzling rain on a slippery field, the Rutland Adanacs nosed out the hosting Merritt nine 6 to 5. Winning pitcher Ed Gallagher racked up ten strikeouts and allowed eight hits before requiring relief help from Steve Duggan. Paul Holitzki was the heavy hitter for the Adanacs, slapping out four bingles. For Merritt, Bill McCreight and Ray Emmerich both picked up a pair of safeties.

Gallagher (W), Duggan (8) and Holitzki
Irving (L) and xxx

(June 10) All games rained out

(June 17)  Pitchers Jim Tasko and Paul Prehara were on target as the Kamloops Jay-Rays swept a double-bill from the homestanding Merritt nine by scores of 12 to 1 and 10 to 1. Infielder Bill Lennox was the big noise with the stick for the victors in the double win, stroking two hits in the first game and three in the second.
Tasko allowed just one-hit and struck out nine in the opener.

Tasko (W) and xxx
Emmerich (L), xxx (5) and xxx

Prehara tossed a four-hitter in going the route for the victory in the finale. He was ably assisted by Lennox and Rudy Morelli who also cracked out three bingles.

P. Prehara (W) and xxx
xxx (L), xxx and xxx

(June 17)  The Rutland Adanacs were rudely knocked out of their lofty position atop the Interior Baseball League after falling to the Vernon Silver Stars twice, 4 to 3 in the opener and 10 to 1 in a second-game blowout.
The early fracas was close throughout although the Silver Stars had a definitive 8 to 4 margin in base hits. George Dye was credited with the heaving conquest although he had to be relieved by Doug Hay in the sixth round after surrendering a solo home run to Johnny Culos. Losing flinger Dennis Reed had a wobbly start on the hill for the Adanacs but got stronger as the game progressed and finished with ten strikeouts.

Reed (L) and Holitzki
G. Dye (W), Hay (6)  and A. Kashuba

Following his first-game relief stint, Doug Hay returned to the hill and went the route for the win in the late encounter. The score flattered the Silver Stars in that they only out-hit the Rutlanders by a 12 to 11 margin as the Adanacs loaded the bases on several occasions but failed miserably when it came to hitting in the pinches. Catcher Alex Kashuba staked Vernon to a 2 to 0 lead, clouting a fourth-inning round-tripper with Wally Kechalo aboard. Rutland plated their lone counter in the eighth when Len Wickenheiser singled to drive in Akio Mende. Paul Holitzki had three hits for the losing nine.  

Duggan (L) and Holitzki
Hay (W) and A. Kashuba

Standings                     W      L       Pct.
North Kamloops Mohawks        3      1      .750
Vernon Silver Stars           4      2      .667
Rutland Adanacs               3      3      .500
Kamloops Jay-Rays             3      3      .500
Merritt                       1      5      .167

(June 24)  Two outstanding relief performances by Joe Motokado in the opening contest, and Steve Varanai in the follow-up fracas, enabled the North Kamloops Mohawks to take both ends of an Interior League doubleheader at Vernon. The hosting Silver Stars were the victims, dropping close 4 to 3 and 5 to 3 battles. Motokado held the Silver Stars to a single hit in working three solid innings of relief in the opener. The winning blow for the Mohawks came off the bat of his brother, Sam Motokado, a sixth-inning solo homer which broke a 3 – 3 tie but the real workhorse for the victors was his teammate Stan Kato who batted in the other three Mohawk runs with a triple and double off loser George Dye.

Kochi, Joe Motokado (W) (5) and xxx
G. Dye (L) and xxx 

Vernon was ahead 2 to 1 entering the sixth inning of the nightcap until Dickie Lee of the North Kamloops nine sparked a rally which eventually plated two runs to put the Mohawks ahead to stay as Varanai allowed just one Silver Star counter the rest of the way. Hot corner custodian Tosh Takenaka of the winners collected four hits over the course of the twin-bill. 

Aura, Varanai (W) (4) and xxx
xxx (L) and xxx

(July 1)   A six-run second inning carried North Kamloops Mohawks to an exciting 8-7 victory over Vancouver Longshoremen in the opening game of the Kamloops Dominion Day tournament. Mohawks, who notched a pair in the first inning, briefly fell behind when the visitors put three runs on the scoreboard in the top of the second. But, the Mohawks then exploded for six runs to take an 8-3 advantage.  Vancouver added one more in the fourth and three in the seventh to pull to within a run but reliever Joe Motokado shut the door to preserve the victory for starter Ken Kochi. Reliever Nick Craig pitched superbly for Vancouver, allowing just two hits in seven innings of work. Longshoremen out hit the Mohawks 11-8 with first sacker Gordon Webb pounding out three hits and Ray Marshall and Ken Mitchell each with two hits and two runs scored.

Kochi (W), Motokado (7) and Kato
Shamaro (L), Craig (2) and Miller

(July 1)  Kamloops Tournament  Quesnel held off a late charge by Kamloops Okonots to notch a 9-7 victory in the second game of the tournament. The Clippers had run up an 8-4 advantage through seven innings helped by a pair of three-run frames. But Kamloops rallied for two in the eighth and another in the ninth to make it close.  Right-fielder John Kuzek paced the winners with a homer and a run-scoring two-bagger. Irv Follack, Frank Stevenson and Otto Munk each added a pair of hits. Johnny Koppa picked up the pitching win in a relief role. Len Fowles and Bob Saklofsky belted homers for Kamloops.

Bryan, Koppa (W) (4) and Swain
Gatin (L) and Anderson

(July 2)  In a thrilling climax to the Kamloops tournament, the North Kamloops Mohawks eked out a 6-5 victory over Quesbel Clippers to claim the $175 top prize. Before another large gathering, Mohawks held a one-run lead into the final frame.  Joe Motokado quickly disposed of the first two batters but Andy Lay worked him for a free pass.  A passed ball allowed Irv Follack to reach and Frank Stevenson singled to load the bases.  After fouling off a pair of pitches, Otto Munk lifted a long fly ball to left centre field and the crowd burst into applause as Miyahara, the speedy centre fielder made the catch to give Mohawks the title. Dave Kuromi's seventh inning single drove in the winning marker. Irv Follack poked a homer for the Clippers.

Motokado (W) and Kato
Bryan, Rhodonets (L) (3), Koppa (7) and Swain

(July 8)  The Kamloops Jay-Rays came close to taking two games from the Rutland Adanacs. They captured the first tussle convincingly 12 to 3 behind the superb pitching of Jim Tasko but fell short in the late skirmish in losing 4 to 2.
Kamloops plated six first-inning tallies in running away with the matinee contest. Tasko did the rest, stymying the Rutlanders on seven scattered safeties. Middle pasture guardian Andy Huber of the victors had dynamite in his bat, rapping out five safe swats which included a triple, double and three singles. Paul Holitzki led the Adanacs at the dish with a double and two singles.  

Tasko (W) and xxx
Reed (L), Duggan (1) and xxx

Pitchers were in control of the sunset clash as the Jay-Rays notched six safeties to five for the Adanacs but were unable to cash in bingles in the clutch. Denny Reed, taking the hill again after being shelled in the opening frame of the first game, picked up the hillock triumph in a battle with portsider Paul Prehara. Paul Holitzki ripped a double and one-bagger for the Suburbanites to bring his daily total to five base knocks. 

P. Prehara (L) and xxx
Reed (W) and xxx

(July 8)  The North Kamloops Mohawks extended their win streak to six games when they knocked off the hosting Merritt diamondeers 4 to 3 and 17 to 5 in an Interior League double-dip. Ken Kochi drove in the tying and winning runs in the hotly-contested opener. Steve Varanai went the route for the Mohawks, tossing a snappy five-hitter for the win.

Varanai (W) and xxx
xxx (L) and xxx

The nightcap marathon produced 32 base hits, 22 of which were credited to North Kamloops. Tom Miyahara earned the knoll conquest with relief assistance from Sam Aura. Gordie Miyahara clipped the horsehide for five safeties including a home run while Stan Kato rang up four bingles.

Miyahara (W), Aura (6) and xx
xxx (L), xxx and xxx 

Standings                    W      L       Pct.
North Kamloops Mohawks       7      1      .875
Vernon Silver Stars          4      4      .500
Rutland Adanacs              4      4      .500
Kamloops Jay-Rays            4      4      .500
Merritt                      1      7      .125

(July 11)  For the umpteenth time in the last few weeks, the North Kamloops Mohawks of the Interior Baseball loop displayed their ability to win the close ones when they edged the Kamloops Okonots, front-runners in the Okanagan-Mainline circuit, 7 to 6 in a crackerjack inter-league exhibition match at Riverside Park. Keith “Buck” Buchanan staked the Okonots to an early lead with a three-run four-bagger. The fighting Mohawks found themselves facing a 6 to 0 deficit halfway through the third panel but then got things together and began to strike back. Their comeback was made possible by the stellar relief pitching of Sam Aura who gave up only one hit in the better part of six innings and held the Okonots runless from the third inning on. Fighting an uphill battle, the Mohawks started to get to losing flinger Pete Duck and eventually tied the score at 6 – 6 on Stan Kato’s two-run homer in the seventh chapter. Gord Miyahara’s slicing single to the right pasture, his third safe swat of the game, plated the eventual winning counter later in the same round.

Duck (L), Gatin (7) and xxx
Varanai, Aura (W) (3) and xxx 

(July 15)  Vernon Silver Stars’ Doug Hay proved altogether too much for the Kamloops Jay-Rays at Riverside Park. The right-hander went all the way in both ends of a double-dip in which the invaders triumphed 3 to 2 to begin proceedings and 9 to 2 in ending the day. Hay was touched for six hits in each encounter and was never in serious difficulty. He fanned nine in the opener while whiffing eight in the nightcap. Hay and loser Jim Tasko hooked up in a classic mound duel in the lid-lifter in which Tasko’s performance on the hill practically paralleled that of Hay until two successive infield errors by the Jay-Rays opened the way for Vernon’s tying and winning runs. The Kamloops nine were recipients of a lucky triple play which got Tasko out of a fourth-inning jam. Terry Keryluke picked up two hits for the Silver Stars while Jay-Ray middle gardener Andy Huber emerged as the contest’s leading swatter with a double and two singles.

Hay (W) and A. Kashuba
Tasko (L) and Brkich

Vernon came out of the gate strong to begin the late fracas, plating three tallies in their opening turn at bat. They put the game on ice with a five-run outburst in the eighth canto in which catcher Alex Kashuba belted a grand-slam round-tripper. The Silver Stars’ backstop wound up with six RBI’s in the clash. Bill Lennox singled twice for the Jay-Rays.

Hay (W) and  A. Kashuba 
P. Prehara (L), Heit (8) and G. Prehara   

(July 15)  By virtue of a doubleheader sweep of the Rutland Adanacs at MacDonald Park, the North Kamloops Mohawks clinched the 1956 Interior Baseball League pennant. The final scores were 8 to 1 and 14 to 9 which allowed the Mohawks to maintain their three-game margin atop the circuit with but two games remaining for both themselves and the second-place Vernon Silver Stars.  Ken Kochi tossed a fine three-hitter for the Northmen in the opener. He was a model of control, striking out eight and not giving up a single base on balls. The only run he surrendered was a bases-empty circuit-clout to Rutland’s Akio Mende in the sixth chapter. Sam Motokado of the Mohawks smoked a mammoth round-tripper in the third panel off losing hurler Ed Gallagher.

Gallagher (L), Reed (3) and xxx
Kochi (W) and xxx

Rutland’s pitchers contributed immensely to their downfall in the second skirmish by handing out 15 bases on balls. Not only that, but the tandem of loser Denny Reed and reliever Mits Koga served up home run pitches to North Kamloops swatters Tosh Takenaka, Gordie Miyahara, Ken Kochi and Joe Yamake. Miyahara and Yamake both wound up with three RBI’s but even this did not match the superlative batting performance of the Adanacs’ Akio Mende who belted two home runs, his second and third of the twin-bill, while driving in five counters.

Varanai, Joe Motokado (W) (4) and xxx
Reed (L), Mits Koga (4) and xxx

(July 22)  By sweeping both ends of an Interior Baseball League doubleheader, 10 to 0 and 6 to 5, from the visiting Merritt diamondeers at Riverside Park, the Kamloops Jay-Rays drew level in second place with the Vernon Silver Stars who failed to arrive for a scheduled twin-bill with the North Kamloops Mohawks. Paul Prehara, showing his best form of the season, blanked the Nicola Valley nine with a five-hitter in the opener. The Jay-Rays were playing for the first time under new manager Ray Ottem who succeeded Charlie Vernon. Merritt blew the game in the second stanza when losing tosser Jimmy Irving issued three walks and was lit up for a three-run homer by Bill Lennox. Kamloops sealed the deal by scoring four more in the sixth. Ken Pratt and Glen Shannon had two hits apiece for the winners.

Irving (L) and xxx
P. Prehara (W) and xxx

The visitors battled hard for a split in the nightcap but fell just short. With the score 5 to 4 in their favour, Merritt loaded the bases in the top of the eighth canto but were denied any further runs when reliever and winning pitcher Gordie Kusomoto rang up a strikeout for the first out and then ended the threat on a comebacker which resulted in a pitcher to catcher to first base double play.  Bill Lennox, first man up for the Jay-Rays in the bottom of the eighth, singled which set the stage for a clutch two-run homer by outfielder Andy Huber which provided the necessary markers for the triumph.

xxx (L) and xxx
Tasko, Kusomoto (W) (8) and Brkich 

(July 22)  The North Kamloops Mohawks were awarded a doubleheader victory when the scheduled invaders, the Vernon Silver Stars, failed to show up at MacDonald Park.

Final Standings           W      L       Pct.
North Kamloops Mohawks   11      1      .917
Kamloops Jay-Rays         6      6      .500
Vernon Silver Stars       6      6      .500
Rutland Adanacs           4      6      .400
Merritt                   1      9      .100


PLAYOFFS

SEMI-FINALS  (best-of-three series) 
Rutland Adanacs vs North Kamloops Mohawks and
Vernon Silver Stars vs Kamloops Jay-Rays

(July 29)  A farcical introduction to the Interior Baseball League playoffs took place at Riverside Park in which a disinterested Rutland Adanacs aggregation floundered through nine innings of disastrous baseball in taking a 36 to 8 beating from the North Kamloops Mohawks. Only Paul Holitzki, who occupied at least three positions during the slaughter, seemed to show any spark for the Rutlanders. Holitzki chalked up four hits in five times at bat. The Adanacs used nine pitchers who between them dished out 24 walks and gave up 17 hits. As well, they committed 11 fielding miscues. Losing flinger Steve Duggan lasted just 1/3 of an inning during which he gave up seven runs. Gordie Miyahara had three safe swats for the Mohawks while Joe Yamake was the big run producer, driving in eight counters. Tosh Takenaka belted a three-run homer.

Duggan (L), xxx (1), xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx and xxx
Kochi (W), Varanai and xxx

(July 29)  Paced by the superb six-hit pitching effort of Jim Tasko who struck out 18 along the route, the Kamloops Jay-Rays got one leg up in the Interior Baseball League semi-finals by outlasting the host Vernon Silver Stars 4 to 3 in a marathon pitching duel that went 13 innings. Loser Doug Hay also went the distance, ringing up 16 strikeouts while yielding 12 hits. Rounding of a spectacular day on the hillock, Tasko drilled four hits in five at bats, one bingle better than teammate Andy Huber who finished with three for five. The teams battled through seven scoreless frames after finishing the fifth stanza knotted at 3 – 3. In the top of the fourth session of overtime, Huber singled and was driven home with the winning tally on a hit by Larry Candido. Tasko then proceeded to pitch his eighth consecutive scoreless panel to end the hostilities.

Tasko (W) and xxx
Hay (L) and xxx

(August 5)  By holding ace twirler Doug Hay back for a possible third game in the series, the Vernon Silver Stars committed a strategic error that cost them the opportunity to tie their semi-final Interior League series with the Kamloops Jay-Rays. As it was, the Stars fell behind in their game with Kamloops and were forced to call on Hay to quell a fire in the fifth canto with the score 6 to 3 in the Jay-Rays favour. For the rest of the contest, he held them runless and hitless and did not put a single runner on base. Meanwhile, his mates were only able to plate a singleton in the eighth in narrowing the gap to the final result of 6 to 4. Paul Prehara got credit for the knoll triumph, pitching an eight-hitter, but he needed the capable assistance of Jim Tasko in the last two innings to officially dispose of Vernon from the playoffs. Left pasture guardian Larry Candido did did most of the offensive damage for the winners, smacking a pair of doubles which drove in three runs. Teammate Rudy Morelli also collected a brace of safeties. Only Bill Roth hit with any consistency for the vanquished nine, combing Prehara for two singles and a double.

G. Dye, (L), Hay (5) and Kornitsky
P. Prehara (W), Tasko (8) and xxx

(August 5)  Any aspirations the Rutland Adanacs had of tying up their semi-final playoff series with the North Kamloops Mohawks on their home turf quickly vanished when the Mohawks struck for three counters in the opening stanza in running away with a 9 to 2 decision to sweep the Adanacs and ensure a “subway series” in the league finals with the Kamloops Jay-Rays. Ken Kochi set the wheels in motion for the Northmen by powering a three-run tater in the top of the first off losing flinger Denny Reed. Stan Kato contributed a double and single for the Mohawks who outswatted the Adanacs by an 8 to 5 margin. Winning tosser Joe Motokado was also instrumental with the bat, drilling two bingles and driving in a brace of markers.

Joe Motokado (W) and Yuen
Reed (L), Morio Koga (7) and xxx 

FINALS  (best-of-three series) 
Kamloops Jay-Rays vs North Kamloops Mohawks

(August 12)  Jim Tasko baffled the North Kamloops Mohawks with his well-mixed assortment of heaters and benders, tossing a no-hit, no-run game as the Kamloops Jay-Rays snatched the opening game of the B. C. Interior League finals from the Mohawks by a razor-thin 1 to 0 margin at Riverside Park. Tasko whiffed 13 and faced only 32 North Kamloops batters, five over the minimum, in competing his masterpiece. Mohawks’ chucker Ken Kochi was also in devastating form on the hill so the game quickly became a tight pitchers’ duel. Although Kochi was touched for just four safeties, it was an unearned counter in the opening stanza that beat him. He plunked Rudy Morelli who then advanced to second base on a ground out and streaked home on an infield error with two retired. Larry Candido of the victors was the only player in the contest to ring up two safeties.

Tasko (W) and G. Prehara
Kochi (L) and Yuen

(August 26)  The underdog Kamloops Jay-Rays, who a month or so ago looked anything but a championship team, continued their storybook finish to the season with a 5 to 2 victory over the firm favourite North Kamloops Mohawks to sweep the Interior Baseball League finals in two straight games. The series win was a personal triumph for Jay-Ray manager Ray Ottem who took over the reigns of the club in July and under whose guidance the club did not lose a game.  The Mohawks, missing two of their regulars from the lineup, bobbled far too many grounders for a team whose forte is supposed to be defense. On the other side of the coin, the Jay-Rays came through with flying colours afield, completing three fortuitous double plays early in the game. Only two of the Jay-Ray counters were of the earned variety and came in the opening panel on an infield groundout and a single by Andy Huber

Kochi (L), Aura (5) and Yuen, Kato (5)
Tasko (W) and G. Prehara 


WEST KOOTENAY JUNIOR LEAGUE

East Trail Mainliners
Fruitvale Juniors
Rossland Junior Capilanos
Salmo (originally admitted as an expansion team to replace Nelson but withdrew before start of original schedule)
Trail C.Y.O. Giants

(June 28)  The West Kootenay Junior Baseball League began play for 1956 with a double-bill at Butler Park in which the East Trail Mainliners trounced the Rossland Junior Capilanos 16 to 7 and the Fruitvale Juniors downed the Trail CYO Giants 6 to 2.  

In the opener, the Mainliners were trailing 7 - 6 when they exploded for ten runs in the sixth inning for their one-sided victory. Bill Thompson paced the winners' attack with a triple, double and single. Reliever George McIntyre picked up the win. Lloyd McClellan had a double and two singles for the losers.

Flanagan (L), Smith (6) and xxx
Williamson, McIntyre (W) (3), L. McDonald (7) and xxx

A five-run sixth inning carried Fruitvale to the win over the Giants. Singles by Mervyn Aiken, Don Shorting and Gerry Denis along with a walk and an error were key to the big inning. Don DiPasquale and David DeBiasio knocked in runs for CYO.

Shorting (W) and xxx
Tanner (L) and xxx

(June 29)  A revised 36-game schedule was drawn up for the West Kootenay Junior Baseball League following the withdrawal of the proposed Salmo entry.  Salmo manager Lorne Kraft cited a lack of experienced players for the decision. 

(July 8)  CYO Giants rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh and final inning to post a 4 - 3 victory over East Trail Mainliners in junior baseball at Butler Park Sunday afternoon.  Trailing 2 – 1, the Mainliners took the lead in the top of the seventh as Lawrence Babcock singled in Ray Williamson and reliever Tony Zahn walked Tony Jablonsky with the bases loaded. Giants drew even when Al DiPasquale scored on an error and then Merillo Geronazzo drove in Billy Lee with a sacrifice fly to right field.

L. McDonald, McIntyre (L) (7) and McIntyre, King (7)
Parisotto, Zahn (W) (7) and Maniago

(July 9)  Trail’s CYO Giants took an extra inning to shade the homestanding Fruitvale Juniors 9 to 8 while the East Trail Mainliners downed the Rossland Junior Capilanos 8 to 2 in the Golden City. A five-run fifth inning, on two hits, two walks and an error, proved decisive in the Mainliners' victory. Ray Williamson scattered five hits in going the distance for East Trail.

Williamson (W) and xxx
McAuley/McGauley (L), Grieve (5) and xxx

Tied 6 - 6 after seven regulation frames, CYO Giants scored three runs on three hits in the top of the extra inning and held off a Fruitvale rally in the bottom of the eighth to notch the win. Ernie Secco led off with a single for the Giants in the 8th and came around to score on Don Perry's one-bagger. Ken Hiscock reached on an error and Ron Molina knocked in both runners with a double. Fruitvale got a two-run double by Mervyn Aiken in the bottom of the frame before Howie Esche fanned with the bases loaded to end the contest.  Frank Parisotto picked up the win in relief.

Zahn, Mattiazzi (3), Parisotto (W) (6) and xxx
D. Shorting (L), Grant (8) and xxx

(July 15)  Fruitvale Juniors took advantage of some loose defensive play by the East Trail Mainliners in the late innings to wipe out a 7 to 2 deficit and emerge with a 10 to 7 victory. Don Shorting picked up the knoll triumph, coming to the relief of Fruitvale starter Len “Whitey” Paugh in the fourth panel.

L. McDonald (L) and xxx
Paugh, D. Shorting (W) (4) and xxx

(July 16)  Four-run blasts in both the fifth and sixth innings were all the Fruitvale Juniors needed to edge the Trail CYO Giants 8 to 6. Don Shorting drove in four runs for the victors with a double and single. Teammate Lloyd Wood knocked in a pair of counters. Primo Secco had a brace of RBI’s for the Giants.

Parisotto (L), Mattiazzi (6) and Maniago
Esche, McDonald (W) (4) and Lauriente

(July 17)  The Trail CYO Giants won their fifth in eight starts by doubling up on the East Trail Mainliners 10 to 5. A six-run outburst in the third inning broke a 3 – 3 tie and sent the Titans to victory. Tony Zahn went all the way on the hill winners, spinning a five-hitter. Primo Secco and Ron Molina both had run-scoring triples for the Giants with Secco’s blow driving in a pair.

Zahn (W) and xxx
Williamson (L), L. McDonald (3) and xxx

(July 23)  The Rossland Junior Capilanos won their first league game of the season, a 4 to 2 verdict over the Trail CYO Giants, and, in doing so, foiled a bid by the Giants to pass the Fruitvale Juniors for top spot in the loop. Kenny Grieve went all the way on the hill for the Junior Caps, twirling a four-hitter. Ron Fabbro laced a double and a single for the victors.

Tanner (L) and xxx
Grieve (W) and xxx

(July 29)  The Fruitvale Juniors trounced the Rossland Junior Capilanos 13 to 2 in Fruitvale. The Rosslanders pulled off a first-inning triple play engineered by first baseman Denny Ferrey. Doug Mervyn cracked a bases-clearing double for the winners. Howie Esche picked up the hillock conquest with a five-hitter.  

Grieve (L) and xxx
Esche (W) and xxx

(July 30)  The Fruitvale Juniors got out of the gate strong, with four opening-stanza tallies, and crushed the East Trail Mainliners 9 to 3. Graham’s triple, Shorting’s single and “Whitey” Paugh’s double drove in counters which staked the Beaver Valley nine to a 3 to 0 lead. Paugh then added a fourth marker when he swiped home. The Mainliners were never able to close the gap significantly. Winning tosser Gary MacDonald/McDonald was tagged for only four East Trail hits.  

King (L) and xxx
G. MacDonald/McDonald (W) and xxx

(July 31)  The Rossland Junior Caps walked away with an easy 7 to 1 trimming of the East Trail Mainliners at Butler Park. Winning pitcher Bill Haymond and teammate Cliff Taylor both drove in a pair of markers for the victors.

Haymond (W) and xxx
L. McDonald (L) and xxx

(August 2)  A four-run explosion in the seventh inning broke up a tight ball game and gave the Trail CYO Giants a 6 to 3 win over the East Trail Mainliners. A bases-loaded walk gave the Giants the equalizer after they entered the frame trailing 3 to 2. Ron Molina followed with a one-bagger to put them ahead by a single tally and then Don Perry provided the insurance markers with a two-run single. Bob Tanner earned his third victory with a five-hitter.

Tanner (W) and Forlin, Fabbro (7)
L. McDonald (L) and King

Standings                       W     L     T    Pts.
Fruitvale                       9     3     1    19
CYO Giants                      9     4     1    19
Mainliners                      4     9     0     8
Rossland                        3     9     0     6

(August 6)  The Trail CYO Giants edged the Fruitvale Juniors 4 to 3 to forge ahead of the Beaver Valley nine atop the West Kootenay Junior standings. Pitcher Frank Parisotto earned his fifth mound victory in going the route on a five-hitter while ringing up nine punchouts. Losing flinger Howie Esche was nicked for eight safeties. With the score tied 3 – 3, Ron Molina of the Giants started things off in the eighth panel with a double and Mervyn Cronie followed with a single which plated Molina with the ultimate winning marker. 

Parisotto (W) and Maniago
Esche (L) and D. Shorting   

(August 6)  The Rossland Junior Capilanos vacated the cellar of the West Kootenay Junior League when the were awarded a win for an uncompleted game from July 13, called in the top of the fourth frame because of rain, 6 to 3, over the East Trail Mainliners, and then took the diamond and clipped the visiting East Trail nine 11 to 6 in the regularly scheduled portion of the twin-bill.  The Mainliners refused to follow a league directive to complete the game of July 13 from the point in the fourth inning it had been suspended and were declared losers by default. 

Williamson (L) and xxx
Flanagan (W) and xxx

Dave Flanagan received credit for a second mound win with a six-hit effort over Wayne King in the follow-up match. The Caps put things on ice early with a four-run first inning and a five-tally outburst in the third.

King (L) and Bisaro
Flanagan (W) and Taylor

(August 7)  The cellar-dwelling East Trail Mainliners came up off the floor to upset the Trail CYO Giants 9 to 6 at Butler Park. The Giants jumped into an early 3 to 0 lead but poor defensive play on their part, coupled with some solid hitting by the Mainliners, turned things around. John Starcevic, making his first full mound start, went the distance on the hill for East Trail, grabbing the decision with a four-hitter. 

Parisotto (L), Mattiazzi  and xxx
Starcevic (W) and xxx

(August 9)  Front-runners Fruitvale Juniors and Trail CYO Giants both recorded victories in doubleheader action at Butler Park. The Giants topped the Rossland Junior Capilanos 9 to 6 to start things off while the Beaver valley nine crushed the East Trail Mainliners 17 to 5 to end proceedings. The Giants had to stage a fifth-inning rally for their win over the hustling Caps. Behind 6 to 5, the Titans used successful safety squeeze bunts by Gerry Fabbro and winning pitcher Tony Zahn to forge ahead. CYO then added insurance markers on RBI singles by Al DiPasquale and Ernie Secco.

Grieve (L), Smith (5) and Taylor, Janovic (6)
Mattiazzi, Zahn (W) (4) and Maniago

In the nightcap, Fruitvale jumped into a substantial early lead and rode the four-hit pitching of Howie Esche to the finish. The victors collected 13 hits off three mainliner pitchers including a pair of doubles by Ron Cull

Esche (W) and D. Shorting
L. McDonald (L), King (2), Starcevic (3) and McDowell. King (6)

Standings                       W     L    T     Pts.
Fruitvale                      11     5    1     23
CYO Giants                     11     5    1     23
Rossland                        6    11    0     12
Mainliners                      5    12    0     10

(August 16)  The Trail CYO Giants and Fruitvale Juniors ended their 1956 West Kootenay Junior Baseball League schedule in a deadlock for first place after both posted wins at Butler Park. Fruitvale edged the East Trail Mainliners 2 to 1 in the matinee event of a double-dip while CYO downed the Rossland Junior Capilanos 11 to 5 in the finale.
The tightly-played opener featured a pitching duel between the Mainliners’ Les McDonald and Fruitvale’s Don Shorting. McDonald tossed a one-hitter but lost the game when the East Trail aggregation made a couple of errors, allowing two unearned runs. Shorting was nicked for just four safeties.

D. Shorting (W) and xxx
L. McDonald (L) and xxx

The Giants reeled off a five-run opening-inning in the late contest but had to fight off a Rossland rally in the fifth. Bob Tanner went all the way on the CYO mound to grab the hillock win.

Flanagan (L) and xxx
Tanner (W) and xxx

Final Standings              W     L    T     Pts.
Fruitvale                   12     5    1     25
CYO Giants                  12     5    1     25
Rossland                     6    12    0     12
Mainliners                   5    13    0     10

First-place tie-breaker

(August 20)  A ten-hit offense propelled the Trail CYO Giants to an impressive 9 to 1 thrashing of the Fruitvale Juniors and the 1956 West Kootenay Junior League pennant. The Giants poured it on right from the start, assuming the lead when Ernie Secco ripped a bases-loaded double in the opening round. Secco wound up as the hitting star of the game, claiming a triple and single in addition to his two-bagger. Bob Tanner set the defending champions down on three hits in claiming the mound win. Bob Brown doubled in Ron Cull for Fruitvale’s lone counter in the second frame.

Esche (L), D. Shorting (4) and Mervyn
Tanner (W) and Maniago 

Playoffs
Semi-finals


(August 24)  The two top seeds, the Trail CYO Giants and Fruitvale Juniors, won their opening semi-final playoff matches from the Rossland Junior Caps and East Trail Mainliners respectively. Final scores, game details and batteries for each team were not located in print.

(August 26)  A spectacular one-hit shutout by Don Shorting led the Fruitvale Juniors to a 5 to 0 victory over the East Trail Mainliners and a two-game sweep of their playoff semi-final. East Trail’s Jackie Jablonsky nicked Shorting for a lone bingle in the third canto. Shorting fanned eleven batters in posting the whitewash triumph over Wayne King. The five Fruitvale counters came as a result of run-scoring singles by Don Lauriente and Leonard “Whitey” Paugh, RBI doubles by Lloyd Wood and Doug Mervyn as well as a passed ball.

D. Shorting (W) and xxx
King (L) and xxx

(August 26)  The Rossland Junior Capilanos forced a third and deciding game in their series with the pennant-winning Trail CYO Giants when they got past the Behemoths 10 to 8 in the Golden City. A huge seven-run first inning provided the Caps with the cushion they needed to prevail.

xxx (L) and xxx
xxx (W) and xxx

(August 28)  A protest defined the shortened third game of the West Kootenay Junior League semi-finals in which the Trail CYO Giants claimed a 3 to 0 victory over the Rossland Junior Capilanos at Butler Park. Much to the chagrin of the Caps, the game which eliminated them from the playoffs was terminated after four-and-a-half innings because of darkness and to allow a scheduled Border League playoff game to start on time. Lost in all the drama was the fine no-hit, no-run pitching of the Giants’ Frank Parisotto. Loser Dave Flanagan yielded just two bingles.

Flanagan (L) and xxx
Parisotto (W) and xxx

(August 30)  A protest by the Rossland Junior Capilanos relative to the calling of their playoff game after 4-1/2 innings was rejected by the league executive on the basis that the Golden City team had five turns at bat and that is sufficient to constitute a complete game.

Finals

(August 30)  The Trail CYO Giants took a one-game lead in the W.K.J.B.L. finals by edging the Fruitvale Juniors 4 to 3 at Butler Park. Bob Tanner whiffed five and tossed a two-hitter to earn the knoll triumph. Fruitvale’s runs were scored on a passed ball, a fielder’s choice and an error. Of the four CYO tallies, the first crossed the plate on a safe bunt laid down by Don Perry, two were unearned through errors and the final marker was driven in on Ernie Secco’s single.

Tanner (W) and xxx
Esche (L), Wood (3) and xxx

(September 5)  The defending champion Fruitvale Juniors and 1956 pennant-winning Trail CYO Giants will meet in a third game to decide a playoff champion of the circuit after hosting Fruitvale forced a deciding game with a 9 to 8 win over the Giants. A six-run second inning, when they bunched four walks, a double and two singles, won the game for Fruitvale. Winning pitcher Gerry Denis, who entered the game as a reliever, stroked a key two-run double for the winners.

Parisotto (L), Mattiazzi (2), Tanner (4) and Fabbro
Esche, Denis (W) (2), Wood (4) and Lauriente, Mervyn (4)

(September 6)  The Trail CYO Giants captured the 1956 WKJBL title when they walloped the defending champion Fruitvale Juniors 10 to 1. Although erratic throughout with his wildness, winning pitcher Bob Tanner stifled the Fruitvale batters on one hit. The only run he allowed came on a bases-loaded walk, one of ten bases on balls that he issued. The Giants opened their attack with a seven-run first inning. Gerry Fabbro’s bases-clearing triple was the mightiest blow of that frame. Fabbro also drove in a pair of counters in the sixth with a two-bagger. Ron Molina singled twice for the victors.The Giants now advance to face the Kimberley Junior Hobos in a best-of-three Kootenay championship.

Wood (L), Denis (1), Esche (1), Paugh (4) and xxx
Tanner (W) and xxx

Kootenay Junior Championship

(September 8)  Eight Hobo miscues combined with eight Trail hits gave the West Kootenay champion CYO Giants a one-sided 17 to 4 decision over the East Kootenay winners out of Kimberley. Gerry Denis, who was added to the CYO pitching roster from Fruitvale after Kimberley had added an extra chucker to their staff, came on in a relief role in the second stanza and was in command the rest of the way. Ron Molina collected two doubles to pace the Trail offensive attack.

Brown (L), Blaney (4), Schelley (6), McLean (6) and V. Kuntz
Parisotto, Denis (W) (2) and Fabbro

(September 9)  After dropping an extra-inning opener 7 to 4 to the Kimberley Hobos, a setback which temporarily squared the series, the Trail CYO Giants of the WKJBL came through in the clutch to edge the East Kootenay nine 8 to 7 in a tense third and final game and, in doing so, annexed the Kootenay Junior Baseball title for 1956.
The first game saw the Hobos get to Trail starter Ferro Mattiazzi for three runs in the ninth canto, breaking a 4 – 4 tie before Gerry Denis was summoned for the second time in the series to douse the flames. John Drysdale pitched a seven-hitter for the Kimberley win.

Drysdale (W) and V. Kuntz
Mattiazzi (L), Denis (9) and Morris

Entering the bottom of the sixth inning of the finale with Kimberley in front 7 to 6, Gerry Denis, making his third appearance as a reliever, romped home from third base on a Kimberley miscue for the tying run. Merillo Geronazzo then followed with a single which plated the Giants’ Primo Secco with the lead counter. Denis then strode to the hill in the top of the seventh to preserve the CYO one-run lead and that he did, securing the triumph and the Kootenay tiara.

Tanner, Denis (W) (5) and xxx
Blaney (L) and xxx


PRINCE GEORGE & DISTRCT LEAGUE

Standings  (as of July 19)       W       L       Pct.
Willow River Red Sox            17       1      .944
Quesnel Clippers                10       5      .667
Prince George Athletics          6       8      .429
Quesnel Lumbermen                3      11      .214
Prince George Canadas            2      13      .133

PLAYOFFS
SEMI-FINALS


Pennant-winning Willow River eliminated the third-place Prince George Athletics in two straight semi-final matches. Final scores and game details not located. The second semi-final series pitted the two Quesnel entries, the Clippers and Lumbermen, in a best-of-three showdown.

(August 12)  The Quesnel Clippers eliminated their town cousins, the Quesnel Lumbermen, from further playoff competition, taking both games of a double-bill by scores of 8 to 0 and 3 to 2. Gene Slack of the Lumbermen pitched 17 complete innings during the course of the two games, as a reliever in the matinee tussle and a starter in the finale. Oscar Festerling tossed a six-hitter for the Clippers in earning the opening-game mound shutout win.

Dodd (L), Slack (2) and Jansch
Festerling (W) and Stettner

Outfielder Don Gale of the Clippers broke a 2 – 2 tie by plating the winning run with an inside-the-park home run in the tightly-contested late encounter, ripping a drive which dropped fair by only inches down the left field foul line.

Koppa (W) and Stettner
Slack (L) and Jansch  

FINALS  Quesnel Clippers vs Willow River Red Sox   (best-of-five series)

(August 19)  Willow River clobbered the Quesnel Clippers twice in a twin-bill which opened the Prince George & District Baseball League finals. The Red Sox hammered the Clips 15 to 5 in the early skirmish and then followed up with a 9 to 2 thrashing in the sunset event. Willie McDermid slugged three homers for Willow River in the double-dip. McDermid belted his first dinger in the opening game as teammates Sid Delano and Mike Church followed suit with four-baggers.

Rhodonets (L), Festerling (1), Bryan (2) and Stettner
Martino (W) and W. McDermid

While Mike Church was tossing a nifty three-hitter in the closing contest, batterymate Willie McDermid crashed out a pair of taters while fellow Red Sox player Bill Martino contributed a solo circuit-clout.

Koppa (L) and Stettner
Church (W) and W. McDermid

(August 26)   Again, catcher Willie McDermid was the hero for Willow River as his ninth inning single drove in Frank Bencher with the winning run as the Red Sox beat Quesnel Clippers 6-4 to take the championship series in three straight games.  After Quesnel had fought back from a 4-0 deficit to knot the score in the sixth and seventh innings, Bencher and Mike Church reached with singles in the ninth and McDermid, who had cracked a homer earlier in the game, connected for a single to bring in the winner. They added an insurance run on a wild pitch and an error.

Red Sox took the lead in the first frame on McDermid's four-bagger with Church aboard.  They made it 3-0 in the third when Bill Martino doubled and scored on an error. Frank Bruder's circuit blast in the fourth made it 4-0. The Clippers rallied in the sixth to plate a pair on Frank Stevenson's two-run triple. Oscar Festerling opened the seventh with a booming triple and raced home on a single by Tom Bryan.  A two-bagger by Kadi Koyama brought in the tying marker.  Clippers out-hit the Red Sox 12 to 10. Church was the winning pitcher in a relief role.

In an exhibition game, Willow River continued its winning ways with a 7-2 victory in a game shorted by rain and, as the local paper noted "lack of interest".

Martino, Church (W) (7) and W. McDermid
Bryan (L) and Stettner

(September 2-3)  Quesnel Labor Day weekend tournament