1961 Alberta Game Reports     

EDMONTON BIG SEVEN BASEBALL LEAGUE

Even with the 1961 addition of another Capital City entry, the Army & Navy Cardinals, the title of the league remained a misnomer as the circuit never achieved the original goal of seven teams. In its second year of operation, membership actually shrunk from six to five teams with the Red Deer and Beverly teams bowing out.

Unlike the inaugural season of the league, in which the playoff winner represented the circuit in the provincial senior playdowns, the club finishing in first place after the regular-season schedule was designated as the Big Seven standard bearer.

Army & Navy Cardinals
City Police Athletics
Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox
North Edmonton Rockets
St. Josaphat’s Saints

(May 21-22)  Third annual Fort Saskatchewan senior baseball tournament

(May 23)  The newly-formed Army & Navy Cardinals fell short in their inaugural appearance in the Big Seven League, falling 5 to 2 to the widely-touted City Police Athletics at Renfrew Park. Ed Williams drew the pitching assignment for the Gendarmes and he turned in a superb effort, yielding only five blows, two of them to Arnold Bailey who somewhat evened things up by being anything but scintillating in left field. Both the Cards’ runs in the seventh stanza were unearned when second sacker Herb Sewers bobbled a ground ball with two out. The A & N brigade ran through three chuckers with veteran Hal Forss, who retired after five frames with a 2 – 0 deficit, taking the loss. The big stickman for the Flatfoot Force was Sewers who rattled the Cardinal pitching for three hits in four trips, including a lusty triple in the sixth and a cheesy double which Bailey misplayed an inning later.

Forss (L), Dinwoodie (6), Olson (7) and Tanner
Williams (W) and Reinhardt, Porter
        
(May 25)  The North Edmonton Rockets got the season started on a winning note at Renfrew Park but their 11 to 7 victory over St. Josaphat’s wasn’t particularly impressive. They committed six errors afield which, on many a night, would have cost them the decision. Offensively, the Northsiders made their 14 blows off losing twirler Bob Salahub and reliever Harvey Popik count for 11 tallies but five of these were regarded as unearned. Rookie Marty Babiuk of the Rockets was called upon to bail out winning heaver LaVerne Holmes in the eighth episode when starter Holmes’ control deserted him as he walked four successive batters. Youthful Gary Naylor led the victors offensively with three hits, including a double, and three RBI’s in four official trips. Top swatter for the Saints was newcomer Gary Cornett who went three-for-five and drove in a brace of tallies.

Holmes (W), M. Babiuk (8) and W. Waddle
B. Salahub (L), Popik (4) and Rainey

(May 26)  An 11 to 6 conquest of the defending-champion North Edmonton Rockets earned the Army & Navy Cardinals their first victory in Big Seven League play. The Northsiders, behind the pitching of ex-City Police Athletic Dale Barrow, had a 3 to 0 lead heading into the bottom-of-the-sixth spasm but the Redbirds put up a trey in their half of the panel, thanks largely to a tainted triple by Alex Muzychka/Muzz that right-fielder Al Barteluk lost in the twilight. They then added another three in the seventh and a crippling five-spot in the eighth. Muzychka/Muzz had his bat speaking authoritatively all evening, spanking out four safeties, including another three-bagger in the eighth episode with the sacks jammed. This blast put the verdict well out of reach of the Rockets and, with this kind of cushion, the tiring Vern Callihan was able to stick it out over the route. Top swatsmith for the vanquished nine was Dale Gaume who collected a triple, double and single in five trips

Barrow (L), R. Babiuk (7), Gartner (8), Tookey (8) and W. Waddle
Callihan (W) and Tanner

(May 28)  Speed-merchant Roger Dejordy clouted a pair of home runs, one from either side of the plate, in leading the Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox to a 12 to 2 pasting of the City Police Athletics. The brace of dingers for the switch-hitting Dejordy, both off the offerings of losing twirler Dave Kostenuk, each came with one mate aboard and gave the first baseman of the Sox four RBI’s for the tussle. Winning tosser Gord Labossiere, who spun a six-hitter, also lit up Kostenuk for a tater, a two-run shot in the second spasm. Kostenuk managed to match Labossiere by clouting a bases-empty circuit-blast in the sixth stanza. Veteran Ed Gauf, last season’s Big Seven batting champion, picked up where he left off by going four-for-four against Kostenuk. Included in his contribution of swats were two doubles. Also prominent in the 17-hit attack for the hosting Forts was Lyall Kortzman who nicked the apple for three safeties in four trips. Third baseman Don Clarke hit safely twice for the Cop Squad as did his namesake, catcher Don Clark of the Forts.

Kostenuk (L) and Kulka
Labossiere (W) and D. Clark

(May 28)  Playing at Renfrew Park, the Army & Navy Cardinals came from behind for the second-straight time to beat the North Edmonton Rockets 10 to 6. The pitching victory was recorded by 17-year old Ralph Keeley, a southpaw, who bailed out starter Bill Moodie with one out in the first inning. The Rockets also went through two chuckers, the Babiuk brothers, with starter Marty Babiuk being nicked with the loss despite the fact that none of the seven runs off him were earned. Barry Robertshaw, Ed Tanner, Pat Donnelly and Alex Muzychka/Muzz had two hits each for the Cards as did the Northsiders’ Ron Babiuk.

Moodie, Keeley (W) (1) and Tanner
M. Babiuk (L), R. Babiuk (4) and W. Waddle

(May 30)  Fort Saskatchewan opened up a close 6 to 5 game by plating six counters over the course of the final three cantos to inflict a 12 to 7 loss on the Army & Navy Cardinals. The pitching win went to Ken Pollard who came on for the final out in the third inning as the Cards deadlocked the score at 5 – 5. Thereafter, he gave up only two hits and the two runs scored against him were unearned. Third baseman George Stickle led the 12-hit batting attack for the Red Sox against a brace of A & N chuckers, stoking the pill for three safeties. Arnie Enger of the Redbirds duplicated that output which included a two-bagger and a pair of RBI’s.

R. Nychka, R. Pollard (W) (3) and Clark
Dinwoodie (L), Tkachuk (8) and Tanner

(June 1)  The City Police Athletics, who had given up a 6 – 3 lead and fallen behind 7 - 6 in the top-of-the-ninth inning, roared back with a deuce in their half of the chapter to edge the North Edmonton Rockets 8 to 7 at Renfrew Park. Playing-manager Wally Waddle, whose triple with the bases full had allowed the Rockets to tie the score at 6 – 6 , scored a go-ahead marker on a squeeze bunt by Gary Naylor. But, things just didn’t pan out for the Northsiders when the Gendarmes came to bat for the final time. Three walks, sandwiched around a force out, left the sacks loaded. Zane Kotyk then sent a hopper down to second baseman Gord Severin who fumbled, then compounded the felony by throwing wildly to first base with no chance left of nailing Kotyk, allowing the tying and winning markers to cross the pan. Big man with the stick for the winners was  hard-hitting catcher Stan Kulka who had four hits, including a triple. LaVerne Holmes stung the sphere for a triple and double in pacing the vanquished nine at the dish. 

Holmes, R. Babiuk (L) (9) and W. Waddle
Currie, Williams (W) (9) and Kulka

(June 2)  The St. Josaphat’s Saints ran through four pitchers in a futile attempt to deny the Army & Navy Cardinals a 14 to 13 win in a walkathon at Renfrew Park. It was the second loss in as many starts for the Saints who were given some hope right down to the wire by the Cards’ shoddy defensive play. The quartet of St. Joe’s tossers yielded 14 base blows and, being in such a generous mood, also handed out 15 bases-on-balls and a free pass to a hit batter. So-so pitching by winning heaver Bill Olson and reliever Ralph Keeley allowed the Churchmen to stay close. Two of the Saints did what they could to promote a vigorous offense. Bob Van Loo smashed three doubles and drove in five runs while teammate Bud Pyliuk hit four-for-four, all singles. Arnold Bailey ripped three one-baggers for the victors while Barry Robertshaw connected for a triple and a single.

Olson (W), Keeley (6) and Tanner
R. Salahub (L), Romanchuk (5), B. Salahub (6), Hooks (8) and Pituka, Gisi

(June 3)  The Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox came on strong in the latter stages of their joust at Renfrew Park to tie the score and then went on to register their third straight victory by scoring once in the top-of-the-tenth inning to defeat the North Edmonton Rockets 7 to 6. The Northsiders appeared to have the game nicely locked up, heading into the eighth episode with a 6 – 2 cushion. However, the Sox narrowed the gap with two unearned tallies in that frame and added another pair in the ninth when the Rockets’ ill-advised strategy of pulling the infield in backfired when the Forts’ George Stickle lined a two-RBI single past first baseman Gary Naylor that Naylor would have been able to knock down had he been playing at his normal depth. Roger Dejordy’s finely-placed bunt produced the winning tally in the overtime session, allowing Ken Taylor to romp home from third. The Crimson Hose made the most of a fine relief pitching chore by winning tosser Gord Labossiere who came along in the third after Al Duncan had blasted a two-run round-tripper for the North Edmonton nine. Labossiere gave up only two hits and one run in his hitch of 7-1/3 innings. LaVerne Holmes dropped his first decision. Naylor had a brace of doubles for the Rockets who garnered an 8 to 6 edge in base raps over the winners who were led at the dish by George Kjenner’s two singles.

Patterson, Labossiere (W) (3) and Clark
Barrow, M. Babiuk (1), Holmes (L) (8) and W. Waddle

(June 4)  The visiting St. Josaphat’s Saints won their first game of the campaign by upsetting the previously unbeaten Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox 9 to 4. Thanks to some smart pitching by Harvey Popik, who fed the Fort fence-busters a steady diet of junk, the Saints held the lead from start to finish. The Red Sox used two hurlers, loser Wally Ewasiuk and Ken Pollard, in a vain attempt to preserve their sole hold on the top rung in the Big Seven loop. Outfielder Jarvie of the Churchmen was the only batter in the game  to collect two base raps.

Popik (W) and Gisi
Ewasiuk (L), Pollard (2) and Jost 

(June 4)  The City Police Athletics gained a share of first place in the Big Seven Baseball League with the Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox by taking a come-from-behind 10 to 8 victory over the Army & Navy Cardinals. Winning heaver Dave Kostenuk responded with a good bit of relief work for the Flatfoot Force. Coming to the aid of starter Ed Williams in the fourth frame, Kostenuk yielded only one run thereafter. A four-spot in the sixth and a trey in the seventh allowed the Cops to respond to an 8 to 3 deficit and grab the win. Ed Howorko and Keith Stephens of the victors as well as the Redbirds’ Arnie Enger all hammered the apple for two doubles.

Williams, Kostenuk (W) (4) and Reinhart, Porter
Callihan (L), Forss (7) and Tanner

(June 5)  Wally Ewasiuk was the star of the show as the Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox trimmed the City Police Athletics 9 to 2 in an early-season first-place showdown at Renfrew Park. On the hillock, Ewasiuk choked off the Gendarmes on six safeties and, while there was no doubt as to the final outcome, he clouted an inside-the-park home run in the ninth inning with a runner aboard. Losing tosser Ed Williams was forced to go the route for the pitching-short Cops and kept the Flatfoot Force in the running until the Red Sox put the game on ice with a four-spot in the ninth. Shortpatcher Mike Bellas paced the winners with the baton, slicing three singles to go along with a two-bagger.

Ewasiuk (W) and Clark
Williams (L) and Reinhart, H. Waddle 

(June 6)  The defending champion North Edmonton Rockets vacated the Big Seven League cellar by coming from behind to claim a 5 to 2 conquest of the St. Josaphat’s Saints at Renfrew Park. 16-year old pitcher Marty Babiuk of the Northsiders weathered an early spot of trouble and then had things pretty well in hand the rest of the way in fashioning a six-hitter for the win. Young Babiuk, kid brother to Rocket hurler Ron, accumulated a dozen whiffs in earning his initial win. Saints’ starter Bill Karbashewski was nursing a 2 to 1 lead until the sixth when he ran into control issues and walked three, leading to a trey for North Edmonton. Shortstop Dave Hassen of the Churchmen was the lone swatter from either squad to have plural hit figures, stroking a pair of singles. Newly acquired second baseman Jim Berlando, who last season suited up for Red Deer, delivered a two-RBI double for the winners.

Karbashewski (L), Popik (6) and Gisi
M. Babiuk (W) and W. Waddle                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                     
(June 8)  Getting revenge in spades against the only team that dented their otherwise unblemished record, the front-running Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox handed the last-place St. Josaphat’s Saints a 21 to 4 lacing at Renfrew Park. The Churchmen used five pitchers in a vain attempt to score a second win over the high-flying Forts but they all had difficulty finding the strike zone which resulted in a dismaying 22 bases-on-balls and three hit batsmen. The quintet of heavers used by the Saints were equally inept at keeping the steady flow of baserunners in check as the Forts stole an unlikely total of 15 bases, six of them by Roger Dejordy. For complete-game winning pitcher Gord Labossiere, it was his third victory in as many starts as he posted an eight-hitter. The only Saint to give him any trouble reliever Bud Pyliuk who moved to the outer pasture after his ineffectual hitch on the bump. Pyliuk went three-for-three including two doubles. Dejordy tripled and singled for the winners and scored five runs.

Labossiere (W) and Clark
B. Salahub (L), Pyliuk (1), Rechlo (4), Karbashewski (5), Romanchuk (6) and Pituka

(June 11)  The pace-setting Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox were nipped in a thriller at home 7 to 6 in ten innings by the Army & Navy Cardinals. Trailing 6 – 4 after four frames, the Cards picked up singletons in the sixth and seventh spasms, then fashioned the winning tally after two were out in the overtime session. Losing tosser Max Yeske, who went the route for the league-leaders, appeared to have the situation well in hand with the first two batters in the extra-inning retired. But, Arnie Enger singled, stole second and rode home on Ed Tanner’s second hit of the game. Then, in the bottom half of the bonus round, Vern Callihan, the fourth Redbird chucker, extinguished the Red Sox’ hopes by picking up his second victory against a single setback. In addition to Tanner, teammates Don Stewart, Barry Robertshaw, Alex Muzychka/Muzz, Arnold Bailey and playing-manager Jim Ryan also stroked a brace of bingles for the victors. Bob Solinger was the lone swatsmith from the Forts to acquire two safeties.

Keeley, Forss (2), Dinwoodie (7), Callihan (W) (7) and Tanner
Yeske (L) and Solinger

(June 11)   The City Police Athletics ran riot in the waning innings to thump the North Edmonton Rockets 16 to 1 at Renfrew Park to move to within a half a length of the top-dog Fort Saskatchewan crew in the Big Seven League standings. The Law Enforcers had a slim 3 to 1 lead heading into the seventh stanza but then the Rockets’ keystone combo of Jim Ostrowerka and Jim Berlando suddenly developed scatter-arms and the fat was in the fire. In the final three panels, the Cops added an additional 13 counters to run away with the verdict. With the way that winning flinger Merv Currie was moving along, it wouldn’t have mattered much as he fanned 14 and, in posting a four-hitter, didn’t surrender a base rap until Nick Baiton’s line-shot single in the sixth. Zane Kotyk led the 17-hit Flatfoot attack against loser LaVerne Holmes and reliever Dale Barrow with four hits and five RBI’s. Stan Kulka continued his fine hitting with three bingles including a double while Gerry Porter smashed a triple and single.

Currie (W) and Kulka
Holmes (L), Barrow (8) and W. Waddle

Standings                      W      L       Pct.    GBL
Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox      5      2      .714     ----
City Police Athletics          4      2      .667     0.5
Army & Navy Cardinals          4      3      .571     1.0
North Edmonton Rockets         2      5      .286     3.0
St. Josaphat’s Saints          1      4      .200     3.0

(June 13)  A close 7 to 6 squeaker over the cellar-dwelling St. Josaphat’s Saints at Renfrew Park elevated the City Police Athletics into a share of the top rung with the Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox in the Big Seven League. Catcher Stan Kulka boosted his league-leading batting average by nailing a pair of doubles and a single for the Law Enforcers. For all of Kulka’s impressive stickwork, it still remained for a double steal to produce the winning run against the downtrodden Saints in the top-of-the-ninth. With the combatants leveled off at 6 – 6 and one out, Jack Huff beat out an infield bouncer, stole second and continued on to third when catcher Rick Reinhardt’s throw sailed into centre-field. Herb Sewers then hit one back to the mound but losing tosser Harvey Popik was so concerned with Huff that he was too late for a play anywhere. Sewers broke for the keystone sack on the second pitch to the next batter, advancing unharmed, and Huff was able to dash for home safely on the cut-off throw. Popik was entitled to a better fate as five of the runs garnered by the Cop Squad were unearned. He whiffed seven and walked only one but six errors by his supporting cast bagged him. Winning chucker Dave Kostenuk, who helped build up an early lead with a single during a four-run fourth frame, fanned 11 and improved his record to 2 – 1. Faltering control at times which resulted in eight free passes, got him into frequent holes. But with runners at the corners in the bottom-of-the-ninth, he breezed Popik who had previously lit him up for a double and single, for the final out of the game. 

Kostenuk (W) and Kulka
Popik (L) and Gisi, Reinhart

(June 14)  A nine-run fourth-frame powered the North Edmonton Rockets to a 19 to 6 shellacking of the Army & Navy Cardinals at Renfrew Park. Starter Ron Tookey of the Northsiders came up lame in the second stanza as Jim Berlando was summoned to the bump to take over. Berlando went the rest of the way to register the hurling triumph. Bill Olson, the Redbirds’ initial tosser, was stung with the defeat. Al Duncan and Jim Ostrowerko shared the offensive honors for the Rockets with three hits apiece. Barry Robertshaw had a four-master for the Cards.

(June 15)  Hard-throwing right hander Merv Currie rolled up 17 strikeouts while yielding just three base raps in hurling the City Police Athletics to a tight-fit 3 to 2 victory over the Army & Navy Cardinals. Currie raised his season’s total of punchouts to 44 in this, his third appearance on the knoll for the Cops. Both runs off him came in the eighth episode and were unearned. Those pair of A & N runs dropped the Law Enforcers temporarily behind 2 – 1 but they came right back with a deuce in their half of the canto on RBI hits by Herb Sewers and Ed Howorko. Losing chucker Vern Callihan turned in a respectable chore himself, giving up eight safeties, but had the misfortune to run into a hot adversary. He had a scoreless duel going with Currie for five innings before Sewers doubled home Jerry Moffatt, who had walked, in the sixth. The Redbirds missed an opportunity to tie the game in the ninth when Pat Donnelly, who had singled and moved to second base on a walk, was cut down at the plate on a throw from middle pasture gardener Jack Huff on the Cards’ third hit, a single off the bat of Lyle Graham. In addition to Sewers, Huff and Jerry Porter stroked two safeties for the winners.

Callihan (L) and Tanner
Currie (W) and Kulka

(June 18)  The City Police Athletics used a bevy of Annie Oakleys to advantage in topping the luckless St. Josaphat’s Saints 9 to 4 at Renfrew Park. The Churchmen once again outhit their opposition, this time by an 11 – 6 count, as hitting hasn’t been one of their sore points in a dismal season. In this tilt, the trio of Saints’ moundsmen yielded 10 bases-on-balls and a hit batsman. At that, they were in it until the Cop Squad scored four times in the last-of-the-eighth to ensure Ed Williams’ third victory. Flychaser Dave Littlechild and catcher Gisi of the vanquished St. Joe’s nine emerged at the two leading batters in the contest, each having two hits, with a double included in Littlechild’s total and a triple in Gisi’s sum of swats.

Makos (L), Karbashewski (7), B. Salahub (8) and Gisi, Reinhart
Williams (W) and Kulka     

(June 18)  A home field 4 to 3 decision over the North Edmonton Rockets kept the Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox hot on the heels of the City Police Athletics in their early-season battle for the top rung on the Big Seven League ladder. Gord Labossiere’s fourth straight pitching victory and a two-run circuit-clout by the loop’s leading home run hitter, Roger Dejordy, highlighted the contest. Both teams had eight safeties. Labossiere fanned 11 in taking the mound decision from Ron Babiuk. Rod Gauf and Ken Taylor of the Sox both clipped the horsehide for a double and single.

R. Babiuk (L) and W. Waddle
Labossiere (W) and Kortzman                                                                   

(June 21)  Following an unimpressive 16 to 14 win over the North Edmonton Rockets at Renfrew Park, the Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox copped a share of first place in the Big Seven Baseball League with the City Police Athletics. Both teams experienced pitching woes in the Renfrew Park scuffle, with the Red Sox using three chuckers who were raked for 14 hits, while a quartet of heavers from the Redbird roost were lit up for 15 base knocks. The winners had a ten-run cushion at one point in the fracas but did their best to totally give away that margin. Only sloppy fielding by the Cardinals, who committed nine errors, saved them from doing so as eight of the runs scored by the victors were unearned. Wally Ewasiuk, who was awarded the pitching win, was best with the baton for the Forts, banging out a pair of triples and a single. George Kjenner also produced three blows for the Scarlet Stockings which produced three RBI’s. Barry Robertshaw and Alex Muzychka/Muzz had field days in the RBI department for the Cardinals. Robertshaw drove in five tallies with a pair of singles, a walk and an infield out while Muzychka/Muzz gave four teammates tickets home with a trio of one-baggers.

Ewasiuk (W), K. Pollard (7), Labossiere (8) and R. Pollard
Forss (L), Keeley (3), Dinwoodie (5), Callihan (8) and Williamson

(June 22)   With winning pitcher Ed Williams in top form, the City Police Athletics squeezed back into the lead in the Big Seven Baseball League by virtue of a 1 to 0 victory over the North Edmonton Rockets. Williams, who tossed a four-hitter, prevailed in a classic mound duel with the Rockets’ Dale Barrow, who was nicked for just five safeties. The big thing about both Williams and Barrow is that they were getting the ball over, and the supporting casts rewarded them by fielding almost flawlessly. Only one error was committed, that coming on a wild throw to first base by Barrow on a bouncer by Jack Huff. Williams was instrumental in winning his own game, driving in batterymate Ken Anderson with the lone tally of the joust with an eighth-inning triple that left-fielder Gary Naylor of the Northsiders let get by him after failing to make a shoestring catch. Williams also singled earlier in the contest and was the only player from either side to have more than one hit.

Barrow (L) and W. Waddle
Williams (W) and Anderson

(June 25)  The St. Josaphat’s Saints vacated the Big Seven League cellar, leapfrogging past the defending-champion North Edmonton Rockets by nipping them 4 to 3 in a spine-tingling finish at Renfrew Park. Saints’ playing-manager Art Hooks saved the day for his charges by cutting down his Rocket counterpart, Wally Waddle, at the plate with a fine throw from the left garden. Waddle, racing for home after Gary Naylor’s single, was attempting to plate what would have been the tying run in the top-of-the-ninth panel. Waddle had three hits in four trips in a futile attempt to spark his team to a win that would have kept them in fourth place. Outhit by a 9 to 6 margin, the Saints still managed to win as all four of their runs were unearned. Shortstop Dave Littlechild doubled and singled for the winners.

Holmes (L) and W. Waddle
Popik (W) and Reinhart

(June 25)  The see-saw battle for top rung in the Big Seven Baseball League swung in favor of the hosting Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox who clipped the previous leaders, the City Police Athletics, 6 to 2. Both aggregations sent their pitching aces to the hill which saw Gord Labossiere and Merv Currie, both undefeated, lock horns. In improving his record to 5 – 0, Labossiere shackled the Law Enforcers on four hits and was backed up by sterling support afield. On the other hand, five miscues behind Currie sent him down to his first loss in three decisions. A three-run homer by Red Sox catcher Ron Pollard in the fourth frame was the turning point in the game. Pollard had a single to go along with his tater while teammate George Kjenner, with two singles, was the only other multi-hit player in the scuffle.

Currie (L) and Kulka
Labossiere (W) and R. Pollard
  
(June 28)  A grand-slam four-ply clout on his final trip to the plate at Renfrew Park kept outfielder Barry Robertshaw’s hitting streak alive as the Army & Navy Cardinals thrashed the St. Josaphat’s Saints 12 to 1. With the dinger, Robertshaw has now hit safely in all 11 of his club’s Big Seven League games this season. Winning chucker Bill Olson stifled the Saints on four hits, fanned ten and walked two. Cardinal playing-manager Jim Ryan had a two-bagger and a pair of singles to lead the hit parade. Starter Bob Salahub of the Churchmen was nicked with the loss.

B. Salahub (L), Karbashewski (1), Popil (6) and Gisi, Reinhart
Olson (W) and Tanner

Standings                      W      L       Pct.    GBL
Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox      8      2      .800     ----
City Police Athletics          8      3      .727     0.5
Army & Navy Cardinals          5      6      .455     3.5
North Edmonton Rockets         3      8      .273     5.5
St. Josaphat’s Saints          2      7      .222     5.5

(July 5)  The Big Seven’s leading-hitter, George Kjenner, went four-for-four from within the batter’s box and scored three runs as the Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox dumped the North Edmonton Rockets 13 to 6 to move a full game in front of the runner-up City Police Athletics in the standings. The game was scoreless until the middle innings when the Sox exploded for a four-spot in the fourth, a deuce in the fifth and another quartet of tallies in the sixth. Ken Pollard, with relief help from Gord Labossiere, earned his second knoll victory. LaVerne Holmes, the second of three Rocket tossers, was best with the baton for the losers, creaming the orb for a triple and double.

K. Pollard (W), Labossiere (8) and Kortzman
Berlando (L), Holmes (4), Wiese (9) and W. Waddle

(July 6)  Veteran chucker Hal Forss picked up his first pitching win of the season as the Army & Navy Cardinals inflicted an 11 to 3 pasting on the St. Josaphat’s Saints, Forss scattered eight hits for his win after suffering two losses earlier in the schedule. His mates staked him to a 6 to 1 lead within three innings and he had very little to worry about thereafter. In the fifth, the Cards routed Saints’ starter Harvey Popik in a five-run uprising to put the game on ice. Catcher Don Williamson collected three hits for the winners, all singles while Alex Muzychka/Muzz drove in four runs.. Teammate Barry Robertshaw extended his consecutive game hitting streak to 12 by punching out a brace of one-baggers while Ray Kinasewich delivered a double and single. Walt Seyers stung the horsehide for a trio of bingles, which produced two RBI’s for the Churchmen.

Forss (W) and Williamson
Popik (L), Makos (5) and Reinhart, Gisi

(July 7)  The North Edmonton Rockets retained possession of fourth place in the Big Seven League by snatching an 8 to 7 decision from the St. Josaphat’s Saints in ten innings. The Churchmen, once again with a hitting edge, came up short in the run department. Bill Karbashewski, who went the route for the Saints, was in quest of his first victory of the season but was denied by a gift run in the bottom-of-the-tenth frame. A slicing drive to the outer pasture by Jim Ostrowerka was muffed to begin the final portion of the overtime session. A walk to Ted Mitenko followed, pushing Ostrowerka into scoring position. Karbashewski then fouled up Jim Berlando’s sacrifice bunt attempt by throwing the horsehide off the outstretched mitt of first baseman Ed Marchak as Ostrowerko romped all the way home with the winner. The pitching win was credited to Dale Barrow who was rushed to starter Ron Babiuk’s aid in the seventh. Playing-manager Art Hooks led the 11-hit offense for the vanquished Saints, collecting three singles. Teammate Bob Van Loo delivered a triple and single while Marchak ran his hitting streak to ten straight games with a brace of bingles. Third baseman Denis Fonteyne was best with the lumber for the Northsiders, stroking a double and a pair of one-baggers.

Karbashewski (L) and Gisi
R. Babiuk, Barrow (W) (7) and W. Waddle

(July 9)  The Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox strengthened their lead atop the Big Seven Baseball League by bouncing the lively, but luckless, St. Josaphat’s Saints 12 to 8 at the Fort. The game ended prematurely when Saints’ relief pitcher Harvey Popik, who entered the contest in the fourth frame, got himself booted from the game in the bottom-of-the-eighth episode, leaving the lowly Churchmen, having used all their bench players, without a ninth man. Wally Ewasiuk got credit for the pitching win in the abbreviated affair. Saints’ flychaser Norm Gay flexed his muscles and belted a pair of round-trippers in a losing cause. He went long distance with one aboard in the second spasm and then went yard with a grand-salami shot in the fifth. For the victorious Red Stockings, Bob Solinger drilled three doubles and drove in six counters.

Makos (L), Popik (4) and Gisi, Reinhart
Ewasiuk (W), Labossiere (5) and Kortzman

(July 9)  17-year old rookie chucker Dave Dinwoodie allowed but five hits in going the distance as the Army & Navy Cardinals edged the City Police 1 to 0. Dinwoodie, striking out seven, ran into a bit of trouble in the second and eighth panels but, bearing down, was able to squelch the threats to maintain the shutout. The Redbirds’ lone tally came in the top-of-the-seventh when veteran Barry Robertshaw beat out a bunt single with two down. Singles, off the slants of losing heaver Ed Williams, by Alex Muzychka/Muzz and Ed Tanner followed which brought home what turned out to be the winning run. Robertshaw also laced a triple in extending his hit streak to 13 consecutive games. Dave Kostenuk, with a double and single, led the Flatfoot Force offensively.

Dinwoodie (W) and Tanner
Williams (L) and Kulka

(July 16)  Winning heaver Gord Labossiere went the route, fanning 11, as the Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox won a 9 to 8 squeaker from the Army & Navy Cardinals. It was Labossiere’s seventh triumph without a defeat. Two of the nine hits that the Redbirds collected off Labossiere came from the bat of Barry Robertshaw, which lengthened the consecutive-game hitting streak for the Cards’ outfielder to 14 games. The teams were locked in an 8 – 8 stalemate heading into the-bottom-of-the-ninth spasm when Sox’ pinch-hitter Wally Ewasiuk drilled a single off A & N reliever Vern Callihan, took second on a passed ball and rounded third to touch home on a one-bagger by Lyall Kortzman. The big blow for the Crimson Hose in this scuffle was an opening-inning grand-slam four-master by Bob Solinger which nullified a four-run outburst by the Cards in the first part of the stanza. Keystoner Lyle Graham drove in five tallies for the Birds in a losing cause.

Olson, Callihan (L) (7) and Williamson, Tanner
Labossiere (W) and Kortzman 

(July 16)  Galloping to a 15 to 5 conquest of the St. Josaphat’s Saints, the City Police Athletics stayed two-games behind the top-dog Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox in the Big Seven League standings. Dave Kostenuk, trying his right arm again after treatment on a troublesome back muscle, stuck it out for only 3-1/3 innings on the knoll, then gave way to Ed Williams who gained credit for his fifth victory. The ailing back didn’t hamper Kostenuk at the plate, however, as he lashed out two doubles and a single for three RBI’s. Teammate Herb Sewers was deadly with ducks on the pond, driving in five counters on a bases-loaded triple, a run-scoring single and a sacrifice fly. Catcher Rick Reinhart of the Saints clubbed the horsehide for a triple and double while clubmate, Ed Marchak who drew the collar, had his consecutive-games hitting streak snapped.

Kostenuk, Williams (W) (4) and Kulka
Popik (L) and Reinhart                                                
                                                                     
(July 17)  The rich got richer and the poor got poorer in Big Seven League action at Renfrew Park as the pace-setting Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox thrashed the last-place St. Josaphat’s Saints 17 to 7. In his initial mound start of the season, Jack Paterson went the route on the bump for the twirling victory. Within five innings, his mates had staked him to a 13 to 0 bulge and he coasted the rest of the way. The hapless Saints went through a triad of flingers in a lack-lustre display. Mike Bellas, back with the victorious Forts after five weeks with the semi-pro Eskimos, drove in three runs with a double and triple. Bob Solinger was the clutch batter in the RBI department, driving in five counters with a bases-loaded triple, a single and an infield out. Gary Cornett, Dave Clelland and Norm Gay each stroked a brace of bingles for the Churchmen.

Patterson (W) and Kortzman, R. Pollard
Makos (L), Karbashewski (4), Popik (4) and Gisi, Reinhart

(July 18)  Dale Barrow wasn’t able to silence Barry Robertshaw’s big bat but the North Edmonton Rockets’ right-hander nevertheless hurled his first victory of the Big Seven campaign, a 5 to 3 conquest of the Army & Navy Cardinals at Renfrew Park. Robertshaw kept his string alive at 15 games by tripling in the fourth inning to spark a two-run Cards’ uprising. Losing heaver Hal Forss was rolling along on the wings of a 2 to 1 lead for six innings but Barrow contributed to his undoing, collected a pair of safeties including a two-base knock that started a two-run rally for the winners in the seventh spasm. Outhit by a hefty 11 – 6 margin, the Redbirds still produced the game’s top hitter, Ed Tanner, who slapped out three singles in four appearances. Wally Waddle and Ted Mitenko both doubled and singled for the Northsiders.

Barrow (W) and W. Waddle
Forss (L), Dinwoodie (9) and Tanner 

(July 23)  The shell-shocked North Edmonton Rockets dropped a rain-shortened 12 to 11 six-inning decision to the front-running Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox. What hurt the defending champions the most was the fact that they had the Red Sox on the hook 10 – 2 at one stage in the game and still carried an 11 to 8 bulge heading into the final episode. The situation brought Gord Labossiere, the last of three Crimson Hose flingers, win number eight without a defeat this season. Labossiere took over mound chores in the second stanza after Wally Ewasiuk and Butch Tomlinson both had difficulty getting anybody out. Ron Babiuk was the Rockets’ starting choice but he was succeeded by Dale Barrow with nobody retired in the sixth. Barrow didn’t fare much better and he was lifted for Bill Weise after the Sox had tied the score. Ken Taylor greeted Weise with a run-scoring two-bagger and the game was called. Both sides were breaking down the fences. Wally Waddle and Bill Lupul went yard in clouting circuit-blasts for the Northsiders while Ron Pollard and George Stickle of the Forts both dialed long distance for two-run taters. The Scarlet Stockings’ Stickle added a brace of one-baggers to this round-tripper while Waddle had a pair of two-baggers in addition to his dinger to lead the vanquished nine offensively.

R. Babiuk, Barrow (L) (6), Weise (6) and W. Waddle
Ewasiuk, Tomlinson (2), Labossiere (W) (2) and R. Pollard

(July 27)  The front-running Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox failed in their attempt to put more distance between themselves and the runner-up City Police Athletics at Renfrew Park when the Cop Squad jumped up to repel the Red Sox 7 to 2 behind the solid six-hit pitching of Ed Williams. Only one of the two runs scored by the Sox against Williams was earned. The win for the Gendarmes brought them to within two lengths of the league-leaders. Fort starter Butch Tomlinson failed to last the first frame. Both Dave Kostenuk and Merv Currie, pitchers by trade but playing the corner positions in the infield on this occasion, had a couple of hits apiece for the Flatfoots. Not to be eclipsed too far by his pitching colleagues, Williams had a single and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

Tomlinson (L), Patterson (1) and Kortzman
Williams (W) and Anderson

(July 31)  Following several rain-outs, the Big Seven circuit returned to action as the City Police Athletics blanked the luckless St. Josaphat’s Saints 2 to 0 to move to within a game-and-a-half of the pace-setting Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox. Ed Williams picked up his seventh pitching win in nine decisions for the Law Enforcers, rolling up 15 strikeouts along the way. Losing flinger Harvey Popik had a respectable mound effort and was locked in a scoreless duel with Williams heading into the bottom-of-the-eighth spasm. Ed Howorko tripled and scored on Zane Kotyk’s fielder’s choice. Later in the frame, Dave Kostenuk singled home Kotyk with an insurance run. Stan Kulka of the winners, with two singles, was the sole multi-hit batter in the game. 

Popik (L) and Reinhart
Williams (W) and Kulka

Standings                       W      L      Pct.    GBL
Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox      13      3     .813     ----
City Police Athletics          11      4     .733     1.5
Army & Navy Cardinals           7      8     .467     5.5
North Edmonton Rockets          5     10     .333     7.5
St. Josaphat’s Saints           2     13     .133    10.5

(August 1)  The Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox saw their lead atop the Big Seven League shrink to a mere game when they were upended 6 to 2 by the Army & Navy Cardinals at Renfrew Park. Veteran hurler Vern Callihan was the hero in the Redbird triumph, coming on in relief in the fifth canto with his club trailing 2 – 0. After starting southpaw chucker Ralph Keeley was lifted for a pinch-hitter, Callihan ascended the knoll and shut the Red Sox out on two hits the rest of the way. Wayne Samis’ triple in the opening panel with two mates aboard enabled the Fort crew to jump out ahead but, in the fifth, the Cardinals went in front with a three-run uprising, sparked by doubles from Pat Donnelly and playing-manager Jim Ryan. Then, in the seventh, they added three insurance runs, thanks in the main to a two-run double by Alex Muzychka/Muzz. Ryan collected a single along with his two-bagger.

Ewasiuk (L) and Kortzman
Keeley, Callihan (W) (5) and Tanner

(August 2)  LaVerne Holmes bettered his season’s pitching record to 2 – 3 in hurling the North Edmonton Rockets to a 5 to 1 conquest of the St. Josaphat’s Saints at Renfrew Park. Holmes limited the Saints to a mere three hits while fanning a dozen and walking one. The lone run scored against him was unearned. Harvey Popik, a junkball specialist, went back on the hill for the cellar-dwelling Saints with only one day of rest following his loss to the City Police Athletics. He was entitled to a better fate once again as the first three Rocket counters were unearned. Jim Berlando of the Northsiders led all swatsmiths, garnering a pair of doubles.

Popik (L) and Reinhart
Holmes (W) and W. Waddle

(August 3)  Merv Currie fanned ten during a sparkling relief performance at Renfrew Park as the City Police Athletics downed the St. Josaphat’s Saints 5 to 3 to close to within a half-game of the league lead. Currie came on in relief of 16-year old starter Merv Chupka in the fifth canto and limited the Churchmen to just two safeties while running his total of whiffs for the season to 62, four more than teammate Ed Williams and the Saints’ Harvey Popik. Dave Littlechild made his pitching debut with the Saints and came up with a respectable performance despite showing streaks of wildness in which he walked eight. A three-spot in the second spasm put the Law Enforcers in command and the St. Joe’s squad was never able to recover. Ed Howorko and Zane Kotyk both singled twice for the victors.

Littlechild (L) and Gisi
Chupka, Currie (W) (5) and Kulka  

(August 6)  A doubleheader sweep of the Army & Navy Cardinals propelled the North Edmonton Rockets into a third-place tie in the Big Seven Baseball League with their defeated adversaries. The 4 to 1 lid-lifter saw winning pitcher Dale Barrow fire a three-hitter at the Cards. A three-run opening canto gave the Rockets the momentum they needed to finish the job.

The Rockets shelled A & N pitchers Ralph Keeley and Hal Forss for 17 base blows in trouncing the Redbirds 18 to 2 in the one-sided nightcap. The game was relatively close after six stanzas, with North Edmonton in front 4 to 2, but the final three innings were a nightmare for the Cardinals as the Northsiders ran across an additional 14 tallies. Playing-manager Wally Waddle of the victors belted his second four-bagger of the season in this tilt. The Cards’ Arnold Bailey also launched a round-tripper. Bill Lupul banged out three safeties for the North Edmontonians.

(August 7)  Making a late-season move reminiscent of their fast finish a year ago, the North Edmonton Rockets surged into third place in the Big Seven League standings, a half-game in front of the Army & Navy Cardinals, by trouncing the St. Josaphat’s Saints 11 to 2. Ron Babiuk held the hapless Saints to four hits as he picked up his first pitching victory of the campaign. For the second consecutive contest, the Rockets’ Bill Lupul scorched the horsehide for a triad of base raps.

(August 10)  A 13-inning 8 to 7 loss to the suddenly-hot North Edmonton Rockets knocked the Fort Saskatchewan Rockets out of first place in the Big Seven League standings for the first time this season. The idle City Police Athletics, with two games in hand, assumed top spot by a few percentage points. With two retired in the bottom-of-the-fourth session of overtime and the Rockets’ Ted Mitenko on second base, rookie-manager Bob Solinger of the Forts ordered losing pitcher Ken Pollard to issue an intentional pass to Dale Barrow, a .322 hitter, to get to Ken Gusnoski who was hitless in six previous trips. The first two pitches were well outside but the third flirted with the outside corner and Barrow pulled in on a line for a single to left field, giving Mitenko a ticket home with the walkoff winning tally. The Northsiders had an excellent opportunity to win it in the tenth inning but a triple play by the Red Sox killed that chance. Besides knocking in the winning run, Barrow also batted across the equalizer with a line double in the ninth. Earlier, he collected his first of three safeties with a single. Winning heaver LaVerne Holmes. who entered the game as a seventh-inning reliever, evened his pitching record at 3 – 3 for the season. Gord Labossiere singled three times for the vanquished Scarlet Stockings.

Heit, K. Pollard (L) (2) and R. Pollard
M. Babiuk, Holmes (W) (7) and W. Waddle

(August 11)  After winning pitcher Ed Williams was lifted, sporting a 9 to 0 bulge, the City Police Athletics ran into reliever problems but still managed a 13 to 6 victory over the Army & Navy Cardinals to take a half-game lead atop the Big Seven circuit. Saving eight-game winner Williams for a more-important assignment over the weekend, the Cop Shop brain trust pulled Stan Kulka from behind the plate and sent him to the hill, from where he walked six Redbirds and was quickly removed. Dave Kostenuk, with little in the nature of a warm-up, was seconded from first base but managed only to muddle through the rest of the game to preserve the win. Williams had a one-hitter going when he was sent for an early shower as he reduced his league-leading ERA to a scintillating 1.59 mark. Kostenuk proved superior in hitting the horsehide than in throwing it as he clipped the orb for three doubles and had three RBI’s. Alex Muzychka/Muzz doubled and singled for the losers.

Williams (W), Kulka (6), Kostenuk (6) and Kulka, Anderson (6)
Dinwoodie (L), Callihan (4) and Tanner

(August 12)  The City Police Athletics snatched a huge Renfrew Park win from the second-place Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox, sending the runners-up to a 4 to 1 defeat, as well as handing Gord Labossiere his first loss of the season. Merv Currie doled out only four hits in stymying the Forts for the complete-game knoll triumph. The lone run plated against him was unearned. Labossiere blanked the Flatfoots for three innings but was nicked for a pair of counters in each of the fourth and fifth frames.

(August 12)  The Army & Navy Cardinals led from start to finish in pummeling the last-place St. Josaphat’s Saints 10 to 2. Barry Robertshaw of the Cards extended his consecutive-games hit streak to 16 with a single off Harvey Popik. Don Stewart got the pitching win. Pat Donnelly and Alex Muzychka/Muzz went yard with taters for the victorious Cards.

(August 13)  Close to 1,200 fans sat in on a two-game set between the front-running City Police Athletics and the red-hot North Edmonton Rockets at Renfrew Park. The league-leaders grabbed the opener 2 to 0 to end the Northsiders’ five-game winning streak. The second game went ten innings before the Rockets prevailed 4 to 3.
Winning pitcher Ed Williams and Merv Currie combined to pitch a two-hit shutout in the matinée tilt. During the process, Currie boosted his league-leading strikeout total to 84, 11 more than runner-up Fort Saskatchewan’s Gord Labossiere.

North Edmonton came from behind three times to snatch the finale in overtime. The Rockets tied the score at 2 – 2 in the ninth and then, in the top-of-the-tenth, pinch-hitter Currie lined a bases-loaded, run-scoring single to send the Cops ahead again. A brilliant throw from left-fielder Ken Gusnoski to the dish prevented another run from scoring. In their half of the chapter, the Northsiders loaded the bases on a double by Dale Barrow, who went the route for the pitching win, an infield hit by pinch-hitter LaVerne Holmes and Ted Mitenko’s intentional walk after a sacrifice. Bill Lupul then clubbed the first pitch from left-hander Dennis Lindstand deep into the middle pasture to drive in the tying and winning markers.

(August 13)  Bouncing back from a reverse just 24 hours previous, the Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox remained in the hunt for the Big Seven pennant by taking an 11 to 7 home-field victory from the Army & Navy Cardinals. With the win, the Scarlet Stockings reduced the lead of the City Police Athletics to a game. Barry Robertshaw of the losing Redbirds belted a two-run homer which upped his hit streak for the campaign to 17 successive games. Also dialing long distance for a dinger was Wayne Samis of the Forts.

(August 15)  The Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox are hanging tough. With an 18 to 5 clobbering of the last-place St. Josephat’s Saints at Renfrew Park, the Sox inched to within a half-game of the front-running City Police Athletics. The Saints, nearing the end of a dismal season, ran through four pitchers in a futile effort to make a game of it. After four frames, the Forts sprinted a a 9 to 2 lead, then turned it into an utter rout with a six-run uprising in the seventh spasm. It as a ship-shod tilt as the teams committed 11 errors between them, six by the Crusaders. Jack Patterson racked up his second victory in as many decisions for the Crimson Hose although Ken Pollard came on in the final two innings to finish up for him. Rookie catcher Dennis Neiman and veteran George Stickle had four RBI’s each for the victors. Neiman tripled and singled twice as did teammate Ken Taylor. Dave Littlechild, the starting heaver for the Churchmen, had three RBI’s.

Patterson (W), K. Pollard (8) and Neiman
Littlechild (L), Shenduk (4), Rechlo (7), Popik (9) and Gisi, Reinhart

(August 20)  The City Police Athletics won the 1961 Big Seven Baseball League pennant at Renfrew Park and will represent the circuit in the provincial senior playoffs. Merv Currie’s 17-strikeout performance led the Law Enforcers to a 6 to 2 victory over the Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox and the pennant-clincher. The strikeout king of the loop, Currie twice retired the side on whiffs and faced the minimum 12 batters through the last four innings. Only flychaser Ken Pollard escaped from being a strikeout victim as Currie ran his punchout total for the season to 92, a remarkable figure in view of the fact he pitched only 58-1/3 innings. Dave Kostenuk got the Gendarmes off on the right foot with a two-run double in the opening panel that sparked a three-run outburst from which the Forts and losing heaver, Gord Labossiere, were never able to recover. Kostenuk also batted across the sixth tally for the Flatfoot Force with a sacrifice fly in the seventh stanza. Veteran Stan Kulka delivered a triple and single for the victors and rookie Jerry Porter drove in a brace of counters with a double and single.

Labossiere (L) and Kortzman
Currie (W) and Kulka

Final Standings                W      L      Pct.    GBL
City Police Athletics         16      5     .762     ----
Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox     15      7     .813     1.5
North Edmonton Rockets        11     11     .500     5.5
Army & Navy Cardinals          9     12     .429     7.0
St. Josaphat’s Saints          2     18     .100    13.5


LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
SEMI-FINALS  North Edmonton Rockets vs City Police Athletics & Army & Navy Cardinals vs Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox  (best-of-five series)

(August 22)  Ed Williams, the bread-winner for the City Police Athletics during the regular season, seems to have retained his touch for the playoffs. The nine-game winner hurled the Law Enforcers to a 9 to 3 triumph over the defending champion North Edmonton Rockets as one leg of the Big Seven League’s semi-finals got underway at Renfrew Park. Only one of the three runs against him was earned and he got better as the game progressed. The Rockets jumped away to a two-run lead in the opening inning, thanks in main to a double by Denis Fonteyne and playing-manager Wally Waddle’s smash to right-field. They added another in the second when shortstop Herb Sewers of the Gendarmes miscued on starting pitcher Dale Barrow’s ground ball. The Cop Squad kept pecking away at the early deficit with singletons in the first two panels, then went in front 4 – 3 in the bottom-of-the-third when Stan Kulka drilled a two-run single. Barrow was given the hook for LaVerne Holmes in the eighth episode when the Flatfoot Force broke the game up by adding an additional four counters. He had two of the losers’ seven hits before departing for the showers. Kulka, always dangerous with ducks on the pond, had two safeties and three RBI’s for the victors.

Barrow (L), Holmes (8) and W. Waddle
Williams (W) and Kulka

(August 24)  Wily old junk pitcher, Vern Callihan, got another masterpiece out of his aging flipper at the Renfrew ballyard in igniting the Army & Navy Cardinals to a 4 to 1 semi-final victory over the Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox. The fast-working veteran choked off the Forts on just five hits and didn’t lose his shutout until two were out in the ninth inning when pinch-hitter Wally Ewasiuk unloaded a run-scoring triple. The Fort’s Pollard brother battery went the route for the visitors. The Cards got to losing twirler Ken Pollard for a singleton in the fourth on Lyle Graham’s RBI single up the middle and then added a three-spot in the fifth with Arnie Enger driving in a pair and Graham the other. Lyle Kortzman was the most troublesome Red Sox’ swatter for Callihan to contend with. The Fort second sacker hit three-for-four and also stole a base. Graham’s two blows led the winners’ eight-hit attack.

K. Pollard (L) and R. Pollard
Callihan (W) and Tanner

(August 27)  The pennant-winning City Police Athletics advanced to the Big Seven Baseball League finals as last season’s champion North Edmonton Rockets bowed out, losing 3 to 1 and 3 to 2 decisions to the Cops in a Renfrew Park double-bill. Merv Currie of the Law Enforcers hurled the complete-game, seven-inning lid-lifter, setting the Rockets down on five hits while breezing ten. The Flatfoots scored a pair in the opening frame with Currie batting in one of those counters. That deuce was all he needed. He picked up two of the winners’ four safeties against losing chucker LaVerne Holmes and reliever Ron Babiuk. Wally Waddle singled twice in a losing cause for the Northsiders.

Currie (W) and Kulka
Holmes (L), R. Babiuk (3) and W. Waddle

In the series’ finale, winning heaver Ed Williams matched Currie’s opening-game two safety batting production as the Gendarmes were outhit by a 9 to 7 margin. Williams whiffed seven and didn’t give up an Annie Oakley. Second sacker Nick Baiton was Williams’ nemesis in this encounter, clipping the horsehide for four base raps, including a double.

Barrow (L) and W. Waddle
Williams (W) and Kulka

(August 27)  The hometown Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox were upended twice by the upstart Army & Navy Cardinals, 8 to 7 and 14 to 12, to fall by the wayside in the Big Seven League playoff picture.  Old war-horse Vern Callihan copped his second pitching win of the series in the opener, coming to the aid of Cards’ starter Bill Olson in the fifth frame of this see-saw fracas. The Redbirds went ahead to stay with a trey in that frame. Catcher Ed Tanner paced the winners at the dish with three singles. Third baseman George Stickle had a two-run dinger and a sacrifice fly to drive in three runs for the Sox.

Olson, Callihan (W) (5) and Tanner
Patterson (L), Ewasiuk (5), K. Pollard (7) and Kortzman

Despite being outhit 12 to 9 in the finale, the A & N diamond troopers never trailed after posting a big six-spot in the second spasm. Seven chuckers ascended the bump throughout the slugfest with the vanquished Crimson Hose utilizing four of them. Cardinal playing-manager Jim Ryan wasn’t around at the finish to whoop it up with his charges as he was ousted earlier in the tilt for arguing a home plate decision. Arnold Bailey of the winners and the Forts’ Ken Taylor both clipped the orb for three safeties. Bailey drove in three runs with his swats which included a double. Lyle Kortzman nailed a three-run tater for the Forts.

Stewart (W), Dinwoodie (6), Forss (8) and Tanner
Heit (L), K. Pollard (3), Ewasiuk (5), Patterson (7) and R. Pollard


FINALS  Army & Navy Cardinals vs City Police Athletics  (best-of-five series)

(August 29)  Winning pitcher Dave Kostenuk sliced an off-field single in the bottom-of-the-tenth inning to drive in Zane Kotyk with the game-winner as the pennant-winning City Police Athletics drew first blood in the Big Seven League finals with a 3 to 2 victory over the Army & Navy Cardinals. The tie-breaking hit came at the expense of reliever Dave Dinwoodie who took over mound chores when veteran heaver Vern Callihan was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the top-half of the overtime panel. Callihan blanked the Flatfoots for the first six innings before surrendering unearned runs in both the seventh and eighth episodes to wipe out a 2 – 0 Cardinal lead. Contributing to Callihan’s downfall was the erratic display afield by the Redbirds’ keystone combo of Gene Kinasewich and Lyle Graham who committed five miscues between them. Herb Sewers cracked three hits for the Cops and batted in the tying run. Joining him from the victors with a triad of base knocks was Ed Williams, a pitcher by trade, who patrolled right-field in this joust and nicked the apple for a trey of one-baggers. Arnie Enger had two of the four A & N hits surrendered by Kostenuk.

Callihan, Dinwoodie (L) (10) and Tanner
Kostenuk (W) and Anderson

(August 31)  Jack-of-all-trades player Don Stewart singled home Gene Kinasewich with two out in the bottom-of-the-ninth inning to give the Army & Navy Cardinals an 8 to 7 victory over the City Police Athletics, a win which brought the Cards back on even terms with the Cops in their Big Seven final series. The Gendarmes had tied the see-saw battle up in the top of the panel after winning tosser Bill Forss had been rushed in to relieve Bill Olson who had been combed for 15 hits. Zane Kotyk’s sacrifice fly drove in the equalizer, setting the stage for the exciting finish. After Kinasewich singled to launch the Redbirds’ winning tally, he moved to second on a sacrifice. Following a strikeout and an intentional pass, losing fireman Ed Williams was victimized with Stewart’s walkoff base knock. The Flatfoot Force held a huge 16 to 8 advantage in base raps but missed the boat on several occasions by leaving 13 baserunners stranded. Herb Sewers continued his hot hitting in the playoffs but his four singles were all in naught for the vanquished Law Enforcers. Matching Sewers’ four-for-five performance at the dish was teammate Gerry Porter who had two RBI’s with a triple and three singles. Ed Tanner, with a double and one-bagger, was the lone hitter from the winners to achieve plural hit totals.

Lindstrand, Williams (L) (4) and Anderson
Olson, Forss (W) (9) and Williamson

(September 4)  The City Police Athletics took a two-games-to-one lead in the Big Seven League finals by coming from behind to defeat the Army & Navy Cardinals 6 to 5 in the last-of-the-ninth inning. The Police made the most of four unearned runs in the opening frame to take a healthy lead. The Cards, however, whittled away at the deficit and eventually went in front 5 to 4 in the seventh stanza as veteran pitcher Vern Callihan delivered a clutch two-run single. Reliever Merv Currie of the Flatfoots, who took over for starter Dennis Lindstrand in the fourth frame, atoned for the deuce he gave up by lining a single up the middle to score Ken Anderson with the tying tally in the eighth. Gerry Porter tripled to launch the bottom-of-the-final stanza. A pair of intentional walks followed to load the sacks. Jack Huff was sent in as a pinch-runner for Porter, which was a tipoff as to what was up. After one had been retired, catcher Ken Anderson of the Law Enforcers dumped a bunt in front of the plate as a sprinting Huff, in full flight, slid in with the walkoff winner just ahead of Callihan’s throw. Lyle Graham laced three singles for the vanquished Cards who had an 8 to 7 advantage in base raps. However, eight fielding miscues including three each by Graham and third baseman Ray Kinasewich, severely damaged their fate.

Callihan (L) and Williamson
Lindstrand, Currie (W) (4) and Anderson

(September 10)  The surprising Army & Navy Cardinals, a poor fourth in the regular-season standings, swept a doubleheader from the City Police Athletics at the Renfrew ballyard by scores of 4 to 3 and 8 to 3 to annex the 1961 Big Seven Baseball League championship.

Vern Callihan, who had failed twice earlier in the series to beat the Cops in veritable bleeders, finally made it stick with a six-hit triumph over Merv Currie in the opener. Callihan was in trouble only once, the fourth, when his usually reliable control faltered briefly and the Gendarmes got their only three runs. Currie came up with a good performance in his own right, though he had command issues in the early going, He held the Cards to only four hits, two of them by Lyle Graham, but the eventual champions scored their first two tallies in the third without benefit of a hit. Then, in the fifth, playing-manager Jim Ryan doubled in another pair. The defensive play of the game occurred in the opening episode when middle pasture patroller Barry Robertshaw of the Redbirds stole an extra-baser from rookie Gerry Porter with a sensational diving catch deep in the hole in left-centre. Dave Kostenuk with a double and single, led the six-hit offense for the Flatfoot Force.

Currie (L) and Kulka
Callihan (W) and Tanner

The A & N contingent got to losing heaver Ed Williams for 13 base knocks in the wrap-up encounter. Winning tosser Bill Olson was raked for 11 safeties but was able to dodge a number of bullets. Leading the victorious Redbirds with the baton were Alex Muzychka/Muzz who ripped the horsehide for a brace of doubles and a single, good for a pair of RBI’s, Ed Tanner with three RBI’s on a double and one-bagger and playing-skipper Ryan with a double and two singles. Williams, far from being in top form on the mound, still managed to wave a potent bat for the Law Enforcers with a run-scoring triple and a single that led to another marker. Teammate Herb Sewers continued his hot playoff run with the lumber, lacing a triad of singles.

Olson (W) and Tanner
Williams (L) and Kulka


SOUTHERN ALBERTA SENIOR BASEBALL PLAYOFFS

Calgary, void of any senior-level league, was without representation in the 1961 provincial playoffs. An independent team from the Cowtown, the Orphans, was organized and did play a limited number of exhibition and tournament games but disbanded in late August leaving Brooks, second-place finishers in the 36 Baseball League, as well as Medicine Hat of the SaskAlta circuit and Lethbridge of the Big Six loop, the latter two being champions of their respective leagues, to determine a southern winner. Of the three, only the Brooks Buffaloes, having been eliminated from pursing the intermediate crown, showed any interest in vying for the southern senior title as the Medicine Hat Superiors discontinued play after winning their league playoffs while the Lethbridge Niseis chose to enter the Alberta intermediate playdowns. In a strange turn of events, the Buffaloes were thus acclaimed southern senior standard bearers without having to win even a single game.

NORTHERN ALBERTA SENIOR BASEBALL PLAYDOWNS

1961 WHEAT BELT BASEBALL LEAGUE

EASTERN DIVISION
Beaverlodge Royals
Grande Prairie Athletics
Monarch
Sexsmith Rainiers

WESTERN DIVISION
Chetwynd BC Cubs
Dawson Creek BC Cardinals
Fairview Outlaws
Fort St. John BC Huskies

Western division  champion Fort St. John BC Huskies advanced to the northern Alberta senior baseball finals by defeating the Eastern Division playoff winning Monarch.

SEMI-FINALS  Wheat Belt Baseball League champion (Fort St. John Huskies) vs Big Seven Baseball League winner (Edmonton City Police Athletics)

(September 3)  The Edmonton City Police Athletics, pennant winners in the Big Seven Baseball League, captured the northern Alberta senior baseball title by sweeping a pair of highly-competitive games from the invading Fort St. John Huskies, champions of the Wheat Belt Baseball League, by scores of 2 to 0 and 4 to 2.

The first tilt was a seven-inning affair in which winning pitcher Merv Currie of the Athletics struck out 13 batters from the northeastern B. C. team while shutting them out on two hits. Only once during the game was Currie in any sort of a jam. That was the final frame when second baseman Ron Loughlin of the Wheat Belt titlists opened with a double to the opposite field. All hands were safe on a fielder’s choice when Currie grabbed catcher Larry Fofonoff’s ground ball and elected to make a play on Loughlin who finally escaped from a rundown. After two had been retired, losing pitcher Ed Davis walked to load the bases but Currie then whiffed Bud Hosker for the second time in the game to end the threat. The first run off Davis by the Police came in the fifth frame and was unearned. Then, in the sixth spasm, Herb Sewers singled, stole second and rode home on Stan Kulka’s single for an insurance run. Playing-manager Davis was nicked for five safeties while fanning six.

Davis (L) and Fofonoff
Currie (W) and Kulka

Davis attempted an iron-man feat by ascending the hill for the second contest as well and hooked up with Ed Williams in a scoreless duel for five innings. Then, in the sixth, the Edmontonians latched onto three unearned counters as a tiring Davis gave up the ghost and handed the horsehide over to Lloyd Higginson to start the seventh. Keith Fraser’s line smash to the right pasture drove in two Fort St. John runs in the seventh stanza and averted a second shutout. Williams fanned seven and held the Huskies to five hits. For the Big Seven representatives, Dave Kostenuk’s bat was a mighty factor. He belted back-to-back doubles in the sixth and seventh cantos, both of which figured prominently in the Athletics’ only scoring innings.

Williams (W) and Kulka
Davis (L), Higginson (7) and Fofonoff, Blair


NORTH-SOUTH FINALS  Brooks Buffaloes (south) vs Edmonton City Police Athletics (north)  best-of-three series

(September 16)  The Big Seven League pennant-winning Edmonton City Police Athletics, representing northern Alberta, got the jump on their southern counterparts, the Brooks Buffaloes, by bouncing the Buffs 6 to 4 as the provincial senior finals got underway at Renfrew Park. The Edmontonians were outhit 9 – 5 but errors and an abundance of Annie Oakleys more than made up the difference. Brooks’ opening mound choice, Bill Benny, failed to survive the first inning, walking three of the five batters to face him while yielding a single to another. Dusty Rhodes came on to finish up and responded with a fine effort but erratic defensive support killed him, sticking him with the pitching loss. The Cop Squad broke a 2 – 2 tie in the third with an uprising of three tallies, only one of which was earned. That occurred when Don Bailey singled home Herb Sewers to put the hosts in front 3 – 2.  Ed Williams hurled the complete-game victory for the Athletics, ringing up 11 punchouts in the process. Sewers led the victors with three safeties, an output matched by flychaser John Charlton of the Buffaloes.  

Benny, Rhodes (L) (1) and Lorrie
Williams (W) and Kulka

(September 17)  Merv Currie checked the Brooks Buffaloes on three hits as the Edmonton City Police Athletics captured the Alberta senior baseball championship in convincing fashion with a 16 to 2 conquest of the Brooks Buffaloes. Though wilder than usual, Currie still had his heater working well, sending 13 Buffaloes back to the dugout on third strikes. Brooks opened the scoring with an unearned tally in the third on an infield hit by Bob Chambers and Herb Sewers’ bobble of a potential double-play ball. In the fourth, however, the Edmontonians surged to the front, scoring four times, with Stan Kulka producing the clutch blow, a two-run double up the alley in left-centre. One-baggers by Don Bailey and Jerry Moffat brought in another brace of tallies. Brooks’ starting flinger Neil Anderson was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the last-of-the-fourth and his fifth-inning successor, Doug Marquardt, struggled the rest of the way. The Police turned the clincher into a rout with a four-spot in the seventh plus an additional six in the eighth. Bailey, Zane Kotyk and Ed Howorko all had two base knocks for the winners.

Currie (W) and Kulka
N. Anderson (L), Marquardt (5) and Lorrie


SOUTH PEACE BASEBALL LEAGUE

With the Fairview Outlaws abandoning the North Peace circuit for the Wheat Belt League, the two Peace River senior baseball leagues of 1960 united under one roof, the 1961 South Peace League. Encompassing seven entries at the beginning of the campaign, the number of teams was reduced to five with the abandonment of Valleyview in mid-June and Falher in late-June.

Donnelly Cubs
Falher *
High Prairie Merchants
McLennan Elks
Peace River Stampeders
Tangent Braves
Valleyview Oilers *

* dropped out of league in June

(May 7)  Peace River Stampeders and Donnelly Cubs kicked off the 1961 season with an exhibition double-header.  Stampeders took the first game, played at Donnelly, 3-1 as Joe Weremy and Pete Czuy combined for the mound duties for the winners.  John Doucette took the loss for Donnelly.

In the second game, at Twelve Foot Davis Park, Stamps Dave McPhillamey and Pete Czuy held Donnelly off the scoreboard as Peace River notched a 10-0 triumph. 

(May 21)  Donnelly edged Peace River 3-1 as right-hander John Doucette stymied the Stampeders besting Dave McPhillamey who went seven frames for the losers.

McPhillamey (L), Weremy (8) and Kozie
Doucette (W) and xxx

(May 22)    Peace River Stampeders clobbered Fairview Outlaws 12-2 Monday in the final of the four-team Peace River Tournament. All the games were one-sided as the Stamps whipped Valleyview 10-0 and Fairview crushed McLennan 22-5. Frank Brown stroked a pair of home runs, one with the bases loaded, to pace the Stampeders to their romp over Valleyview. John Czuy tossed the shutout.

P.Clark (L), E.Biendarra, K.Lien, R.Turgeon and xxx
J.Czuy (W) and Kozie

McLennan was trailing just 8-5 before Fairview went on a scoring spree in the seventh inning bringing home 14 scores in the 22-5 blowout. Lyle Tansem, Mel Watchorn and Len Friedel cracked four-baggers for the Outlaws while Leonard Pelland had one for McLennan.

Len Friedel (W) and xxx
xxx and xxx

Stamps launched a 15-hit attack in the final to romp to the 12-2 victory. Jim Kozie led the winners with a homer and two singles. Joe Weremy tossed s five-hitter and fanned 10 on the hill for Peace River.

Weremy (W) and Kozie
P. Freidel (L), K.Fox and xxx

(May 31)   Donnelly Cubs defeated Tangent 8-5.

(June 2)  At Fairview, the Peace River Stampeders whipped the Outlaws 12-6 Friday in a game which featured six home runs. Maurice Anderson, Pete Czuy and John Czuy, with two, for the Stamps and Pat Friedel and Len Friedel for the losers.

(June 4)    Donnelly racked up another pair of wins Sunday blasting Falher 22-13 in the first game and downing McLennan 13-2 in the second.  The Chauvette brothers picked up the wins, the first time John Doucette wasn't the winning moundsman for the Cubs.

(June 4)   Peace River Stampeders rang up a pair of shutout victories Sunday downing McLennan 6-0 in a league contest behind the 17-strikeout performance by Pete Czuy and crushing Beaverlodge Royals 12-0 in an exhibition encounter.

(June 11)  Donnelly Cubs continued unbeaten taking both ends of a home-and-home series with Falher, 12-2 and 7-3. John Doucette gained his fifth win in the evening game. Tangent took two from High Prairie Merchants, 7-5 and 14-0. Peace River Stampeders went on a rampage to crush Valleyview, 22-2 and 30-0. Pete Czuy fired a no-hitter in the second game after Dave McPhillamey turned in a solid start in the opener. Joe Weremy slammed three home runs and Frank Brown had one.

(June 14)  Joe Weremy bested John Doucette in a pitching duel as Peace River topped Donnelly 3-1. Weremy helped his cause with a first inning homer. He pitched shutout ball, with 12 strikeouts until the ninth when Roger Maisonneuve belted a homer for the Cubs. Doucette fanned 14.

Weremy (W) and Kozie
Doucette (L) and xxx

(June 16)   Ron Duda got things started for the Stampeders on Friday with a two-run homer in the first inning en route to an 8-2 victory over Falher. Maurice Anderson started for the Stamps but needed help from John Czuy in the third. Czuy went on to pick up the win racking up 12 strikeouts.

R.Dusseault (L) and xxx
Anderson, J.Czuy (W) (3) and Kozie

(June 18)   Peace  River swept Sunday's double-header with High Prairie notching two shutouts, 13-0 and 2-0. In the afternoon contest, Pete Czuy fired a no-hitter, setting down 15 by strikeouts. Joe Weremy poked a homer for the Stampeders, Les Breckner had a triple and seven players had two-baggers for the winners.

P.Czuy (W) and xxx
xxx and xxx

The evening game was a pitchers' duel as Dave McPhillamey allowed six hits with eight strikeouts to best Don Patsutto who allowed but five hits and fanned ten. John Czuy singled to score Ron Duda with the first Peace River run and Frank Brown scored the other when the Merchant's catcher failed to hold the ball on a tag at the plate.

McPhillamey (W) and xxx
Patsutto (L) and xxx

(June 20)   Pete Lizotte belted a two-run homer in the third inning and drove in two more with a single in the seventh to lead Peace River to a 5-1 triumph over Fairview. Joe Weremy held the Outlaws to three hits.

L. Freidel (L) and xxx
Weremy (W) and xxx

(July 5)   John Doucette pitched his Donnelly Cubs to a 6-4 win over Tangent.

(July 7)  Pete Czuy was dominant on the hill for Peace River Stampeders Friday firing a one-hitter with 14 strikeouts in a 10-0 victory over McLennan.  Czuy had a no-hitter into the eighth inning before Ray Roy broke the spell. It was the fourth straight shutout for a Stampeders' hurler. Pete Lizotte continued his hot streak with a four-for-four game while Frank Brown chipped in with three safeties. Bob Pelland issued seven walks in taking the loss.

Pelland (L) and xxx
P.Czuy (W) and Kozie

(July 9)   Peace  River swept Sunday's double-header taking Tangent 8-3 and 6-0.  Playing-coach Joe Weremy tossed a no-hitter in the evening game as he faced just 22 batters in the seven inning contest.  Singles by Jim Kozie in the first and John Czuy in the sixth and a double by Les Breckner in the third were the big blows accounting for four of the Stamps runs. Peace River left the bases loaded in three innings.

Soronski (L), Fortin, G.Lemoine, R.Lamoine and xxx
Weremy (W) and Kozie

Stampeders broke loose for five runs in the eighth inning to break a 3-3 draw to down Tangent 8-3 in the afternoon game. Dave McPhillamey was working on a no-hitter into the eighth frame when Tangent erupted for three runs to tie the game. He ended up with 10 strikeouts.

R.Lamoine (L) and W.Yaremko
McPhillamey (W) and J.Kozie

(July 12)   In a game which produced 30 strikeouts, Peace River Stampeders edged Donnelly Cubs 4-3 in ten innings. Frank Brown scored the winner from second base when an attempted pick off attempt went astray. Pete
Czuy
whiffed 14 in gaining the win while John Doucette had 16 in taking the loss.

Doucette (L) and xxx
P.Czuy (W) and xxx

(July 15-16)   Donnelly Tournament - Donnelly Cubs captured first prize money of $500 in their $1,000 tournament over the weekend shading Peace River Stampeders 4-3 in a thrilling final before some 1,500 fans. John Doucette was the hero for the Cubs pitching the final victory and smacking a pair of home runs. Ted Maisonneuve also cracked a four-bagger for the winners. John Czuy of the Stamps brought Peace River within a run in the ninth with another homer. Semi-final games had Donnelly defeating Tangent 5-3 with Ray Stokke knocking out a homer and Peace River trouncing Kinuso 10-0 with Pete Czuy tossing another shutout and blasting a homer.

First day results had Tangent clobbering McLennan 14-1 behind Gilbert Lemoine's pitching and a home run by Robert Lemoine.  Donnelly edged Fairview Outlaws 1-0 in the second game despite a two-hitter by losing pitcher Pat Friedel. Kinuso sidelined Falher 12-3. Peace River crushed Barrhead Pontiacs 9-2 as Joe Weremy racked up 15 strikeouts and had a home run.

(July 19)   In South Peace Baseball League action, Donnelly Cubs crushed High Prairie Merchants 17-4 behind the solid hurler of Robert ChauvetteDon Patsutto of the Merchants was the game's hitting star with three triples. John Doucette hit one for the winners.

Chauvette (W) and xxx
D.Thornton (L), R.Morin (6) and xxx

(July 22-23)   Falher Tournament - As the Donnelly Cubs did a week earlier, Falher won its own tournament Saturday and Sunday slipping by the Cubs 3-2 in the final with more than 1.500 fans looking on.  Although threatened by cloudy skies and the odd rain shower, the tourney proved a big success with large crowds for all games. The well-bolstered Falher club won its way into the final by downing Eaglesham 8-1 while Donnelly, behind the hurling of John Doucette edged out Peace River.

On opening day, Eaglesham topped McLennan 4-2 and Falher, with an 18-strikeout performance by Larry Craig, dumped Beaverlodge Royals 4-1. Donnelly edged Tangent Braves 2-1 and Peace River whipped Edmonton's Army & Navy Cardinals 7-4 as Les Breckner provided the winning blow, a three-run homer in the eighth inning. Joe Weremy belted a pair of homers for the winners while Pete Czuy was the winning pitcher.

(July 29-30)  Peace River Tournament 

PLAYOFFS
SEMI-FINALS  (best-of-three series)

(August 27)  The Peace River Stampeders and Donnelly Cubs both both won doubleheader victories to advance to the South Peace Baseball League’s finals. The pennant-winning Stampeders defeated the Tangent Braves 7 to 1 and 2 to 0 at Twelve-Foot Davis ball park while the regular-season runners-up Cubs won by 6 to 2 and 7 to 4 scores over the McLennan Elks.

John Doucette pitched the opening win for Donnelly on their home turf while the venue for the wrap-up tilt shifted to McLennan’s diamond.

xxx and xxx
Doucette (W) and xxx

xxx (W) and xxx
xxx and xxx

Joe Weremy and Dave McPhillamey pitched the two Peace River victories with Jim Kozie behind the plate.

In the afternoon contest, Weremy gave up only four hits while striking out 11 Tangent batters. Robert Lemoine, the starting heaver for the Braves held the Stamps to only five hits and three runs in seven innings  before a three-hit attack, a base-on-balls and two errors gave the home club four runs in the eighth inning. Brothers John and Pete Czuy both had two hits for the winning Stampeders.

R.Lemoine (L) and xxx
Weremy (W) and Kozie

The evening encounter produced only goose eggs only the scoreboard with the exception of the fifth when Peace River notched a deuce, the game’s only tallies. Jim Kozie singled and scored on an infield error for the first Peace River run and Frank Brown added an insurance run knocking in Ron Duda with a single. McPhillamey pitched to just 22 Tangent batters over the span of the first seven innings and wound up allowing but a single hit in each of the last two frames. Brothers Gilbert and Robert Lemoine toiled on the knoll for the Braves in this bout.

McPhillamey (W) and Kozie
G.Lemoine, R.Lemoine and Yaremko

(August 27)   Peace River and Donnelly took the lead in their semi-final series Sunday sweeping double-headers. Stampeders defeated Tangent Braves 7-1 and 2-0 at Twelve Foot Davis Park while the Donnelly Cubs won, 6-2 and 7-4 over McLennan.  John Doucette was the winner in the first game.

FINALS  (best-of-five series)

(September 10)  The South Peace Baseball League finals got underway at Twelve-foot Davis ball park with Donnelly and Peace River splitting a doubleheader. Before a fair-sized gathering of fans and, in perfect baseball weather, the hometown Stampeders won the opening game 8 to 1 while the Cubs came out on top 4 to 3 in an exciting second match wherein the final outcome was in doubt up until the final out. Pitching outshone the hitting as rival coaches, Joe Weremy of the Stamps and the Cubs’ John Doucette, were the winning hurlers.
    
Weremy held the Donnelly batters hitless until the sixth spasm of the lid-lifter when Joe Lebeuf doubled for their only hit off him. The Stamps had a 6 – 0 lead when Al Adair took over pitching chores from Weremy in the seventh. Ted Maissoneuve, the second batter to face Adair, greeted him with a solo dinger off the top of the right-field fence for the  Cubs’ only run. Catcher Jim Kozie cracked a homer in the second inning for what turned out to be the winning run.

xxx and xxx
Weremy (W), Adair (7) and Kozie, P.Czuy
    
All the scoring in the late contest was confined to the first five innings. John Doucette went the route on the hill for Donnelly and had to come through in the clutch several times to preserve the victory. He helped his own cause by hitting a pair of singles and scoring twice. Pete Czuy, replaced on the bump in the fifth by Weremy, was stung with the defeat.

Doucette (W) and xxx
P.Czuy (L), Weremy (5) and Kozie

(September 10)   Donnelly and Peace River split the first two games of the South Peace League's final series Sunday at Twelve-Foot Davis Park.  The Stampeders took the opener 8-1 before falling 4-3 in the second game. Peace River grabbed a 4-0 lead after three innings of the first game and cruised to the 8-1 triumph. Catcher Jim Kozie cracked a homer in the second inning for the game's winning run. Joe Weremy had a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Joe Lebeuf cracked a two-bagger. Al Adair relieved in the seventh and Ted Maisonneuve bounced one off the top of the right field fence for a homer and the Cubs only score.

(September 17)   Peace River Stampeders defeated Donnelly 4-1 Sunday to take a 2-1 game lead in the best-of-five final series. Dave McPhillamey held the Cubs to four hits and racked up 12 strikeouts. Stamps jumped into a lead in the first inning as Frank Brown led off with a single and Fred Windjack followed suit with Brown scoring on a passed ball. Two more safeties, by Windjack and Joe Weremy after a walk to John Czuy accounted for the second marker in the next stanza. They went up 3-0 in the third, thanks to a lead-off double by Ron Duda and a single by John Czuy who knocked in the fourth run in the fifth frame. Roger Maisonneuve drove in the lone Donnelly run in the seventh. John Doucette went the route for the Cubs giving up eight hits and four walks.

McPhillamey (W) and Kozie
Doucette (L) and Maisonneuve

(September 20)  Inclement weather forced cancellation of a scheduled fourth game in the final series. With Donnelly unable to field a team for any further games, the series reverted to a best-of-three affair with the Peace River Stampeders being declared as 1961 champions of the South Peace Baseball League.


BIG SIX BASEBALL LEAGUE

Teams representing Champion and Cowley, as well as entries from the Crow’s Nest communities of Coleman and Fernie, joined the 1961 edition of this misnamed circuit of ten teams as 1960 clubs from Fort Macleod and New Dayton fell by the wayside.

EAST DIVISION
Champion Red Sox
Coaldale Imperials
Granum Warriors
Vulcan Elks
Warner Warriors

WEST DIVISION
Coleman Cubs
Cowley Tigers
Fernie Falcons
Lethbridge Niseis
Pincher Creek Jays

PLAYOFFS
FINALS  Coaldale Imperials (East Division) vs Lethbridge Niseis (West Division)  best-of-three series

(August 8)  The Lethbridge Niseis took advantage of every little gift they received from the Coaldale Imperials and took a 17 to 3 decision from the Imperials at Henderson Stadium to go one game up in the Big Six League finals. The Niseis worked Coaldale pitchers for nine walks and were the beneficiary of nine errors by the visitors as high winds and a light rain played havoc with pop flies. The Niseis played steady ball behind winning hurler Merv Shankland although they made two errors. Shankland struck out five, walked three and limited the Coaldale batters to seven hits, none of which came after the fourth inning. Losing heaver Peter Wiebe was kayoed from the mound in the opening inning. Three hits and three walks, along with three errors, gave the hosting Niseis six counters in the opening panel. Ev Nowlin took over pitching chores for the Imperials after Wiebe was sent for an early shower. Cam Powley took over in the seventh and finished up. Wes Rice led the 11-hit Lethbridge attack with a double and two singles while first sacker Dennis Kosaka drove in five runs with a brace of singles and a sacrifice fly. Murray Mills had two of the seven Coaldale safeties.

Wiebe (L), Nowling (1), Powley (7) and Melvin
Shankland (W) and Pung

(August 13)  The Lethbridge Niseis captured the 1961 Big Six Baseball League crown and gained a berth in the southern Alberta Intermediate finals after splitting two games with the Coaldale Imperials, losing an afternoon fixture at Coaldale 9 to 5 and then rebounding for a 7 to 2 win in the rubber match at Henderson Stadium.

The afternoon game at Coaldale was a thriller all the way. Bill Kenney’s first-inning three-run homer gave Coaldale a rousing start but the Niseis bounced back to go ahead 5 – 4 after 4-1/2 frames. Once reliever Ev Nowlin entered the picture, the pendulum swung in the other direction as the Imperial chucker blanked the Lethbridge invaders the rest of the way. Kenney clubbed a second four-ply clout in the sixth with a mate aboard to give him five RBI’s in the contest. Kenney’s brace of round-trippers were the difference as the Imperials were outhit 11 to 7. Bob Babki singled three times for the Niseis while catcher Hans Pung added a pair of one-base knocks. Jim Kitaguchi added a solo homer for the losers.

Heaton, Hutton (L) (2) and Pung
Powley (W), Nowlin (6) and Melvin

Merv Shankland defeated the Coaldale squad for the second time in the series, scattering six hits, fanning six and walking three. Coaldale starter Peter Wiebe, who gave way to Ev Nowlin in the seventh, was nicked with the pitching setback. The Niseis had only a slight 7 – 6 margin in base hits but turned in three double plays while also cashing in on four Imperial errors and five walks. Bob Babi cracked a double and two singles for the winners while clubmate Al Willis singled twice.

Wiebe (L), Nowlin (7) and Asato, Melvin (7) 
Shankland (W) and Pung


36 BASEBALL LEAGUE

This four-team circuit, originally named as per the Alberta highway #36 location of the founding members, had two representatives in the 1961 provincial playoffs. The pennant-winning Vauxhall Jets, who handily led the league with a 12 win - 3 loss record, followed the usual path for the winner of this loop by registering for the intermediate-level playdowns. The runner-up Brooks Buffaloes, anxious to continue the season, recognized an easy path to the provincial finals in the senior division, with no forthcoming challenge from Calgary, Lethbridge or Medicine Hat, and were declared by acclamation southern champions, moving on to face the northern senior titlists.

Brooks Buffaloes
Enchant
Lomond Comets
Vauxhall Jets


SASKALTA BASEBALL LEAGUE

Burstall SK Braves
Fox Valley SK Lions
Medicine Hat Superiors
Mendham SK Monarchs
Redcliff Red Sox
Richmound SK Rockets
Schuler


PLAYOFFS

(September 17)  The Medicine Hat Superiors retained the championship of the SaskAlta Baseball League by thrashing the Redcliff Red Sox 17 to 4 after they had drubbed the Richmound Rockets 15 to 2 in a semi-final game earlier in the day. Redcliff qualified for the final by downing the Mendham Monarchs 10 to 1 in the second game of a triple-header at Athletic Park.

In the finale, things were close for the first three innings with the Superiors in front 2 – 1. Then the roof fell in on the Redcliff club as the Hatters poured over five runs in the fourth frame and another four in the fifth inning to pull away. The Superiors had a decisive 16 to 7 advantage in base hits as Wilf Deitrich pounded a pair of triples for the victors. Elroy Schaufele, Don Schwedelsky and Larry Plante added doubles to the winning cause. Tom Deis picked up the pitching victory, registering eight strikeouts and walking three in going the distance. Losing heaver Ed Bleile started on the hill for Redcliff and gave way to John Hudak in the fourth. Between them they fanned eight and issued ten free passes to the Superiors.

Back-to-back homers by Deitrich and Schaufele in the ninth inning of the semi-final contest against Richmound highlighted the Superiors’ batting attack in that tilt. Deitrich’s circuit-clout came with one runner aboard. “Zeke” Zeibart went the route for the Hatters, punching out 15 Rockets while walking a pair and limiting the Richmound aggregation to five hits. Pitching chores for the vanquished nine were split between starter and loser Bill Stodolka and Ivor Solie who ascended the knoll in the ninth inning. The duo were tagged for 15 Medicine Hat safeties but managed a dozen whiffs while walking a brace.

In the other semi-final, Redcliff bounced back from a first-inning 1 – 0 deficit to register their one-sided conquest. “Koon” Baier was the winning twirler with a six-hitter. In going the distance, he breezed six Monarchs and gave up four bases-on-balls. Mendham used three chuckers as starter Alex Fauth was nicked with the loss.


NORTH EASTERN ALBERTA BASEBALL LEAGUE

Cold Lake Cardinals
Cold Lake RCAF
Grande Centre
St. Paul Cubs                               

PLAYOFFS
SEMI-FINALS  St. Paul Cubs vs Cold Lake Cardinals & Grande Centre vs RCAF  (best-of-five series)

(August 13)  The Cold Lake Cardinals, under the guidance of Ivan Krook, grabbed a two-game lead in the best-of-five North Western Alberta Baseball League semi-finals as the edged past the St. Paul Cubs by identical 6 to 5 scores.

Bernie Sonntag pitched the Cardinals to their first win, allowing six hits. Losing twirler Ron Kupchanko was touched for just five safeties but was plagued with costly errors by his clubmates.

In the second game, the Cubs built up a 3 – 0 lead in the top-of-the-fourth frame but were stopped by relief pitcher Pete Serbu who came on for starter Fred Brady. Serbu allowed no hits the rest of the way although St. Paul scored two more runs. The Lakers tied the score in the bottom half of the panel with four consecutive base hits along with two walks and an error. In the fifth, they went two runs up and later scored what turned out to be the winning marker by Tom Murphy on a daring play at the plate. Marshal Dehid went the route for the Cubs, allowing eight hits and four walks. Serbu and Brady teamed up to yield four safeties  and issue five free passes.

RESULTS OF FURTHER GAMES IN THE SERIES, SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 27, HAVE YET TO BE FOUND.


OILFIELD BASEBALL LEAGUE

WESTERN DIVISION
Breton Eagles
Drayton Valley Legionnaires
Genessee Gems
Thorsby Canucks
Warburg Buffaloes

EASTERN DIVISION
Calmar Cubs
Conjuring Creek Wizards
Devon Legionnaires
Glen Park Aces
Leduc Oilers
Malhurst Elks

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS  (best-of-three-series)
WESTERN  Warburg Buffaloes vs Drayton Valley Legionnaires
EASTERN  Calmar Cubs vs Conjuring Creek Wizards

(July 19)  The Warburg Buffaloes shaded the Drayton Valley Legionnaires, last season’s OBL champions, 6 to 5 in the opening game of the Western Division playoff series. Right-hander Leeson Ruff pitched and batted the Buffs to their narrow win. His double in the ninth inning drove in the winning run. Jerry Redlinger suffered the loss.

(July 30)  An 11 to 5 conquest of the Calmar Cubs got the Conjuring Creek Wizards off on the right foot in their Eastern Division playoff opener of the Oilfield Baseball League. Bob Peterson notched the pitching win.

(August 2)  The Conjuring Creek Wizards polished off the Calmar Cubs 17 to 11 to wrap up the Eastern Division championship portion of the Oilfield Baseball League in two straight games. Gord Kutzner was the winning slabster in the heavy-hitting affair. The booming bats of Rod and Dick Munn along with that of Dave Buchak ignited the Wizards to the victory.

LEAGUE FINALS  Warburg Buffaloes (Western Division) vs Conjuring Creek Wizards (Eastern Division)  best-of-five series

(August 13)  The Western Division champion Warburg Buffaloes jumped all over the visiting Conjuring Creek Wizards, annexing the first two games of the league finals by whopping 15 to 2 and 20 to 5 counts.

Winning flinger Leeson Ruff and Wilf Rinas combined to limit the Wizards to five hits in the curtain-raiser. Losing heaver Reg Woitas of the Eastern Division champs failed to last the opening inning on the hillock. Oscar Boblitz and Dick Munn worked in relief. Les Szepesy, Fraser Hallon, Ed Kurley and Ruff each banged out four hits for the winners with three doubles included in Szepesi’s quartet of swats.

The hometowners pounded 14 base raps in the second contest. Winning slabster Larry Lafreniere was touched for nine safeties. Gord Kutzner absorbed the pitching setback.

(August 20)  The Warburg Buffaloes are the 1961 champions of the Oilfield Baseball League. They captured the laurels by besting the Conjuring Creek Wizards three-games-to-one in the best-of-five final series. Playing at home, the Wizards extended their life by doubling the Buffs 6 to 3 in the first of a two-game set but were finally eliminated when Warburg clipped them 8 to 4 in the second bout of the afternoon. 

The Wizards banged out ten hits in the opener to back up the steady hurling of winning tosser Gord Kutzner. Speedballer Leeson Ruff was tagged with the loss.

Larry Lafreniere pitched and batted the Buffaloes to their key triumph. He cracked three hits and drove in the winning run as well as going the distance on the knoll. Losing heaver Reg Woitas and Bob Peterson toiled on the hillock for the vanquished Conjuring Creek nine. 


SOUTH IRRIGATION BASEBALL LEAGUE

Bow Island Combines
Burdett Huskies
Grassy Lake Panthers
Ralston


ALBERTA INTERMEDIATE BASEBALL PLAYDOWNS

SOUTHERN ALBERTA INTERMEDIATE FINALS  Vauxhall Jets (36 Baseball League) vs Lethbridge Niseis (Big Six Baseball League)

(August 20)  The Lethbridge Niseis came from behind twice and finally tripped the hosting Vauxhall Jets 3 to 2 to take a one-game bulge in the southern Alberta intermediate baseball finals. Both clubs nicked the orb for seven safeties in the hotly-contested opener. Merv Shankland fanned six and walked four in taking the mound verdict from Roy Cleland who whiffed six and issued seven free passes. A walk, a sacrifice and a single by outfielder Ken Blaney gave the Jets a 1 – 0 lead in the first inning. The Niseis tied the score in the top-of-the-third on three singles. Vauxhall went out in front again in the bottom-of-the-fourth on a double by Floyd Anderson and a one-bagger off the bat of Larry Heller. Lethbridge backstop Hans Pung doubled to drive in the equalizer, his second RBI, in the fifth. The deciding tally came in the sixth spasm when Yosh Kunimoto hit a deep sacrifice fly into the left garden that allowed Jim Cattoni to tag up and score from third base. Blaney finished with two singles and a double while Pung had a single in addition to his two-bagger.

Shankland (W) and Pung
Cleland (L) and Laurie

(August 27)  In spite of booting the horsehide an uncharacteristic seven times at Henderson Park, the Lethbridge Niseis made up for their defensive lapses in spades by hammering out 17 hits in support of winning tosser Merv Shankland as they whipped the Vauxhall Jets 12 to 5 to advance to the Alberta intermediate baseball finals. Veteran southpaw Roy Cleland, knocked from the hillock in the third inning, was the victim of the early Lethbridge onslaught and was clipped with the pitching loss. It wasn’t until the Niseis had gone ahead 10 – 0 that they began to boot the ball with regularity but, even with the help, the deficit was simply too much for the Jets to make up. Shankland fanned nine and walked four in spinning a seven-hitter. Catcher Hans Pung was the big cog in the offensive attack for the winners as he slammed out two singles and two triples for a perfect four-for-four afternoon at the plate. Bob Babki added a double and two singles with leadoff batter Yosh Kuminoto checking in with three singles. Wes Rice and Al Willis each added a triple and single. Vauxhall’s Bob Holt got to Shankland for a double and single while teammate Howard Olsen stroked a brace of one-baggers.

Cleland (L), Dunsmore (3) and Laurie
Shankland (W) and Pung 

NORTH-SOUTH FINALS  Viking Shamrocks (Eastern Alberta Baseball League) vs Lethbridge Niseis (Big Six Baseball League)  best-of-five series

(September 3)  The hosting Viking Shamrocks and southern champion Lethbridge Niseis each walked off with a victory in the first two games of the provincial intermediate baseball finals. The Niseis, behind the seven-hit pitching of Merv Shankland, stopped the Shamrocks 4 to 2 in the opener but dropped the nightcaps 6 to 1 to the northern titlists.

Hans Pung and Bill Styner paced the Lethbridge crew at the plate in the curtain-raiser as each smashed a double and a single off the slants of complete-game losing chucker Dale Eikerman. Gabe Brissard, Len Josephison and Bob Dunbar all raked Shankland for a pair of one-base hits.

Shankland (W) and Pung
Eikerman (L) and Dunbar

Junk-baller Larry Noble went the distance on the hill for Viking in their second-game triumph, stifling the Lethbridge batters on three hits. He also aided his own cause from the batter’s box by slugging a four-bagger.

Heaton (L), Clark (4) and Pung
Noble (W) and Fisher

(September 9)  The Viking Shamrocks put up a stiff fight in the third game of the Alberta intermediate baseball finals and nipped the Lethbridge Niseis 5 to 4 in ten innings at Henderson Stadium. Larry Noble, with his assortment of off-speed benders, grabbed the pitching decision from hard-throwing Ken Hutton of the Lethbridge nine. Both hurlers went the route and each yielded nine hits but Hutton’s wildness figured prominently in the Shamrocks’ triumph. The Nisei flinger walked eight Viking batters, including Ron Prior, who scored the winning run in the overtime session. Catcher Hans Pung of the vanquished squad punched out the only extra-base hit of the tilt, a ninth-inning double that helped the Niseis come from behind with two counters and force the extra inning. The Viking pastimers played flawless afield while the southerners looked anything but champions on defense, booting the ball on five occasions.

Hutton (L) and Pung
Noble (W) and Dunbar

(September 10)  Games four and five of the series, scheduled for Lethbridge’s Henderson Stadium, were washed out by rain.

(September 17)  The Viking Shamrocks withstood a spirited drive by the Lethbridge Niseis and went on to capture the 1961 Alberta intermediate baseball championship on their home diamond. After the Lethbridge contingent extended the series with a comfortable 9 to 3 victory to start the proceedings, the Viking baseballers annexed the series and the provincial crown with an exciting 9 to 8 final-game triumph that needed 11 innings to decide a winner.

Ace slab artist Marv Shankland of the Niseis copped the first-game mound victory with a five-hitter while his mates were busy banging out a dozen safeties off losing heaver Larry Noble.

Noble (L) and Dunbar
Shankland (W) and Pung

Shankland also started on the hill for the visiting southern representatives in the final joust but was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh stanza. Fast-balling Ken Hutton came on to finish the encounter and was tagged with the loss. Dale Eikerman, who proved to be trouble for the Niseis earlier in the series, was the complete-game winner for the northerners. Jim Kitaguchi had a home run for the Windy City nine in a losing cause.

Shankland, Hutton (L) (7) and Pung
Eikerman (W) and Dunbar