1909 BC Snapshots     

Three members of the short-lived Victoria Kolts, a semi-pro team which staged a series of well-publicized games in May and June then seemed to disappear only to revive in the late summer for a challenge series against a senior team from the James Bay Athletic Association. Gus Klopf (left) was the manager of the Kolts. R.(Bob) Peden (centre) was a pitcher on the team and (right) was team captain Leonard A. Wattelet. Klopf had at least 18 years of pro and semi-pro experience with 24 different teams going back to his start with Minneapolis in the Northwestern League (at a time when the league cities were closer to the East than the West) in 1869. Wattelet played a year of pro ball and there is no record of Peden having played in organized baseball.

The Daily Colonist of Victoria was none too kind to the Kolts after their 14-0 defeat to a team from Portland, Oregon.

This is a sad story. It deals with what was to have been a ball game, but was a comedy, a slap-stick, pork-pie, farce-comedy with a weep every minute that was not too tragic to allow a laugh to be squeezed in. As a ball game it was not so much; but as a spectacle it was a howling success. The base line looked like a race course most of the time. A newcomer mistook it for a Marathon ... There were many features. Not the least were the several home runs resultant from the way Myers walloped the ball over the fence, and the games of tag between bases; but the saddest of all features were the long line of errors. It would have needed a tabulating machine to get the full number. (Victoria Daily Colonist, May 25, 1909)

The Kolts played much better after that opening disaster, but still faded into obscurity (at least in the pages of the local paper).

Gus KlopfR PedenL A Wattelet