1931 Game Reports / Alberta     

Edmonton Senior Amateur

Each of the two rival senior baseball leagues from Edmonton conducted a single-knockout set of games designed to declare a winner from amongst their four member teams. Taking the spoils from the Big Four League was the Alberta Hotel Pelicans nine while the South Siders emerged as the representative of the Senior Amateur League.
The Hoteliers and Scona Squad then hooked up in a best-of-three showdown to determine the Capital City’s representative in the next round of provincial playdowns.

City of Edmonton finals

(August 9)  Tommy Scotweld was impressive on the hill as he mowed down the Alberta Hotel Pelicans on one-hit in leading the South Siders to a 5 to 0 whitewashing of the Hotelmen in the first game of the series put together to select an Edmonton team for provincial playoff laurels. For eight of the nine innings, there was nothing resembling a hit emanating from the opposing willow wielders nor did Scotweld yield a single free pass to first base. The solitary single that broke up the no-no was a somewhat scratchy, fourth-frame Texas Leaguer by “Six Bits” Worbetz. Badner, who twirled for the Pelicans, also turned in a fine mound performance, He allowed only five well-scattered hits but eight heart-breaking errors behind him gave the South Side club a sufficient number of runs to win by a comfortable margin. Upwards of 4,000 fans taxed the seating capacity of old Diamond park to the limit. Dave Fenton led the winners offensively with a double and single.  

Scotweld (W) and Stewart
Badner (L) and Smith

(August 11)  Scoring eight runs in a wild seventh-inning orgy in which the Big Four standard-bearers went all to pieces, the South Siders came from behind to beat the Alberta Hotel Pelicans 12 to 7 for the second straight win in the City series. With their victory the Senior Amateur League top dogs earned the right to carry Edmonton’s colors in the next round of provincial playoffs. With a 7 to 4 lead heading into the fateful seventh, the Big Four Hotelmen appeared destined to tie in the series. In that wild frame, the Pelicans cracked completely and an almost continuous series of miscues, misplays and wild heaves permitted the winners to get eight runs despite the fact they were able to connect for but three safe hits. Alberta Hotel carried a 7 to 5 edge in base raps. Clayton Dolighan and catcher Smith of the Pelicans were the top guns at the dish, both picking up a double and single. 

Passmore (L), Martin (7) and Smith
Sutherland, Eaton (W) (5) and Stewart 


The runner-up Imperial Oilers earned the right to meet the 1931 pennant-winning South Siders in the Edmonton Senior Amateur Baseball League final series.

1931 Edmonton Senior Amateur Baseball League finals

(September 20)  The South Siders drew first blood in the opening matches of the Edmonton senior amateur baseball finals when they grabbed both ends of a twin-bill with the Imperials, winning the first contest 10 to 4 and applying the whitewash to the Oilers in the second go-round, 5 to 0. The Oilmen had an 8 to 5 advantage in base hits in the matinee encounter but were unable to bunch them effectively. Winning pitcher “Buck” Eaton and Phil Horne of the Imperials both belted home runs. 

Eaton (W) and Stewart
Berg (L) and Smith

Steady Ivan Sutherland set the Imperials down on eight hits while whiffing 13 in the sunset encounter in earning the shutout victory. Losing flinger “Smokey” Brennan, although in arrears by a 2 to 0 count after seven innings, had pitched hitless ball up to this point. The eighth frame, however, proved disastrous as his defense fell apart just as the South Side willow wielders were beginning to catch up with his offerings. Top swatter in the game was first sacker Phil Horne of the Imperials who cracked a double and two singles.

Brennan (L) and McHugh
Sutherland (W) and Stewart 

(September 27)  The Imperials and South Siders divided a doubleheader in their city senior baseball series, the Esso Gang taking the first encounter 5 to 3 and dropping the second by a 10 to 6 count. The South Siders now lead the best-of-seven series three games to one. With the score knotted at 3 – 3 in the eighth canto of the opener, Stan Moher, the Oiler keystone guardian, launched one of losing twirler Tommy Scotweld’s offerings into deep right field for a two-run tater. Moher also collected a triple and single in his four at-bats. Joe Berg went the distance for the Imperials to earn the mound win. 

Scotweld (L) and Stewart
Berg (W) and McHugh

The Oilmen carried a 6 to 5 edge into the eighth stanza of the follow-up tussle as chuckers “Smokey” Brennan and Ivan Sutherland were matching up on fairly even terms. A series of defensive lapses by his teammates, however, landed Brennan in hot water in the eighth. A key bases-loaded triple by playing-manager Henry Loyer then cleared the sacks and, before the frame was over, a total of five South Siders had crossed the plate. Batters from both teams nicked the opposing pitcher for nine hits. Brennan recorded ten strikeouts while Sutherland rang up seven whiffing victims.

Brennan (L) and McHugh
Sutherland (W) and Stewart

(October 4)  The battling Imperials baseball club displayed fighting qualities of the highest order as they came back from the brink of almost certain elimination to down the provincial champion South Siders in both ends of a doubleheader before a huge crowd at Boyle Street Park. The matinee event saw the Imperials emerge as 8 to 6 victors as Joe Berg out-dueled “Buck” Eaton. The momentum gained continued into the second contest which the Esso squad also copped by a 6 to 3 margin. The twin win for the Oilmen tied the Edmonton Senior League finals at three games apiece. Sparkling defensive plays were the highlight of this playoff double-dip.

Eaton (L) and xxx
Berg (W) and xxx

The Oilers got to losing pitcher Tommy Scotweld for six runs in the fourth inning which cemented their second-game victory. Bill Montgomery’s three base blows, albeit in a losing effort, led all swatters in this contest.

Brennan (W) and xxx
Scotwell (L), Sutherland (4) and xxx

(October 11)  Completing an amazing comeback after falling behind early in the series, the Imperials won the seventh and deciding game of the Edmonton Senior Baseball League finals by defeating the pennant-winning and provincial senior champion South Siders 8 to 2. Bill Montgomery drove in the only two runs for the South Siders with a first frame double. The Imperials had single tallies in the first and fourth and then proceeded to win by scoring twice in the sixth, once in the eighth and three times in the ninth. The Oilmen held an 11 to 7 advantage in base hits garnered. 

Berg (W) and Smith
Sutherland (L) and Stewart


Top Hitters :

Doug Hardy (Alberta Hotel)   48 – 21  .438
Doolan (St. Albert)          49 – 18  .367
Jim Kelly (Riverdale)        42 – 15  .357

Third-place CNR defeated second-spot Alberta Hotel Pelicans in a sudden-death semi-final playoff. First-place Riverdale received a bye into the best-of-seven final series.

1931 Big Four League Finals

(September 3)  “Duke” Baer fashioned a solid one-hit shutout as the pennant-winning Riverdale squad took a convincing 4 to 0 win over the CNR team in the opening game of the Big Four finals. Other than an opening-inning scratch single, only one other CNR runner reached base off Baer, that coming as a result of a seventh-inning hit batsman. Losing twirler Lupul was also stingy with the base hits, limiting the Riverdale gang to a trio of blows, but he was wilder than a Kansas cyclone throughout, issuing eight bases on balls and uncorking three wild heaves.

Lupul (L) and S. Holmes
Baer (W) and Buchanan

(September 6)  Riverdale copped their second straight game in the Big Four championship finals with a 14 to 8 mauling of the CNR nine. The winners gathered 15 solid base blows, including a mammoth home run by outfielder Jim Kelly, off the slants of a fatigued “Slim” McMillan. Winning tosser Blacklock and teammate Yarmoluk both had a trio of safeties as did Ibson of the Railroaders.

Blacklock (W) and Buchanan
McMillan (L) and S. Holmes

(September 8)  Superb pitching was the norm at Boyle Street Park as the two combatants combined for but a lone base hit in a tussle which saw the Riverdale diamondeers take a commanding three games to none lead in their Big Four series by blanking the CNR baseballers 2 to 0. The mound duel, a seven-inning affair only because of the lack of illumination, featured Roy “Hammer” Davis of the Trackmen and “Duke” Baer, the smooth working southpaw of the Flatters. The winners were unable to dent Davis for a base blow while Baer yielded one. Unfortunately for Davis, however, Riverdale scored a pair of counters in the third frame on a dropped third strike, a stolen base, an booted infield ground ball, an overthrow to first, a passed ball and an additional infield miscue. Davis fanned 14 Riverdale swatters while Baer rang up 11 batters via the strikeout route.  

Baer (W) and Buchanan
Davis (L) and S. Holmes 

(September 13)  The CNR team of the Big Four League staged a carnival of errors at Boyle Street Park and kicked away the fourth and what turned out to be the final game of their playoff series against Riverdale. Ten fielding miscues contributed in no small measure to a 16 to 2 shellacking from the 1931 Big Four League champions who copped the best-of-seven series in four straight games. Riverdale lambasted a pair of Railway chuckers for 16 base knocks and could have easily won without benefit of the shoddy defense. Second baseman Val Marker and hot corner custodian Blacklock both lit up the CN moundsmen for three singles. Playing-manager George Anderson was the only member of the Railroaders who inflicted much damage on winning flinger Bowen, slamming him for a home run and double.

Lupul (L), McMillan (4) and S. Holmes
Bowen (W) and Buchanan

1931 Alberta senior amateur baseball championship playdowns

Nacmine Miners (aka the Athletics) vs Edmonton South Siders

(August 22)  The Edmonton South Siders overcame a two-run deficit and rallied with a five-spot in the eighth frame to finish on the long end of a 5 to 2 score over the Nacmine Miners in the first game of their best-of-five series. A picture of supreme poise, Edmonton’s Emerson “Buck” Eaton employed a sweeping curve ball coupled with a darting fast ball to humble the renowned Nacmine machine from the coal mining centre. Thirteen Miners whiffed at third strikes as Eaton held the visitors to eight scattered hits, only one of which went for extra bases. Nacmine starting pitcher and loser, Virgil Neis, had things well under control until the fateful eighth when a balk, errors and a missed third strike all combined to submerge both he and his relief help. Neis wound up with ten strikeouts before departing. Both second basemen, Nacmine’s Thompson and Bill Montgomery of the South Siders, led their respective clubs offensively, each picking up a double and single. 

Eaton (W) and Stewart
Neis (L), Helm M. (8) and Wiggins, McLaughlin

(August 23)  The Nacmine Miners captured the second contest in the series 7 to 4 over the hosting Edmonton South Siders. Although out-hit by a 9 to 7 margin, the Miners never trailed and had the South Siders behind the eight ball 3 to 0 after their first turn at bat. Edmonton finally tied the contest in the seventh but then frittered away the gains with a couple of eighth-inning errors which restored the visitors’ lead. The ability to capitalize on fielding lapses was the major difference in producing the Nacmine win. Outfielder George Green of the South Siders was the game’s offensive star, poking three base blows, one being a double.

Nichols,  Nelson (W) (7) and McLaughlin
Scotweld (L) and Stewart

(August 24)  Coming back with just one day’s rest, the crafty “Buck” Eaton stymied the Nacmine Miners on six base hits while ringing up fifteen strikeouts as he led the Edmonton South Siders to a narrow 2 to 1 triumph over the Coal Heavers in the third joust of their current showdown. As if his pitching performance was insufficient, Eaton also rammed a fourth frame screaming double to drive in both the tying and winning runs. Losing twirler Paul Nelson of the Miners also put on a valiant mound effort, limiting the Capital City crew to just four hits. Second sacker Thompson of Nacmine was the only player on either squad to ring up more than one hit as he singled twice. 

Nelson (L) and McLaughlin 
Eaton (W) and Stewart

(August 25)  The Edmonton South Siders annexed the 1931 Alberta senior amateur baseball championship with a 2 to 0 victory over the Nacmine Miners in the fourth game of the best-of-five series. Surprise Edmonton starting chucker, Ivan Sutherland, was more than up to the task at hand as he held the enemy batsmen to just three scattered base raps. Primarily the hot corner custodian for the South Siders, Sutherland took the hill in place of scheduled starter, Tom Scotweld, who was still suffering a sore flipper. Coming through in masterly style, Sutherland earned the shutout and, along the way, sent a dozen perspiring anthracite diggers back to the seclusion of their dugout, chanting the well-known, profanity laced, strikeout lullaby. Virg Neis, the burly righthander on the hillock for the invaders, pitched ball that was only slightly inferior to that of his mound rival. Neis rang up 14 strikeouts and was touched for only five base knocks. The new champions nicked Neis for single counters in the third and seventh frames. Edmonton outfielder McDonald was the only multi-hit batter in the contest, drilling a pair of singles. More than 11,000 fans witnessed the four games, attesting to the high interest in the series. 

Neis (L) and McLaughlin
Sutherland (W) and Stewart 

Player rosters used during this playoff series

Nacmine Miners (also referred to as the Athletics) : Blake Russell OF, Brown OF, Clappison Jack OF/3B, Helm E. 3B, Helm M. P, Lett Tom MGR, McCoy Art OF, McLaughlin Joe C, Neis Virgil P, Nelson Paul P, Nichols P, Parker 1B, Pepper SS, Thompson 2B, Wiggins C

Edmonton South Side : Green George OF, Eaton Emerson “Buck” P, Fenton Dave SS, Hambly Stan 1B, Loyer Henry OF/MGR, Martell 3B, McDonald “Silver” OF, Montgomery Bill 2B, Runge Bill 1B/OF, Scotweld Tom P, Stewart Ken C, Sutherland Ivan 3B/P