1944 Manitoba Game Reports      


The 1944 Greater Winnipeg Senior Baseball League personified the status quo. The four-team association of 1943 continued to operate in the new season on a stand-pat basis. The defending champion C.U.A.C. Blues repeated as regular-season pennant winners, finishing a game ahead of Transcona.

Unlike the civilian circuit, change was rampant within the 1944 military loop. The Inter-Service Baseball League expanded from four to six teams but only two of the three branches of the armed forces were represented. Gone was the strong naval entry from HMCS Chippawa of a year previous. Army teams from both the United States and Canada returned for another season but the major difference was that the playoff champions from 1943, the RCAF Flyers, were split up into four separate Air Force teams, those being the #3 Wireless School, the #5 Air Observers, the #7 Equipment Depot and the #8 Repair Depot. The end result was that the league was better balanced than in 1943 as parity took precedence.

The #5 Air Observers and the #3 Wireless School wound up in a tie for first place in an extremely competitive circuit. Going into the last week of action, four of the six member clubs were still in the running for the regular season pennant.

1944 Greater Winnipeg Senior Baseball League Playoffs

First-place finishers, the Canadian Ukrainian Athletic Club Blues, bounced the St. Boniface Native Sons to the sidelines by sweeping four straight games in one semi-final bracket. Transcona took care of business in the other semi-final series, knocking off Norwood in five matches.

GWSBL Finals (best-of-seven series)

(September 10)  C.U.A.C. took a big step toward retaining their Greater Winnipeg Senior Baseball League championship by defeating Transcona twice in the opening games of the best-of-seven series. The Blues won the first encounter on their home lot 9 to 2 and then travelled to Transcona where they hung up an 11 to 2 triumph. Gordon England stymied the Railroaders on five hits in the opener of the split-venue double-dip. Joe Popiel of the Blues was the leading slugger in this contest, with a double and single. England and Johnny Carrick both had a brace of one-baggers for the winners as did Albert Lamoureux of Transcona.

Lamoureux (L) and Marcotte, Rizzuto
England (W) and Thomas

The Blues blasted loser “Lefty” Hewitt for 15 hits in the follow-up match which included a seven-run sixth inning. Bob Schledewitz and Norm Black both had a trio of base blows. Johnny Carrick doubled twice for the Ukrainians while Joe Teres had two hits for the Railroaders. 

Hind (W) and Thomas
Hewitt (L) and Blaquiere

(September 17)  Despite being outhit by a 10 to 4 margin, Transcona remained in the hunt for the 1944 GWSBL title by nosing out a 7 to 6 victory over the C.U.A.C. Blues in the lid-lifter of a scheduled playoff twin-bill. The second contest was postponed due to wet grounds. Wildness on the part of Terry Hind and Reg Sadler proved costly to the Blues. The duo walked ten batters and all played a big part in the Railroaders’ scoring. “Lefty” Hewitt had a home run for the winners while Bob Schledewitz picked up three base blows in a losing cause.

Lamoureux (W) and xxx
Hind, Sadler and xxx 

(September 24)  C.U.A.C. retained its Greater Winnipeg Senior Baseball title, defeating Transcona 3 to 0 and 1 to 0 in a double-bill to claim the best-of-seven series four games to one. Gordon England was on the mound for the Blues in the first game and held the Railroaders to five scattered singles. Joe Popiel’s single in the fourth inning drove home the first two runs for the winners. Their final counter came in the ninth frame when Johnny Carrick doubled, went to third on an infield out and scampered home on Jack Thomas’ fly out. Carrick and England both had a single and double. 

England (W) and Thomas
Lamoureux (L) and Rizzuto

Harold Nichols, idle from the mound for over a month, was in fine form in the clincher, holding Transcona to five hits and fanning eleven. Both teams played errorless ball. The only run of the game came in the fifth frame when Norm Black tripled and scored on catcher Jack Thomas’ single. Joe Popiel with a triple and double, Black with a triple and single and Thomas with a double and single were the leading hitters for the Blues. Losing hurler “Lefty” Hewitt paced the ‘Sconas offensively with a double and single.

Hewitt (L) and Rizzuto
Nichols (W) and Thomas

1944 Inter-Service Baseball League Playoffs

Semi-finals (best-of-three series)

(September 4)  Maurice Hamilton pitched a one-hit ball game for the No. 5 Air Observers, yet his club was beaten 2 to 1 by the U. S. Army in the first game of the Inter-Service League semi-finals. Winning tosser Ted Bauer of the Yanks also had a superb mound performance, surrendering but four hits. Bauer struck out twelve batters and Hamilton eight. Hamilton had a perfect game going for 6 2/3 innings but then a single by Jack Heigli followed by a hit batter, a walk and an infield error allowed the American Soldiers to plate a brace of unearned runs.

Hamilton (L) and Blasius
Bauer (W) and Manning 

(September 4)  No. 3 Wireless School ran three counters over the platter in the final two frames to nose out the Canadian Army 4 to 3. Portsider Murray Allen surrendered four hits to the Soldiers and whiffed 15 in chalking up the mound win. Losing twirler Earl McNabb yielded seven well-scattered safeties while fanning four. Hooking’s ninth-inning single drove in the winning marker for the Airmen.

M. Allen (W) and Madsen
McNabb (L) and Whitlaw

(September 6)  No. 5 Air Observers squared their series with the U. S. Army at a game apiece  by dropping the Americans 7 to 5. One big inning, the fourth, did the trick for the Airmen. The Observers had a 10 to 8 advantage in base hits. Tom Manning, catcher for the Yankees, was the game’s top batter with a double and single.

Fletcher (L), Breaux (4) and Manning
Donaldson (W) and Belton 

(September 8)  No. 3 Wireless hammered the Army nine 15 to 4 to eliminate the Soldiers from further playoff action. The usually reliable Canuck Army nine fell completely apart in this one-sided blowout. The Wireless Gang blasted three Army chuckers for 14 runs in the first four innings and cruised home from there.

McNabb, McDougall, Cook and Whitlaw
M. Allen (W) and Madsen

(September 8)  It will be an all Air Force final for the championship of the 1944 Inter-Service Baseball League after the No. 5 Air Observers edged past the U. S. Army squad 3 to 2 in a ten-inning thriller. Normally a first baseman, big Neil Colville went to the mound for the Fly Boys and outdueled American mound ace Ed Bauer in the overtime contest. The New York Rangers’ forward surrendered eight hits in going the route. He tripled in the fourth inning and scored his club’s first run. The Observers plated the winning marker after Cross had singled, swiped second following a pair of outs and crossed the platter on Fred McNabb’s one-bagger. It was McNabb’s second base blow of the contest. Earlier, he had doubled. 

Bauer (L) and Manning
Colville (W) and Brown

Finals (best-of-five series)

(September 11)  Murray and Carl Allen, not related to one another, put on a two-man show at Osborne Stadium to lead the No. 3 Wireless School to a 9 to 6 victory over the No. 5 Air Observers School in the first game of a best-of-five series for the Military crown of Winnipeg. The Allens were practically the whole show in the Wireless victory. Murray, in addition to pitching a smart game, bagged two safeties while Carl provided more punch at the plate, driving out a triple, double and single. Limiting the opposition to six hits while whiffing an even dozen, Murray was only in trouble in the last inning when the No. 5 boys scored four times. “Lefty” Donaldson did a superb job in a relief role for the Observers, giving up just four scattered hits during 7 1/3 innings of fireman service. 

M. Allen (W) and Matson
Moon (L), Donaldson (2) and Brown

(September 13)  Murray Allen picked up his second hillock victory of the Inter-service Baseball League finals as the No. 3 Wireless School dropped their Airmen brethren, the No. 5 Air Observers, 8 to 5 at Osborne Stadium. Southpaw Allen allowed eight hits and struck out 13. “Murph” Murphy, stocky shortstop was the leading clouter for No. 3 Wireless, socking a double and two singles. Third sacker Oughton of No. 5 bagged three singles. 

Donaldson (L) and Brown
M. Allen (W) and Matson

(September 18)  Murray Allen’s portside slants guided the No. 3 Wireless nine to a 12 to 3 shellacking of the No. 5 Air Observers and the 1944 Inter-Service Baseball League championship. Not at his sharpest, Allen  was nicked for nine hits by the Observers but still rang up 18 strikeouts. Neil Colville, of hockey fame, tried to stem the powerful No. 3 squad but his wildness and ragged defensive support were telling in the final result. Bill Oughton of the losing No. 5 squad had a huge evening at the dish, lighting Allen up for five safeties including a double. Jimmy “Mac” McLean led the winners offensively with three hits.

M. Allen (W) and Matson
Colville (L) and Brown