1951 Game Reports, BC Interior      

1951 Vancouver, Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley 
1951 BC Interior 
1951 Vancouver Island 


The Okanagan Mainline Baseball League, in its first year of operation, was a five-team circuit and, in an unusual twist, two of the five member clubs, Kamloops and Oliver, were referred to as the Elks while a third, the team from Kelowna, was called the Elks Red Sox. All of these references to the antlered animal were probably a result of some form of sponsorship by their local Elks Club of Canada chapter. A very modest 16-game schedule for each franchise was implemented for this inaugural campaign of 1951, to begin in late April and conclude in August. Games will usually be played on Wednesdays and Sundays. 

(April 22) The Kamloops Elks kicked off the new season with an 8 to 5 extra inning victory over the Athletics at Penticton. In the top of the 10th, Elks got three singles, a walk and a double from Bill MacDonald to plate three runs. Gord MacQuarrie picked up the pitching win in relief of starter Len Gatin. Elks had a golden opportunity to win in the 9th with two on and no outs but Wendell Clifton fanned two and got a ground out to end the threat. MacDonald paced a 13-hit attack for Kamloops with four safeties. Stewart had three. Bill Raptis had a triple and single for the losers.

Gatin, McQuarrie (W) (7) and Stewart
Bowsfield, Clifton (L) (7) and Neaves

Oliver Elks unleashed a 19-hit opening day assault to crush Vernon 19-2.  First sacker Richie Schnider led the offensive with four hits, one a double. Art Thompson rapped a homer and single and knocked in four runs while shortstop Bill Sibson had a double and two singles, scored three runs and stole two bases. Vernon made ten errors.

Steffen (W), Cousins and Coulter
J.Ingram (L), Jackson (2) and Petruk

(April 29)   Left fielder Bill Clovinski belted two doubles and a pair of singles knocking in three runs to lead Oliver Elks to a 10-6 victory over Kelowna. Oliver ran up a 7-0 lead after two innings and coasted to the triumph. Richie Schnider clouted a homer and single for the winners and Jimmy Lowe had a home run for Kelowna.

Cousins (W), Steffen (5) and Coulter
Lesmeister (L) and Peters

Bill Raptis knocked in two runs with a 9th inning double to break a 2-2 tie and give Penticton its first win of the season, 4-2 over Vernon.  Ted Bowsfield held the Canadians to three hits and rang up 15 strikeouts in a route-going performance.

J.Ingram, Jackson and Petruk
Bowsfield (W) and Neaves

(May 6)  Bill Raptis did it again. The Penticton third baseman, who drove in the winning run a week ago, drilled a homer with Bud Russell aboard with a triple in the 6th inning to provide the Athletics with the margin of victory in a 6-5 win over Oliver Elks. If Russell's blast to left hadn't hit the trees it would have been a homer too. Raptis hit one in the same area but it went between the trees for a four-bagger. Ted Bowsfield gave up nine hits in gaining the pitching win. Eddie Steffen allowed just eight in taking the loss.

Bowsfield (W) and Neaves, Drossos (4)
Steffen (L) and Coulter

Kamloops shutout Kelowna 5-0.

Kamloops  2 - 0
Oliver    2 - 1
Penticton 2 - 1
Kelowna   0 - 2
Vernon    0 - 2

(May 13)  The hometown Elks came from behind with two runs in the 7th inning to best Kamloops 5-4 Sunday at Oliver. Shortstop Bill Sibson opened the inning with a double, his second of the game. Pat Gibb's single advanced Sibson to third from where he scored on a sacrifice fly to.  Later Gibb scored the winner on a squeeze play. Hal Cousins held Kamloops to five hits, one a homer by Bill McDonalod, to register the win.

Gatin (L), McQuarrie and Stewart, R.Ottem
Cousins (W) and Coulter

(May 13)   Kelowna Elks handed Vernon its third straight loss, 5-3 Sunday afternoon.  Wally Lesmeister tossed a six-hitter for the Elks while his teammates pouned out ten hits, including a circuit clout by catcher Don Peters.

Lesmeister (W) and Peters
Bacon (L) and Petruk

(May 20)   Young Ted Bowsfield had a no-hitter into the 6th inning, finishing with a four-hitter, as Penticton Athletics demolished Kelowna 13-2. The 16-year-old southpaw racked up 15 strikeouts. Athletics scored three in the second inning and never looked back. Bill Raptis had a big game for the winners collecting a double and two singles, driving in two runs and scoring four times.

Bowsfield (W) and Drossos
Lesmeister (L) and Kielbiski

(May 27)   Don Kidd drove in Bill Neaves with the winning run in the bottom of the 12th inning Sunday to give Penticton a thrilling 4-3 victory over Vernon Canadians.  With one out, Neaves and Bud Tidball singled and Kidd followed with a liner to deep left centre.  The hit for Tidball was his fourth of the day. 16-year-old Ted Bowsfield went all 12 innings on the mound, allowing just three hits. He fanned 14 and walked two.  Bowsfield also had two of the Athletics 15 hits, both two-baggers and he knocked in a pair. Penticton committed five errors to keep Canadians in the game.

Jackson, Bacon (L) and Petruk
Bowsfield (W) and S.Drossos

Kamloops Elks maintained a share of first place in the OMBL Sunday with a 5-1 victory over Kelowna.

Gatin, McQuarrie and xxx
xxx and xxx

Oliver Elks blanked Penticton 3-0 in a Victoria Day exhbition contest.

(June 3)  Ted Bowsfield blanked Oliver Elks 7-0 Sunday as the Penticton Athletics took over first place in the Mainline League.  The teenage left-hander allowed just three hits. Bud Tidball drove in three runs with a double and single. Bill Raptis also had a double and single and scored a pair.

Bowsfield (W) and S.Drossos
Steffen (L), Cousins (8) and Coulter

(June 10)   Kelowna Elks matched Penticton with four hits Sunday but ended up on the short end of a 9-2 count as the Athletics took advantage of seven walks, eight Elks' errors, six passed balls, a hit batsman and six stolen bases. Again, young Ted Bowsfield was the story on the mound going the distance for the win. He added to his impressive strikeout totals with 11 more.  Joey Jankola matched Bowsfield with a four-hitter and fanned 12 but couldn't compensate for a porous defense. Penticton didn't get a hit until the 3rd inning but already had a 3-1 lead on four walks, three errors and a couple of passed balls.

Bowsfield (W) and Drossos
Jankola (L) and Peters, Kielbiski

(June 17)  Penticton Athletics whipped New Westminster Lucky Royals 7-1 in an exhibition game at Penticton. The A's cracked out 13 hits off three Royals' pitchers.  The Royals actually got on the board first, scoring in the top of the initial frame. Al Rollins, of NHL hockey fame, tripled to score Les Brown. Athletics tied the count in their half of the first as Bud Russell knocked in Bill Nicholson who had reached on an error. Penticton added three in the 6th and another three in the 8th.  First baseman Bud Tidball led the winners with a double and two singles. Ted Bowsfield held the visitors to six hits, three by Brown, and rang up ten strikeouts.

Parrish, Uren (L) (1), Forbes (8) and Keeley
Bowsfield (W) and Drossos

(June 17)   A pair of newcomers helped to power Oliver Elks to a 19-8 triumph over Kelowna Elks at Oliver. Catcher George Hunrick had four hits and outfielder Fritz had three as Oliver pounded out 15 hits in the marathon. Kelowna had an even dozen.  Kelowna helped the home club considerably dishing up seven free passes and booting the ball eight times. Richie Schnider added three hits for the winners and Pat Gibb scored four times. Hank Wostradowski and Hank Tostenson each had three hits for Kelowna.

Lesmeister, Wostradowski and Kielbiski
Steffen, Coulter (5) and Hunrick

(June 17)  At Vernon, Kamloops downed the hometown Canadians 10-5 in spite of an outstanding debut by second baseman Tom Stecyk who rapped five hits in five trips for Vernon and played flawlessly in the field. Vernon held a 5-3 lead in the seventh inning when, with two out and two on, pitcher Bud Bacon tried to throw to third to nail the third out but the ball was wide of the mark and both runners scampered home to knot the count. The Elks proceeded to knock out four straight singles and a double for four more runs and a 9-5 advantage and the ball game. George Marriott and winning pitcher Len Gatin led a 15-hit Kamloops offensive each with three. Bill Petruck had three for the Canadians.

Gatin (W) and Stewart
Bacon (L), Isenor (7) and Brummet

(June 24) In one of the best tilts played at Riverside Park, the homestanding Kamloops Elks edged past the Penticton Athletics 1 to 0 Sunday to take over sole possession of first place. Gord McQuarrie held the Athletics to just three hits while ringing up 13 strikeouts against just two free passes. For Penticton, Ted Bowsfield gave up five hits and four walks while fanning 11. McQuarrie scored the games' only run as he doubled in the 6th inning, advanced to third and scored on a wild pitch.

McQuarrie (W) and Stewart
Bowsfield (L) and Drossos

(June 24)   Oliver Elks put six runs on the board in the first two innings and coasted to an 8-1 victory over Vernon Canadians.  Three solid hits and an infield error helped to produce four runs in the opening frame and send Vernon starter Buzz Isenor to the showers.  Two singles and another error led to two more Elks' runs in the second. Leadoff man Bill Sibson sparked the winners with two hits and four runs.  Cousins held the Canadians to four hits in going the route for the win.

Cousins (W) and Hunrick
Isenor (L), Bacon (1) and Brummet

(June 27)   Penticton Athletics broke open a close game with a five-run 8th inning and went on to down Kelowna Elks 8-2 in an Okanagan Mainline Baseball League Wednesday.

(June 27)   In a thriller at Kamloops, the hometown Elks scored the winner on a squeeze play in the bottom of the tenth inning to down Vernon Canadians 11-10. Shortstop Bill McDonald tripled off the right field fence and Mel Ottem laid down a bunt down the first base line to bring McDonald home.  The Elks blew an early 5-0 lead, falling behind 9-5 in the sixth before scoring in the bottom of the ninth as Len Gatin drove in Bill Portman to tie at 10-10. Gatin, McDonald and Bill Marriot led a 14-hit attack each with three safe blows. McDonald scored four times.  Tom Stecyk of Vernon led all hitters driving in six runs with a home run and three singles.  Bill Petruk added a double and a pair of singles.

Jackson, Bacon (L) (10) and Brummet
Gatin (W) and R.Ottem, Stewart (7)

(July 1)   Outstanding relief hurling by Eddie Steffen helped Oliver to a 3-2 victory over Summerland. Steffen entered the game in the 2nd inning as starter Daryl Wilkins found himself in plenty of trouble.  Wilkins had loaded the bases on two hits and a hit batsman and the first run had scored on another hit. A second marker counted on an attempted double play but Steffen didn't allow another baserunner for the rest of the game. Elks picked up single runs in the 4th, 5th and 7th innings for the win. Richie Schnider led the Oliver offense with three hits, one of them a two-bagger.

Jacobs (L) and xxx
Wilkins, Steffen (W) (2) and xxx

(July)  The Kamloops Elks had taken over as league leaders entering July but the loss of their two top pitchers, one for only a brief period, rendered them as highly vulnerable down the stretch. Breathing down their neck was the team from Penticton, the Athletics, who had phenom Ted Bowsfield on their pitching staff. The 16 year old southpaw chucker had amassed a record of seven wins against only one loss at this point in the schedule in which the A’s had played only one game wherein Bowsfield didn’t pitch. 

(July 8)  Roaring back from a 3 to 0 deficit entering the bottom of the ninth inning, the Penticton Athletics rallied to tie the contest and, then, in the bottom of the tenth pushed across the winning run to take a thrilling 4 to 3 decision from the Kamloops Elks. The Athletics had been stymied by Kamloops pitcher Len Gatin on two hits when they came to what was to have been their final turn at bat.  Charlie Baker and Bud Russell walked to open the Athletics' 9th and Bill Raptis knocked in the first run with a single and Bud Tidball followed with a double to tie the game. In the tenth, Baker and Russell again reached first, each with base hits, and Raptis clouted a triple for the ball game. Both chuckers, winner Ted Bowsfield and Gatin, went the route. The Elks collected seven hits of Bowsfield’s slants and the Athletics six off Gatin. Bill Marriott led Kamloops with the stick slamming two doubles and a single. No batter from the A’s had more than one hit off Gatin.

Gatin (L) and Stewart
Bowsfield (W) and Drossos

(July 8)  Oliver Elks embarassed Vernon Canadians 16-2 in OMBL action Sunday.  Elks pounded out 17 hits, three each by Bill Sibson and Pat Gibb.  Gibb drove in four runs and scored a pair. Sibson and Shupe each scored three times. Eddie Steffen scattered seven hits in going  the distance. Both runs against him were unearned.  The teams combined to make 16 errors, ten by Vernon.

Bacon (L), Jackson, Munk and Brummet
Steffen (W) and Hunrick

In an exhibition game, Oliver kept up its high octane offense in trouncing the Washington State All-Stars 23-0. Red Coulter pitched a no-hitter for the Elks allowing just one ball to be hit out of the infield. He fanned 14.

(July 15)  The Kamloops Elks spotted the Kelowna Elks Red Sox four runs in less than two innings at Riverside Park but came back to halt the splurge and go on one of their own to win the OMBL fixture 11 to 6. The Elks got their bats booming in the third inning and, by the end of the fourth, had tied the score at 6 – 6. From then on, a procession of Kelowna hurlers was able to do little to stem the tide. First sacker Hank Tostenson of the losing Kelowna squad was the game’s top hitter with a four-for-five output. Garnering three hits each were his teammate Eddie Kielbiski and Kamloops’ third sacker Buzz Mellor. Len Gatin, with 7 2/3 innings of solid relief work, picked up the win while Hank Wostradowski, the second of three Kelowna twirlers, was dinged with the loss.

Leismester, Wostradowski (L) (4), Kielbiski (5) and Peters
Cliff, Gatin (W) (2) and Stewart

(July 15)   Veteran Red Coulter, with a no-hitter in an exhibtion game last Sunday, showed the kid what experience could do. The Oliver hurler held Penticton to two hits and struck out 13 as the Elks pounded the Athletics and teenage southpaw Ted Bowsfield 9-1. Bowsfield's lack of control was obvious as he walked four, hit four batters , tossed a wild pitch and allowed six hits before leaving in the 7th inning. The lone bright spot for the Athletics was centre fielder Bud Russell who had both Penticton hits, a homer and single.

Bowsfield (L), Young (7) and Drossos
Coulter (W) and Hunrick.

OMBL standings as reported in the Kamloops Sentinel of July 17
               GP   W   L   Pct.
Penticton      13  10   3   .769
Kamloops       12   9   3   .667
Oliver         13   8   5   .615
Vernon         13   3  10   .231
Kelowna        13   2  11   .154 

(July 18)   Bud Bacon twirled an outstanding game Wednesday blanking Kelowna on five hits and whiffing 15 as Vernon notched a 6-0 victory.  Bill Petruk poked a double and three singles to lead a 10-hit attack for Vernon. First baseman Russell Graff had two hits and counted three runs.  Tom Stecyk added a triple and single.

Bacon (W) and Brummet
Purcello (L), Solloway (9) and Peters

(July 19)    The St. Louis Browns Baseball School whipped the Kamloops Elks 8-0 at Riverside Park Wednesday. Four Browns' hurlers combined to hold the Elks to five hits.  The visitors rang up six runs in the first two innings and crusied the rest of the way to the victory notching nine hits off the combined slants of Al Swaine and Bill Cliff. The Elks had the bases loaded with only one out in the fifth but failed to score as Mel Ottem fanned and Bill Portman flew out to right. Wilf Johnson had two hits for the Elks. Shorstop Gordon Sprout of the Brownies drew a tremendous ovation from the crowd as he turned two almost sure hits into outs.  In the seventh, Buzz Mellor drove one to the hole between shortstop and third  but Sprout dashed  over to make a play on the red hot grounder and throw to first for the out. The next batter lined a shot to the same spot and Sprout again was up to the task.

(July 22) The Kamloops Elks went to Oliver to play their namesakes, the Oliver Elks, and dropped a half-game off the pace in the OMBL as Oliver took their measure 7 to 3. Newcomer to the Kamloops pitching staff, Terry Reis, started the game on the hill but was replaced by Bill Cliff after six Oliver runs had been tallied. Hal Cousins pitched seven innings for Oliver to pocket the hurling win. Red Coulter came in for Cousins to finish the game which was marked by loose defensive play.  Catcher George Hunrick led the winners with three hits and Richie Schnider belted two triples and scored three times.

Reis (L), Cliff and Stewart
Cousins (W), Coulter (8) and Hunrick

(July 22)   Bud Bacon had his second straight five-hitter with 15 strikeouts as Vernon Canadians whipped Kelowna Elks 10-2 Sunday.  However, Bacon did allow eight bases on balls. Catcher Tony Brummet belted a homer and a pair of one-baggers to lead a 15-hit offensive by the Canadians.  Lorne Ingram also had three hits.

Bacon (W) and Brummet
Leismeister (L), Kielbiski (8) and Peters

(July 29)   In a story book finish, second baseman Bill MacDonald belted a two-run homer with two out in the last of the 9th inning to give Kamloops Elks a 7-5 win over Penticton and first place in the OMBL standings. The thrilling contest saw the Athletics fight back from a 5-2 deficit to knot the count in the top of the 9th with three runs. Leadoff man Don Kidd was hit by a pitch and Terbasket and Bud Russell followed with singles to plate a run. Kidd was safe when he bowled over catcher Ken Stewart at home. With one out and two aboard Bill Raptis drove one to the deepest part of centre field to make it 5-5. Len Gatin, just returned from a successful tryout at Portland, pitched a neat eight-hitter for the winners. He tired slightly near the game’s finish and allowed three Athletics to cross the plate in the top of the ninth to deadlock the contest. The Elks sent young Ted Bowsfield for an early shower after plating three runs in the first 2 2/3 innings. Les Edwards then took over and engaged Gatin in a mound duel for the balance of the joust. Leading Elk hitters were Bill Marriott with three singles and MacDonald with a double to go along with his four-bagger. Pacing the Athletics at the platter were Bud Russell, Bill Raptis and Jim Boulding, all with a pair of hits. 

Bowsfield, Edwards (L) (3) and Drossas
Gatin (W) and Stewart

(July 29)   In a dramatic finish before a large crowd at Vernon, Red Graff crushed a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Canadians a 10-7 win over Oliver Elks. It was Vernon's third straight victory. Wally Janicki and Tommy Stecyk opened the frame with singles before Graff pounded a three-and-two pitch to clear the sacks.  After Oliver had taken a 3-0 lead, Vernon fought back with five runs in the third inning but the Elks had a big inning of their own, the fifth, when they brought four runs home highlighted by Richie Schnider's two-run homer. Down 7-5, the Canadians got a two-run homer by Tom Stecyk in the bottom of the fifth to even the count. Stecyk, Graff and Bill Petruk each rapped three hits for Vernon.

Jackson, Bacon (W) (5) and Brummet
Coulter, Steffens (L) (5) and Hunrick

(August 2)  The Kamloops Elks lengthened their OMBL lead over Penticton to one game by trouncing the Vernon Canadians 13 to 8 in Vernon. The Elks were never headed in this contest, scoring early and often. Len Gatin, the third of three Kamloops twirlers, got credit for the win. Vernon starter Bud Bacon was tagged with the defeat. Ray Ottem and Art Thomson blasted round-trippers for Kamloops. Thomson had four hits in total to lead the winners offensively at the plate. Catcher Tony Brummet paced the Canadians with the lumber, drilling three singles and a double.

Reis, Cliff (4), Gatin (W) (4) and R. Ottem
Bacon (L), Dye (7) and Brummet 

(August 2)  The Kelowna Elks Red Sox lost, 9-0, by default to Oliver in an OMBL game scheduled for Oliver when they were unable to field a full team. Oliver then defeated the Red Sox 6 to 1 in an exhibition encounter.

(August 5)  A tie for first-place in the OMBL developed after the Kelowna Elks Red Sox, behind the nine-hit pitching of Howie Amundrud, beat the Kamloops Elks 9 to 4 at Kelowna. The Elks were ahead 3 to 2 until the sixth when a five-run outburst by the Red Sox off Kamloops hurler Len Gatin reversed the order of the game. Just to ice things up, Kelowna added another two in the eighth. Gatin allowed 12 base blows, one of which was a bases-empty four-bagger by Don Peters in the third. Art Thomson, Buzz Mellor, Bill Portman and Harry Maralia were the leading Elk hitters.

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

(August 5)  The Penticton Athletics walloped the Vernon Canadians 12 to 6 at Penticton to move into first spot with the Kamloops Elks.  Athletics clouted 12 hits, two of them homers. Bud Russell and Sam Drossos had the four baggers and Drossos added a triple. Bill Raptis would have had a homer but he missed second base on his trip around the diamond. Stecyk, who had three hits, belted a home for the losers. Russell and shortstop Willard Burgart each scored three runs. Ted Bowsfield allowed eight walks, threw two wild pitches and hit a batter but managed to go the route giving up six hits.

Jackson (L), Bacon (8) and Brummet
Bowsfield (W) and Drossos

OMBL standings as published in the Kamloops Sentinel of August 8
               GP   W   L   Pct.
Kamloops       15  11   4   .733
Penticton      15  11   4   .733
Oliver         15   9   6   .600 
Vernon         16   4  12   .250
Kelowna        15   3  12   .200

(August 9)   Vernon Canadians overhwelmed Kelowna Elks 14-1 behind a another five-hit mound effort from Bud Bacon. Bacon had a shutout until the seventh when Elks got their only run on a walk, error and passed ball.  Catcher Tony Brummet pounded out three hits and scored three times to lead a 12-hit offensive.  Bill Petruk, Red Graff and Tom Stecyk each added two hits. 

Bacon (W) and Brummet
Lesmeister (L), Kielbiski (6) and Peters.

(August 12)  Reliable Len Gatin was in full bloom at Riverside Park as he pitched the Kamloops Elks to a 6 to 1 verdict over the Oliver Elks.  Behind a sparkling five-hitter, the Kamloops chucker fanned 14 and also slammed a fifth-inning home run. He was grasping a shutout entering the sixth when, after one had been retired, Oliver third baseman Pat Gibb singled and later scored on a one-bagger by catcher George Hunrick. Kamloops collected seven hits off losing tosser Eddie Steffen, driven to the showers in the fifth. Lanky Hal Cousins took over hill chores at that point and twirled no-hit, no-run ball for the rest of the tilt. Kamloops’ Bill Marriott and Hunrick were the only  swatters to come up with a two-hit effort.

Steffen (L), Cousins (5) and Hunrick
Gatin (W) and Stewart

(August 12)   Pitcher Ted Bowsfield drove in the winning run with a 7th inning single as Penticton defeated Kamloops Elks 4-2 to gain a share of first place on the final day of the regular season. Willard Burgart, who singled to lead off the 7th and scored the winner, drove in an insurance run in the 8th with a sacrifice fly. Bowsfield held the Elks to six hits.

Kielbiski (L) and Peters
Bowsfield (W) and Drossos

(August 19)  Slender Ted Bowsfield, the 16-year old pitching sensation of the Penticton Athletics, was unbeatable at Riverside Park as he throttled Kamloops on a scintillating three-hitter to give Penticton a 2 to 1 verdict over the Elks. With the win, the Athletics clinched first place and captured the OMBL pennant. The game was a pitching gem between portsider Bowsfield and sidearmer Len Gatin. The Kamloops ace allowed only one more hit than Bowsfield and fanned ten to seven for the Penticton prodigy. One unearned Penticton run in the sixth frame marked the difference between the two. First baseman Bud Tidball of the A’s went two-for-four at the dish. Catcher Ken Stewart was the only Elk batter to experience any success with Bowsfield, singling and doubling. Penticton will now entertain Oliver in one semi-final playoff match while the Kamloops nine will host Vernon in the other. Both games will be of the sudden-death variety with the two winners squaring off in a best-of-three final.

Bowsfield (W) and Drossos
Gatin (L) and Stewart

Final batting averages of Kamloops Elks players during the 1951 OMBL season (from Kamloops Sentinel of August 15, 1951)

           (Kamloops Elks)
 1951 OMBL Marriott G. KLE               15  5  7  .467
 1951 OMBL Portman Bill KLE              62  7 22  .355
 1951 OMBL Mellor Buzz KLE               47 10 16  .340
 1951 OMBL MacDonald Bill KLE            47 14 15  .319
 1951 OMBL Marriott Bill KLE             55  9 17  .309
 1951 OMBL Stewart Ken KLE               44  5 13  .295
 1951 OMBL Glover KLE                    21  4  6  .286
 1951 OMBL Thomson Art KLE               60 15 16  .267
 1951 OMBL Jones KLE                     15  1  4  .267
 1951 OMBL Johnson Wilf KLE               4  1  1  .250
 1951 OMBL Gatin Len KLE                 46  8 11  .239
 1951 OMBL Ottem Ray KLE                 46 14 11  .239
 1951 OMBL Mayson KLE                    30  6  7  .233
 1951 OMBL Swaine Al KLE                 26  4  5  .192
 1951 OMBL Maralia Harry KLE             39  2  7  .179
 1951 OMBL Cliff Bill KLE                12  2  1  .083
 1951 OMBL Ottem Mel KLE                 13  2  1  .077


(August 26)  The Vernon Canadians scored a surprising 4 to 2 upset win over the Kamloops Elks, thus eliminating the white and purple from OMBL playoff contention. The Elks out hit the Canadians nine to eight but winning chucker Bud Bacon of the Canadians did a superior job of spacing the Kamloops base blows than did losing twirler Len Gatin with the Vernon bingles. Although the game was liberally sprinkled with errors, four for Vernon and five for the Elks, it was a fast, exciting affair. Outfielder Bill Marriott and catcher Ken Stewart led the Elks at the plate, each singling twice. Catcher Tony Brummet topped the Vernon order, pumping a second-inning double and a third-frame single.

Bacon (W) and Brummet
Gatin (L) and Stewart 

(August 26)  Ted Bowsfield, the pro prospect mound star of the Penticton Athletics, fired a 5 to 0 no-hit, no-run game at the Oliver Elks to sideline the Oliverites from the OMBL playoffs. Whiffing 14 batters, Bowsfield handed his mates a ticket to the league finals against the underdog Vernon Canadians.  Athletics got on the scoreboard in a hurry as leadoff man Bill Nicholson clouted the second pitch of the game for a homer. It would be all Penticton would need this Sunday. Athletics had ten hits off Red Coulter, two each by Bill Raptis, Willard Burgart and Barry Ashley.

Coulter (L) and Hunrick
Bowsfield (W) and Drossos

(September 9)   At King's Park Sunday afternoon Vernon Canadians upset Penticton 8-7 in a comedy of errors in the opening game of their best-of-three final series. The teams combined for 18 errors, ten by the Athletics. After each club scored three in the first inning, Vernon went on to take an 8-4 lead going into the bottom of the 9th. A run in the top of the 9th proved to be decisive as Penticton rallied for three in their last at bat.  Catcher Tony Brummet led the winners with three hits, one a triple, and scored four of the Canadians' runs. It was a nightmarish day for the third sackers. Vern Dye of Vernon was charged with four miscues while Bill Raptis of Penticton bobbled the ball three times. Bud Bacon held the Athletics to eight hits in gaining the pitching win. He fanned eight and walked just one. Ted Bowsfield gave up nine hits while issuing four free passes. He had ten strikeouts.

Bacon (W) and Brummet
Bowsfield (L) and Drossos

(September 16)   At Polson Park in Vernon, Penticton wasted no time in rebounding from a first game loss in the playoff final.  Athletics scored five in the first and another four runs in the second and went on to demolish the Canadians 15-3 to force a third and deciding game in the OMBL final series. Penticton crushed six home runs, two apiece by Barry Ashley and winning pitcher Ted Bowsfield. Ashley drove in a total of six runs. Bill Raptis and Les Edwards also had four baggers for the winners. Raptis ended the day with five hits, a homer, double and three singles good for three runs batted in. Tony Brummet belted one out for Vernon. Bowsfield allowed just four hits and two walks in gaining the pitching victory.

Bowsfield (W) and Drossos
Bacon (L) , Jackson (2) and Brummet

(September 23)  The Okanagan Mainline Senior Baseball title has gone to the Vernon Canadians in this inaugural season of play. The Vernon team took the championship when they defeated the pennant-winning Penticton Athletics 8 to 4 on the home turf of the Peach Centre crew. It gave the Canadians the best-of-three final series two games to one. After the Athletics had taken a 3-1 lead after three innings, the Canadians exploded for six in the 4th inning on five hits, three walks, an error and a hit batsmen to gain the upper hand. Tony Brummet, Stecyk and Janicki each had two hits for the winner. Ike Jackson held Penticton to eight hits, two of them homers by Bill Raptis and Les Edwards. Vernon was awarded the CKOK Trophy, emblematic of OMBL supremacy.

Jackson (W) and Brummet
Bowsfield (L), Edwards (4), Bowsfield (5) and Drossos


(April 29)   On opening day in the Okanagan International League, Tonasket Indians came from behind with two runs in the bottom of the 9th to score a 7-6 victory over Penticton Canucks. With two out, Kronschnabel poked a single and Roy Visser followed with a grounder to third.  Eshleman fielded the ball cleanly but his throw to first was high.  By the time 15-year-old first baseman Doug Moore recovered Kronschnabel was steaming for home and again the throw was wild and Visser followed with the winning run.  Canucks had jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning as Sam Drossos doubled to clear the bases.

Clifton (L) and O'Connell
Farmer, Visser (W) and Freels

In other games, Princeton whipped Summerland 8-2, Omak, playing at home, nosed out Brewster 6-5 and Coulee Dam topped Mansfiled 6-5.

(May 6)  Wendell Clifton held Brewster to five hits and rang up 15 strikeouts Sunday as Penticton downed Brewster 4-1.  A two-run single by O'Connell in the 4th inning provided the Canucks with all the scoring they would need. Clifton added an insurance run in the 4th with a long fly to centre field and scored another in the 7th when he reached with a single and came home on Daryl Eshleman's two-bagger.

Clifton (W) and O'Connell
Tabor (L), Robertson and Hanford

Tonasket edged Mansfield 2-1, while at Princeton, Omak defeated the Royals 4-1, and Summerland, behind Gil Jacobs hurling, downed Coulee Dam 5-2.

(May 13)  Penticton Canucks got a gift run in the 10th inning to down Summerland 6-5.  Doug Moore, the Canucks leadoff man in the tenth was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a passed ball. The next batter, Terbasket, grounded to third and E. Jomori decided to go to first as Moore took off for third.  The throw back to third was off the mark and Moore scooted all the way home with the winning run. Wendell Clifton fired a four-hitter and fanned a dozen in going all the way for the Canucks.  Southpaw Gil Jacobs allowed eight hits in a losing cause.

Clifton (W) and O'Connell
Jacobs (L) and B.Weitzel

(May 20)  At Coulee Dam, the hometown Athletics crushed Penticton 9-2.  Bud Swan held the Canucks to six hits and struckout 11 in going the distance for the win.  Coulee punched out 12 hits off loser Wendell Clifton.

Clifton (L) and O'Connell
Swan (W) and Burke, Scallon, Carlson

(May 27)   Penticton's celebration was a short one Sunday. Willard Burgart belted a two-run homer in the top of the first inning as the Canucks jumped into an early lead. Omak's response was decisive. The home crew rapped out eight hits in their first two innings, good for ten runs, as they cruised to the victory.

Clifton (L) and xxx
Johnson (W), Griffith and xxx

In other action, hometown Mansfield topped Summerland Merchants 6-4, Princeton travelled to Brewster and were beaten 9-3 and Coulee Dam nosed out Tonasket Indians 6-5.

(June 3)   Mansfield Sportsmen exploded for nine runs in the second inning and defeated the slumping Penticton Canucks 10-5.  The loss dropped Penticton to last place in the league standings. Mansfield combined four walks, four errors and two singles in the big inning. Glessnor, Peterson and Davis each had two hits for Mansfield.  Bowers scattered nine hits for the win. He had 10 strikeouts and no walks. Johnny Apolzer, for the Canucks, fanned 11 and walked 7.

Bowers (W) and Glessnor
Apolzer (L) and O'Connell

(June 3)   Omak trimmed Summerland Merchants 6-3, Coulee Dam downed Princeton 6-2 and Brewster topped Tonasket Indians.

(June 10)   Penticton displayed a familiar pattern Sunday getting off to a quick start with two runs in the first inning then quickly falling behind as Princeton scored three times in their half of the first and went on to a 9-5 win over the Canucks. Royals rapped 13 hits, three by third baseman Kovich. Thomas and Aune each had two hits and scored two runs. Teenager Doug Moore, the Penticton first sacker, led all hitters with a 4 for 5 performance. 

Clifton (L), Apolzer (6) and O'Connell
Grey (W) and Bosnich

In other games Sunday, Tonasket Indians downed Summerland Merchants 4-2 behind the five-hit pitching of Farmer. Omak remained unbeaten with a 9-4 victory over Coulee Dam. Kiefer, on the hill for Brewster, blanked Mansfield Sportsmen 2-0.

Omak        7 - 0
Coulee Dam  4 - 3  3.0
Brewster    4 - 3  3.0
Tonasket    4 - 3  3.0
Princeton   3 - 4  4.0
Mansfield   2 - 5  5.0
Summerland  2 - 5  5.0
Penticton   2 - 5  5.0

(June 17)  In Tonasket, the Penticton Canucks buried themselves further in the Okanagan International League cellar by dropping an 8-5 decision to the home town Indians. Tonasket scored seven runs in the first two innings to put the game on ice. Wendell Clifton gave up just one hit in his six relief innings but the damage was done.

Apolzer (L), Clifton (3) and xxx
xxx and xxx

Summerland Merchants nosed out the Princeton Royals 9-8. Brewster defeated Omak 7-4.

(June 17)  Penticton Athletics cracked 13 hits off three hurlers to crush New Westminster Lucky Royals 7-1.

(June 24)   With a 13-hit attack, Penticton stopped Brewster 9-6 Sunday to break a four-game losing streak. Barry Ashley led the Canucks with three hits as he knocked in a pair and scored three times. Right fielder Kaines, in his first game of the season, and shortstop Willard Burgart also had three hits. Wendell Clifford scattered nine hits for the win. Sparks of Brewster had the only homer.

Clifton (W) and O'Connell
F.Tabor (L), Kiefer and Hanford

(July 15)   Wendell Clifton blanked Coulee Dam on four hits Sunday and Penticton whipped the Athletics 9-0. Canucks scored quickly as Kaines singled in the top of the first and shortstop Willard Burgart followed with a drive to deep centre field and scampered all the way home to register an inside-the-park homer. Penticton added two in the 4th, another pair in the 5th and three in the 6th to put the game out of reach.

Clifton (W) and O'Connell
Stiles (L), Hagy and Scallan

(July 22)   Omak Orphans won their 10th game in 12 decisions downing Penticton 6-1 behind a six-hitter by Joe Marchand.  The left-hander fanned eight and walked two. Bob Lightly paced a 12-hit effort with two hits and two run scored. 

Marchand (W) and Shattuck
Apolzer (L) and O'Connell

Summerland shutout Mansfield 3-0, Coulee Dam shaded Tonasket 3-2 and Brewster topped Princeton 7-6.

Omak       10 - 2
Coulee Dam  8 - 4
Tonasket    6 - 6
Brewster    6 - 6
Princeton   5 - 7
Penticton   5 - 7
Summerland  5 - 7
Mansfield   3 - 9

(July 29)   Last place Mansfield clobbered Penticton 10-0 Sunday to shatter the Canucks hopes of a first-division finish.  Sportsmen pounded out 12 hits, three each by Fitzgerald and Davis while Nelson rapped a pair of triples. Sodin, on the hill for the Sportsmen, shutout the visitors on five hits.  He had eight strikeouts and walked just one.

Getz (L), Apolzer (4) and O'Connell
Sodin (W) and Glessnor

(August 5)  Charlie Raitt belted a two-run homer with two out in the bottom of the 10th inning to give Penticton a 5-4 win over Princeton in the final game of the regular season. The loss dropped the Royals out of a playoff berth. Princeton took an early lead with a run in the 2nd inning as Gee doubled to score Morio Koga who had walked. The Canucks tied the count in the 3rd on Willard Burgart's sacrifice fly to score Doug Moore. The Royals took the lead again in the 7th. Mits Koga walked then scored on a passed ball, wild pitch and error. Penticton took the lead for the first time in the bottom of the 7th on two singles and a pair of errors but Royals' pitcher Harold Nishihara scored in the 9th to knot the count at 3-3. Nishihara took a pitch to the head to get on base and came home as Harmon, Koga and Anderson all singled. The veteran hurler put the Royals back on top in the 10th when he brought the crowd to its feet with a daring exhibition of baserunning, scoring all the way from second on a passed ball. That set the stage for Raitt to end the season in a blaze of glory.  George Getz picked up the pitching win in relief of starter Johnny Apolzer.

Apolzer, Getz (W) (10) and O'Connell
Nishihara (L) and Gee


(July)  Young George Wakabayashi set a new 1951 strikeout record racking up 20 Ks as his Kelowna Chiefs downed the Summerland Red Sox 6-0.  Wakabayashi had earlier fanned 19 in a win against the Penticton Pirates.  He allowed just three hits in what Red Sox manager Joe Sheeley said was "the best exhibition of junior pitching I've ever seen".  Wakabayashi showed his versatility gaining a pair of hits and stealing three bases.


The Interior League covered a wider, more northerly, geographic area of south-central British Columbia than did the Okanagan Mainline League although there was a great deal of overlap through the central Okanagan. The major common denominator was the inclusion of Kamloops in both circuits. With the exception of Kamloops, however, the Interior League comprised teams from smaller populated towns.

In 1951, the league was comprised of seven teams including two from Kamloops, the Okonots and the C.Y.O. Both of these teams kept active by also playing in the Kamloops City League. Riverside Park in Kamloops was a busy venue as the Elks from the OMBL plus the two Interior League franchises all played their home games there. In spite of the fact that the Interior League was considered to be somewhat of a senior B circuit in comparison to the perceived level of play in the OMBL, that inference simply did not hold true in the numerous times that teams from both loops faced each other on the diamond as players on the Interior League teams had plenty to prove and, generally, held their own in head-to-head competition. 

In the loop with the Kamloops teams were squads from Revelstoke, Salmon Arm, Winfield, Rutland and Peachland. Each team was scheduled to play 12 league games beginning in late April and concluding with the league final in early September.

(April 30)   Revelstoke got circuit blows from Vince Pratico and Art Harding to down Salmon Arm 3-1 Sunday at Revelstoke. Salmon Arm had opened the scoring in the first inning when Bruce Larson walked and scored on a triple by Dunc Jamieson.  Spikes added an insurance run in the seventh when Harding scored on a wild pitch. Lou Pratico hurled the win for Revelstoke allowing five hits and three walks while loser Bud Isoner yielded just four hits and a single base on balls.

Isoner (L) and xxx
L.Pratico (W) and xxx

(May 13)   Rutland Adanacs blanked Salmon Arm 6-0 Sunday in spite of being out-hit 10 to 7.  Ed Gallagher pitched the shutout striking out ten batters and issuing a pair of walks. Salmon Arm left 13 runners stranded. Buzz Isenor took the loss.

Isoner (L) and xxx
Gallagher (W) and xxx

(May 20)   Wally Bush smacked a homer in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift Salmon Arm to a 3-2 victory over Kamloops CYO, the Aces first win of the season. Kamloops scored single runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings to take a 2-0 lead but, in the fifth, Kamloops hurler Paul Prehara had a wild streak hitting one batter and walking four forcing in two runs for a tie.  Buzz Isenor, who relieved starter Dave Syme in the 11th, picked up the win. Syme whiffed 11 in his 10 innings of work. Prehara went the distance fanning 15. Portman, of Kamloops, led all hitters with three safeties. Chick Evans and Bruce Larson each had two hits for the Aces. 

Prehara (L) and xxx
Syme, Isenor (W) (11) and xxx

(May 27)  Winfield scored eight runs in the first three innings and cruised to a 9-1 win over Salmon Arm. L.Melenchuk went the route to register the victory for Winfield. Dave Syme took the loss.

Syme (L), Isenor (3) and xxx
L.Melenchuk (W) and xxx

(June 3)  The hometown Salmon Arm Aces pushed across four runs in the first inning and another two in the second but needed a late rally to whip Peachland 20-9. The game was called in the 8th inning because of rain.  Peachland rallied for four in the seventh for a 9-9 tie.  But the Aces rebounded with two in their half of the seventh and nine in the 8th to win easily.  Reg Haverty's three-run homer highlighted the Aces' big inning. Dave Syme was credited with the win. 

Nakatana (L), Shaw (8), Stubss (8) and Cousins
Syme (W), Haverty (8) and Evans

(June 17)  Rutland came to town Sunday and humbled the hometown Salmon Arm Aces 10-3, scoring six times in the ninth inning helped by two walks and three errors. Hugh Stewart was the winning twirler.

Stewart (W) and xxx
Earl Kernaghan, Syme (L) (7), Haverty (9) and xxx

(July 1)   Kamloops Tournament   

(July 29)   Salmon Arm came from behind with four runs in the 7th inning to down Winfield 4-2.  Trailing 2-0, Aces worked Winfield's Clare Sproule for two walks and three straight hits for their four counters. Earl Kernaghan scattered eight hits for the win.

Sproule (L), Wickenheiser (7) and Holitzki
Kernaghan (W) and Evans

(July 8)  The Okonots, out of Kamloops, trimmed the first-place margin of the Revelstoke Spikes to a scant half game when they dumped the league-leading visitors 8 to 3 at Riverside Park. Bob Brewer turned in a top notch mound performance for the Okonots as he recovered from a wobbly beginning to limit the Spikes to five hits, two of which went for extra bases. Sam Olynik slammed a double in the second frame and “Lefty” Pratico went deep in the eighth with a bases-empty four-bagger. At one point in the game, Brewer set down eleven consecutive Revelstoke batters. The secret to the Okonot success in this contest was largely due to the timely hitting of outfielder Gordon Beecroft and first baseman Zeke Brkich who both had three hits and three RBI’s in feasting on the offerings of loser George Couston and reliever “Lefty” Pratico. Beecroft slammed his seventh four master of the season in the fifth.

Couston (L), L. Pratico (5) and Harding
Brewer (W) and Prehara

(July 8)  At Winfield Sunday, the home club scored all its five runs on a series of errors in the fifth inning to shade Rutland Adanacs 5-4.  Rutland's highlight was a home run by John Naito.  Steve Melnichuk went the distance for the pitching win.

xxx and xxx
Melnichuk (W) and xxx

Interior League standings as published in the Kamloops Sentinel of July 11
                     GP   W   L   Pct.
Revelstoke            9   7   2   .777
Kamloops Okonots      8   6   2   .750
Kamloops C.Y.O.       8   5   3   .625
Winfield              9   5   4   .556
Rutland               9   4   5   .444
Salmon Arm            7   2   5   .286
Peachland             8   0   8   .000

(July 11)  In an all-Kamloops tussle, the Okonots moved into a first-place tie with the idle Revelstoke Spikes by outlasting C.Y.O. 11 to 10. C.Y.O. had rallied with a five-spot in the top of the ninth to tie the game at 10 – 10 only to see the Okonots plate the winner in the bottom of that frame in their final turn at bat. The quality of pitching for both sides was suspect as the hitters enjoyed the upper hand in this lengthy contest. Bases on balls were frequent, a total of 20, and batting averages were fattened. The guys in green and white, C.Y.O., out hit their city cousins 13 to 11, yet it was one of the red and white clad players, Gordon Beecroft of the Okonots, who wielded the hottest bat. Beecroft, playing in perhaps his final game in an Okonot uniform, had an outstanding offensive performance, hitting a double and three singles. The leading C.Y.O. swatter was Joe Paquette with a trio of base raps.

P. Prehara (L) and Egely
Walsh, Brewer (W) (3) and  G. Prehara

(July 22)  The Kamloops Okonots dumped Winfield 5 to 1 in an Interior League contest at Riverside Park. Hits were not frequent in this contest, each team garnering but five, but the homesters were better able to capitalize on their opportunities. Pete Plastiras went the route, wh ffing eight, to get the mound decision over Winfield starter Len Wickenheiser. Catcher Paul Holitzki and Wickenheiser both authored a pair of safeties, the only two batters on either side to exceed one.

L. Wickenheiser (L), Sproule (5) and Holitzki
Plastiras (W) and Prehara, Anderson

Interior League standings as published in the Kamloops Sentinel of July 27
                     GP     W     L     Pct.
Revelstoke           11     9     2     .818
Kamloops Okonots     10     8     2     .800
Kamloops C.Y.O.      10     6     4     .600
Winfield             10     5     5     .500
Rutland              10     4     6     .400
Salmon Arm            9     3     6     .333
Peachland            10     1     9     .100

(July 29)  With a good part of the team delayed by car trouble, the remainder of the Kamloops Okonots baseball team began a road game in Rutland and quickly fell behind 2 to 0, eventually being blanked by the hometown Adanacs 6 to 0. It was a bad day all round for the visitors. Sloppy, five-error, ball on the diamond interspersed with five batters being hit by Okonot pitcher Bob Brewer gave the Rutland squad all the impetus they needed. Adanac chucker Hugh Stewart limited the Okonots to only four hits. Brewer allowed only seven hits but his wildness plus the lackadaisical support behind him presented the victory on a silver platter to the Adanacs.

Brewer (L) and xxx
Stewart (W) and xxx

(August 5)  In a sloppily played Interior League contest, the Kamloops Okonots nosed out the Salmon Arm Aces 11 to 10. Until the eighth inning, Salmon Arm seemed to have things very well in hand, holding a 10 to 3 lead at that time. However, the Okonots came up with seven runs in the latter portion of that inning to knot the count at 10 – 10. A pair of throwing miscues by the Aces in the bottom of the ninth allowed Okonot outfielder Jim Pratt to romp home with the winning run. Pratt had earlier collected his third hit of the game, all of which were singles. A combined total of 17 errors, 9 by the Aces, marred the quality of the match. Zeke Brkich, Jack McNeil and Ron Evensen all stroked a brace of base knocks for the winners. Third baseman Buddy Buncic was high man with the baton for the Aces, drilling a pair of singles to go along with a seventh-inning round tripper.

Kernaghan, Haverty (L) (7) and Evans
Plastiras (W) and Prehara 

(August 5)  The Kamloops C.Y.O.  clinched third spot in the Interior Baseball League by scoring four runs in the ninth inning to down Winfield 9 to 5 at Winfield. C.Y.O. had accumulated a 5 to 0 lead until Winfield shattered winning chucker Paul Prehara’s hopes of a shutout by scoring four times in the seventh and once in the eighth on a bases-empty home run by Williamson to tie the game entering the final frame. Catcher Ollie Egely paced the C.Y.O. 14-hit batting parade with three base blows including a solo circuit-clout. Maury Hornsby also had a trio of safeties. Losing hurler Lloyd Duggan and Williamson both had a brace of raps for the Windfielders.

Prehara (W) and Egely
Duggan (L) and Holitzki

(August 5)  Rutland  14   Peachland  2 

Interior League standings as published by the Kamloops Sentinel of August 8
                       GP     W     L     Ptg.
Revelstoke             12    10     2     .833
Kamloops Okonots       12     9     3     .750
Kamloops C.Y.O.        11     7     4     .636
Rutland                12     6     6     .500
Winfield               12     5     7     .417
Salmon Arm             11     4     7     .364
Peachland              12     1    11     .083

Final batting averages for members of the two Kamloops teams in the 1951 Interior League

          BC INTERIOR LEAGUE       AB  R   H   PCT
          (Kamloops Okonots)
1951 BCIL Pratt Jim KO             16  5   8  .500
1951 BCIL McNeil Jack KO           25  5  11  .440
1951 BCIL Brkich Zeke KO           49 12  21  .429
1951 BCIL Beecroft Gord KO         50 10  21  .420
1951 BCIL Takenaka Tosh  KO        35  4  11  .314
1951 BCIL Evensen Ron KO           39  5  12  .308
1951 BCIL Hallam KO                11  6   3  .273
1951 BCIL Fowles Len KO            28  4   7  .250
1951 BCIL Saklofsky Bob KO         40  3   9  .225
1951 BCIL Brewer Bob KO            23  5   5  .217
1951 BCIL Plastiras Pete KO        10  1   2  .200
1951 BCIL Prehara George KO        29  2   5  .172
1951 BCIL Lussier KO               21  2   1  .048
     (Kamloops CYO)
1951 BCIL Francis KLC              20  4   7  .350
1951 BCIL Paquette Joe KLC         37  7  12  .324
1951 BCIL Corea Sam KLC            24  2   7  .292
1951 BCIL Hornsby Maury KLC        31 13   9  .290
1951 BCIL Lakten KLC               22  4   6  .273
1951 BCIL Garay KLC                15  0   4  .267
1951 BCIL Collett KLC              23  5   6  .261
1951 BCIL Terry KLC                31  4   8  .258
1951 BCIL Haywood Johnny KLC       28  5   7  .250
1951 BCIL Egely Ollie KLC          38  8   9  .237
1951 BCIL Bregolisse KLC           10  1   2  .200
1951 BCIL Prehara Paul KLC         19  3   3  .158

Semi-Final Playoffs

(August 12) Rutland 5 Revelstoke 4 First game of best-of-three semi-final

(August 15)  The guys in white and green, the C.Y.O., knocked off their city cousins, the white and red clad Okonots  8 to 3 in the opening match of an all-Kamloops Interior League semi-final. C.Y.O. never trailed in the contest, taking the lead in their first turn at bat. They out hit the Okonots 14 to 6 and were never seriously threatened. Winning tosser Paul Prehara struck out five in going the distance. The leading hitter for C.Y.O. was Joe Paquette with four safeties, one of which was a double. Ollie Egely, Norm MacDonald and Sam Corea all singled twice for the winners. Catcher George Prehara of the Okonots also had a brace of one-baggers.

P. Prehara (W) and Egely
Plastiras (L), Brewer (3) and G. Prehara

(August 19)  The Okonots gained revenge on C.Y.O. at Riverside Park as the former walloped the latter 18 to 6 to tie their intra-city showdown series at a game apiece. A strong wind swept across the diamond throughout the game, giving the pitchers nightmares, and being the catalyst for the 26 bases-on-balls presented to the batters. In collecting their 18 runs, the Okonots hit safely nine times. Third baseman Bob Saklofsky, second sacker Ron Evensen and and first baseman Nick “Zeke” Brkich took care of the brunt of the Okonot bat work. Saklofsky singled twice and drove across four runs, Brkich had three base blows and smashed in three markers and Evensen had a pair of safeties. C.Y.O. batters were only able to pick up four hits during wind-swept contest. Johnny Haywood had two of that total. The two starting hurlers were the pitchers of record. 

Brewer (W), Plastiras (6) and G. Prehara
P. Prehara (L), Bregolisse (5), Haywood (5) and Egely

(August 22)  Five runs in the seventh inning broke apart a deadlocked ball game and lifted the Kamloops Okonots past their cross-town rivals, the Kamloops C.Y.O., 9 to 4. The win gave the Okonots the semi-final Interior League series two games to one. Knotted in a 4 – 4 struggle as the game entered the late innings, the Okonots smashed losing pitcher Paul Prehara for two doubles and a single, and waited out two walks. Catcher George Prehara’s double was the main blow of the stanza as three runs crossed the plate. Bob Brewer, who came on in relief for starter Pete Plastiras, was credited with the mound win. Len Fowles, Ron Evensen and Gord Beecroft of the winners all had two hits as did the C.Y.O. trio of pitcher Paul Prehara, Joe Paquette and Bill Portman. The Okonots will now engage the surprising Rutland Adanacs in the best two-of-three Interior League finals. 

P. Prehara (L) and Egely
Plastiras, Brewer (W) (4) and G. Prehara

Playoff Final 

(August 26)   The Kamloops Okonots welcomed the Rutland Adanacs to Riverside Park with a 7 to 0 whitewash in the opener of the Interior League finals.The game was not as one-sided as the score would indicate although the Okonots played their best ball of the season and were worthy winners. Four big runs in the fourth inning on two hits, two errors and two free passes gave husky Bob Brewer a healthy margin with which to operate. He carried on to carve out a three-hit mound masterpiece. Hugh Stewart, the Rutland hurler, almost equalled Brewer in mound performance. Both pitchers fanned ten and Stewart permitted only one more base blow than did Brewer. His seven walks, however, took their toll and were the major difference between the two strongarmers. No batter on either side claimed more than a lone base hit.

Stewart (L) and Campbell
Brewer (W) and Prehara

(September 9)  The Kamloops Okonots edged the Rutland Adanacs 3 to 2 at Rutland to win the 1951 Interior Baseball League championship. One run in the top of the ninth burst open a thrilling pitcher’s duel between winner Bob Brewer and Mits Koga of the Adanacs. Brewer had held Rutland scoreless until the fifth, when the Adanacs scored twice on a triple, single and an error. The Okonots had notched two tallies in the top of the first and had been shutout by Koga since. Tosh Takenaka’s one-out double set the wheels in motion for the winning marker. An overthrow to first on an infield ground ball then allowed Takenaka to scamper home with the deciding run. Base hits were scarce in this encounter. Rutland had a 4 to 3 edge in that department. Only one player, shortstop Len Fowles of the Kamloops contingent, was able to claim two base raps.

Brewer (W) and Prehara
Koga (L), Gallagher (9) and Campbell


Also referred to as the Northern Interior Baseball League and, in Prince George, as the Prince George & District Baseball League, this circuit increased from six 1950 entries to seven for the 1951 campaign. A second Quesnel team, the Western Plywood Clippers, joined the loop. The Prince George franchise, previously known as the Pollards, adopted the name of the Lumbermen in 1951, a somewhat strange move in view of the fact that the other Quesnel team in the league also went by that name.

Reporting of games within the major newspaper in the Cariboo area, the Prince George Citizen, began on a semi-regular basis but dropped off drastically as the season progressed. Some teams were very lackadaisical turning in score sheets to the league, let alone reporting results to the newspaper. At times, even the league officials weren’t certain as to the correct standings. Semi-final playoff results in which the Quesnel Lumbermen and Prince George Lumbermen were eliminated were also never shown in the Prince George print medium.

(May 24)   Slim Amos won the first game in a relief appearance then fired a one-hit shutout in the second as Willow River took both ends of a double-header from the Prince George Lumbermen, 6-4 and 3-0.  The only hit against Amos in the second game came in the first inning. Jamie Gray allowed just two hits in taking the loss. He fanned ten in the seven inning contest. In the opener, Dalton's two-run homer in the sixth inning proved to be the winning blow.

Fromhart, Bent and McQuarrie
Gerein, Amos (W) (4) and McIvor

Gray (L) and Zloklikovits
Amos (W) and McIvor

(May 25)  Vanderhoof Cubs notched a win and a tie in a twin-bill against West Lake Loggers.

(May 25) Quesnel Lumbermen took a pair of high scoring affairs from Giscome, 13-11 and 12-9.  In the afternoon affair, a five-run fourth inning put Quesnel ahead to stay.  Otto Munk and Frank Stevenson pounded out doubles for the winners and McLean pasted a pair for Giscome.

xxx and xxx
G.Oliver, Stevenson, Friesen (W) and xxx

Mel McIntyre's fifth inning home run highlighted the nightcap for the Lumbermen. Giscome held an 8-5 lead before Quesnel roared back with seven runs in the fifth. McIntyre started on the mound for the winners, giving way to Frank Friesen in the fifth frame.

xxx and xxx
McIntyre, Friesen (5) and xxx

(May 30)  West Lake Loggers scored three in the 8th inning to come from behind for a 4-2 victory over the Prince George Lumbermen.  With the score tied 2-2 and two on, an outfield error on Vickers' fly ball to right allowed both base runners to cross the plate. Hugh Glazier tossed a fire-hitter for the win while Ed Bent surrendered just three safeties in taking the defeat.

Ed Bent (L) and Gene Bent
H.Glazier (W) and D.Doyle

(June 3)   In the battle of Lumbermen, the Quesnel nine took both games of Sunday's twin-bill 18 to 4 and 9 to 7.  The winners pounded out 19 hits in the opener and nine more in the second game. Prince George had a 3-0 lead after the first frame of the first game but Quesnel came storming back with five runs in the second and then poured it on with two in the third, a singleton in the 4th before putting the game on ice with eight in the fifth. Frank Friesen gave up just four hits in going the distance for Quesnel. The teams combined for 12 errors, 7 by Prince George. Carson provided the highlight for the losers with a third inning homer. In the second game, Quesnel came back from a 5-0 deficit to win 9-7. A six-run third inning put the southern Lumbermen in the lead for good. Mel McIntyre's bases-loaded triple was the big hit of the big inning. Frank Stevenson knocked in McIntyre with another triple and Rocky Hughes followed with a double and scored seconds later on a wild pitch.

Friesen (W) and Harris
Rhodes (L), McEachnie, Gray and McQuarrie

Oliver (W) and McIntyre
E.Bent (L) and G.Bent

(June 10)   Prince George Lumbermen and Vanderhoof Cubs split a double-header Sunday. Lumbermen easily captured the opener 15 to 3 while the Cubs notched an equally easy triumph in the second game, 11-4.  Jamie Gray went the distance for the win in the first game for Prince George blanking the home club after the third inning as the Lumbermen collected 14 hits against John Graham.  In the second game, Abe Wall held Prince George to four hits through the seven inning contest for the win. Cubs won with a 12-hit attack.

Gray (W) and xxx
J.Graham (L) and xxx

E.Bent (L), Gray (6) and xxx
A.Wall (W) and xxx

(June 13)  Behind the solid hurling of Paul Letandreau and Hugh Glazier, West Lake Loggers trimmed Giscome Dodgers 9-1 and 6-3 in Wednesday's double-header.

xxx and xxx
Letandreau (W) and xxx

xxx and xxx
Glazier (W) and xxx

(June 17)   With two convincing victories, 11-0 and 11-1 over West Lake, Willow River Red Sox extended their winning streak to ten games, four by shutout.  Andy Kuchurian blanked the Loggers on three hits in the opener. He fanned eight and walked three. Ted Church belted a two-run homer to highlight the offensive.  Loggers held a 1-0 lead into the fifth inning in the second game but the Red Sox erupted for four in the bottom of the fifth and five more in the sixth to put the game away.  Slim Amos held the Loggers to three hits in going the route for the winners. Willow River pounded out 12 hits in the first game and another 14 in the second.

Letandreau (L), Glazier (4) and Doyle
Kuchurian (W) and McIvor

Glazier (L), Letandreau (6), Nilsen (6) and Doyle
Amos (W) and McIvor

(June 17)   Prince George Lumbermen smacked 31 hits in taking both ends of Sunday's double-dip with Giscome Dodgers, 15-4 and 18-10.  A five run first inning in the opener put Lumbermen in the lead for good and Ed Bent held the Dodgers to seven hits in going the distance with ten strikeouts for the mound victory. Giscome held a 9 to 6 lead after four innings in the second game before the Lumbermen broke loose for four in the fifth and another four in the sixth en route to the 18 to 10 triumph.  Stoddy Rhodes picked up the pitching win in relief of Jamie Gray. Prince George slammed 21 hits.

Bent (W) and xxx
Klotz (L), Chartrand (1) and Taski

Gray, Rhodes (W) (4) and Bent, McQuarrie
Chamberlain and Hesketh

(July 1-2)   Prince George Tournament

(July 8)  Prince George Lumbermen swept both games of Sunday's double-header from Giscome Dodgers at Athletic Park, 5-3 and 8-3.  Ed Bent and Kasakoff divided the hurling for the winners in the opener when the Lumbermen scored three in the sixth inning to come from behind for the victory.

Chamberlain (L) and xxx
Bent, Kasakoff and xxx

Prince George also trailed in the second game before notching four runs in the fourth inning en route to the 8-3 triumph.  Don Young held the visitors to just two hits in twirling for the Lumbermen.

Welch, Cramer and xxx
Young (W) and xxx

(July 11)   Al Bigelow fired a two-hitter Wednesday as West Lake topped the Prince George Lumbermen 9-3 in an exhibition encounter.

Bigelow (W) and Doyle
Bent (L), Rhodes (4) and Makarenko

(July 15)  Quesnel Lumbermen won both games of a double-header at Giscome squeaking out a 2-1 win in the first game before taking the second, 6-2.  Frank Friesen, who allowed five hits, topped Ernie Chartrand in the mound duel.  George Oliver notched the winning run in the sixth inning belting a triple and coming home on an error.

Friesen (W) and xxx
Chartrand (L) and xxx

A four-run third inning decided the nightcap for the Lumbermen. George Oliver went five innings on the hill for the winners before leaving with a sore arm.

G.Oliver (W), R.Hughes (6) and xxx
Klotz (L), xxx and xxx

(July 15)  Quesnel Plywood Clippers took both games with Vanderhoof Cubs Sunday 6-5 and 17-2. Kaddy Koyama's seventh inning homer was the winning blow in the opener. Clippers trailed 5-3 going into the last of the fifth when four-baggers by Don Gale and Doug Beckett tied the count. Baz Nagle, who allowed six hits, fanned 15 on the hill for the Clippers.

xxx and xxx
Nagle (W) and xxx

Clippers romped to a 9-1 lead in the opening frame of the nightcap and coasted to the win. Kaddy Koyama again provided some fireworks with a double and triple. Baz Nagle also hurled the second game yielding just three hits while setting down eight by strikeouts. A pair of errors cost Nagle a shutout.

xxx and xxx
Nagle (W) and xxx

(July 29)   At Athletic Park in Prince George Sunday, Lumbermen and Vanderhoof split a double-bill with the home team winning easily, 9-1, in the first game before dropping a 7-3 decision to the Cubs in the second. A six-run outburst in the fourth inning of the opener was enough for the win. Don Young held the visitors to five hits for the pitching win.

D.Wall (L) and xxx
Young (W) and xxx

Vanderhoof erased a 3-1 deficit with a three-run rally in the fifth and added three more in the sixth to dump the Lumbermen 7-3 in the second game. Roberts belted a homer for the winners. Zloklikovits had three hits for Prince George.

Beach, A.Wall and xxx
Bent (L), McQuarrie (6) and xxx

(July 29)   By 3-1 and 6-1 margins, West Lake Loggers took two from the Plywood Clippers Sunday. Red Dodd fired a one-hitter for the win in the opener topping young Russ Punt who was called up from the junior ranks to hurl for the Clippers. 

Dodd (W) and xxx
Punt (L) and xxx

A five-run explosion in the fourth inning carried the Loggers to the win in the second game as Al Bigelow hurled the win for West Lake. Doug Beckett smacked a homer for the only run for Quesnel.

Bigelow (W) and xxx
Dagneau, Punt (6) and xxx

(July 29)   Quesnel Lumbermen gained a share of first place in the Central Interior League standings Sunday taking both games of a double-header at Willow River, 4-2 and 9 to 4.  George Oliver tossed a five-hitter for the win in the first game besting Floyd Berndt of the Red Sox. Quesnel wrapped up the win in the fifth inning smacking four singles and a double good for three runs.

Oliver (W) and McIntyre
Berndt (L) and McIvor

Red Sox took the lead in the second game with three runs in the first inning but Quesnel used back-to-back three-run frames, in the fifth and sixth, to overcome the home squad. Lloyd Comish rebounded after a shaky first inning to pitch a solid six-hitter for the win. Rocky Hughes slammed a circuit drive for the winners.

Comish (W) and McIntyre
Gerein, Berndt and McIvor

(August 8)   Lefty Floyd Berndt scattered nine hits Wednesday at Athletic Park to help Willow River to an 8-5 triumph over the Prince George Lumbermen. Berndt also showed some power at the plate with a double which bounced off the top of the fence in the fourth inning to score Chuck Gabriele who had singled.  Andy Kuchurian provided highlights in the field and at the dish. He had a two-run triple and single while making an outstanding shoe-string catch of Steve Makarenko's fly ball in the second inning.

Berndt (W) and xxx
Bent (L), S.Makarenko (8) and xxx

(August 19)   Quesnel Clippers and Prince George Lumbermen split a pair Sunday. Clippers took the opener 15 to 14 in a wild extra inning.  Tied. 11-11, after seven innings, the Lumbermen scored three times in the top of the 8th on Steve Makarenko's homer, his second of the game, to take a 14 to 11 advantage. But, in the bottom of the 8th, two walks and singles by Don Gale and Bill Fredrick brought in a pair with two out and two on. Bill Campbell followed with another single to plate both runners and give Clippers the victory. Lumbermen also had homers from Prest, Strogren and Marshall.

Makarenko, Bent (L) (8) and xxx
xxx and xxx

Prince George took the nightcap 6-2 behind the solid hurling of Ed Bent who fanned ten.  Lumbermen broke a 2-2 draw with a run in the third and added three more in the fifth.

Dagneau (L) and xxx
Bent (W) and xxx

(August 22)   Willow River beat Prince George Lumbermen 7-4 Wednesday in a game featuring a near, no-hitter by Otto Gerein.  The Red Sox flinger lost his bid in the bottom of the seventh and final inning as Wilson Muirhead and Reg McEachnie singled.  Sox took the lead early with three runs in the first inning and another three in the second.

Gerein (W) and xxx
xxx and xxx

(August 26)  West Lake Loggers won both games from Vanderhoof Sunday.

(August 26)   Prince George Lumbermen divided an exhibition double-header with Willow River, winning the first game 6-2 before losing 3-2 in the second.

(September 2-3)  In a Labour Day round-robin exhibition series, Prince George Lumbermen and West Lake Loggers tied for top spot. At stake was a $200 bet posted by each of the three teams and a share of the gate.  Loggers won the opening game 3-2 over Willow River and Lumbermen followed with a 6-5 decision over the Red Sox. West Lake beat the Lumbermen 6-5.  Monday morning, the Red Sox dropped their third straight, 4-1 to the Loggers and then their fourth, 3-2 to the Lumbermen.  West Lake and Prince George met for the second time Monday evening and the Lumbermen prevailed 7-3.


(September 11)   Both teams claimed victory in the semi-final contest between West Lake Loggers and Quesnel Lumbermen.  With Quesnel leading 5-4 at the end of the sixth inning, West Lake pushed across four runs in the top of the seventh as Quesnel made little effort to retire the side in the gathering darkness and the umpire was finally forced to call the game. Quesnel then celebrated a win as the score would revert to the previous full inning. But, the Loggers charged the Lumbermen with stalling tactics. 

Later, league officials ruled in favour of West Lake, handing the Loggers the opening victory.

Bigelow, Dodd and xxx
xxx and xxx

(September 16)   In a 12-inning thriller, West Lake advanced to the league final series downing Quesnel Lumbermen 5-3 to take the semi-final in two straight games.  Red Dodd, who hurled for the winners, drove in the winning run with a single. Frank Friesen took the tough loss, also going the route on the mound.

Dodd (W) and xxx
Friesen (L) and xxx

(September 23)  The first two games of the final series between West Lake and Willow River were rained out and have been rescheduled for next Sunday.

(September 30)  Southpaw Red Dodd fired a three-hitter over 11 innings Sunday and knocked in the winning run as West Lake Loggers edged Willow River Red Sox 3-2 in the opening game of the best-of-five Northern Interior Baseball League final. Dodd's two-bagger drove in Pete Skalicki, who had reached on an error, with the clincher. Dodd fanned 15 in his outstanding performance. Andy Kuchurian allowed just five hits and whiffed nine in taking the loss. Roy Stafford belted a homer for the winners.

Dodd (W) and xxx
Kuchurian (L) and xxx

(October 7-8)   Ironman Red Dodd was a weekend hero for West Lake leading the Loggers to the Northern Interior League title pitching in three games, firing a pair of one-hitters and striking out 31 batters in 23 innings of work.

Loggers went up two games to none early Sunday with a 5-0 win behind the shutout hurling of Dodd. The two teams fought to a 1-1 tie in the second game on Sunday with Dodd again handling the pitching for the Loggers.

Monday, the Red Sox, with Slim Amos on the hill notched their first win edging the Loggers 2-1. Amos fanned 13 allowing just a sixth inning marker on a stolen base and an error. Red Sox tied the match in the bottom of the sixth when Bo McIvor doubled and came home on Alec Anderson's two-bagger. They got the winner in the seventh when Mike Church made second on an outfield error and scored on a single by brother Ted Church.

Bigelow (L) and xxx
Amos (W) and xxx

In the second game, Dodd, still tired from Sunday's double-bill again went to work for the Loggers and, again, drove in the winning run with a double to left field as West Lake won, 3-0. The teams were scoreless through five innings. In the bottom of the sixth, Paul Letandreau singled and, with two out, Roy Stafford singled and Skalicki took first on an error at shortstop. Then, Dodd, hitting clean-up for the Loggers doubled to left field. Loggers were presented with the Pollard Cup, emblematic of supreme cy in senior ball in the Prince George district.

Dodd (W) and xxx
Amos (L) and xxx        


Following a two-year absence from the sporting scene within the heart of the West Kootenays, the Trail Smoke Eaters senior baseball club was revived in the spring of 1951, largely due to the efforts and leadership of Eric Bishop, well known in the community for his media presence. Bishop assumed the dual role of general manager and field manager of the Smokies, acquiring a local sponsor, the Dominion Garage, to underwrite the initial operating costs of the team, all while maintaining employment in the Silver City as the Sports Director for radio station CJAT. He also doubled as the Sports Editor of the Trail Daily Times newspaper, writing a daily column entitled “Fielders Choice.” In later years, Bishop would make a splash in Calgary as a sports journalist and play-by-play sports broadcaster. In 1987 Bishop was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame as a broadcaster.

At first glance, the local personnel that he gathered appeared to be nothing more than a rag-tag collection of hockey players with limited diamond experience of recent vintage, except within softball circles, augmented by a few talented young baseballers, many still of junior age. One thing highly evident, however, was the athleticism of this group. Recognizing a need to strengthen the squad of locals with some outside experience, Bishop enticed four Vancouverites, three of them U.B.C. students, to join the pre-season training camp in the first week of May. All four of these “imports” had seen previous action within established senior circuits in western Canada ranging from the Southern League in Saskatchewan to the Alberta Big Four loop to the Okanagan Mainline League in British Columbia’s interior.

Bishop expressed no desire to have his resurrected Smoke Eater squad join any existing league, either in the Kootenays or with the U.S. border towns which were close by. Instead, he set his sights upon operating as an unaffiliated, independent team, free to schedule exhibition matches with high calibre opposition that would be a greater drawing card at the gate. Another motivating factor in his decision was a desire to barnstorm and enter lucrative money tournaments.

As training camp wound down, Bishop brought in the highly rated Gonzaga University Bulldogs for a three-game weekend series at Butler Park. The scheduling of the crack Spokane collegians, with eleven games already under their belts, left doubters spooked that the Smokies were jumping in too early with too little conditioning. Bishop’s contention, however, was to give the fans the best ball clubs right away. The skeptics proved to be correct in the final analysis as the visitors clicked smoothly and took advantage of the breaks presented to them in sweeping the three-game set.

Luke Mulcahy(May 13)  The locals dropped the series lid lifter 7 to 3 after 11 innings of action before 1,500 chilly onlookers. Luke Mulcahy (right) got the win hurling all 11 frames as he seemed to get stronger as the game progressed. The Bulldog southpaw fanned 18 and scattered 11 Smokie blows. Tom Jenkinson, another portsider, hurled the first seven innings for Trail, surrendering seven hits before Al Byman came on. The right-hander tossed three hitless innings before the roof fell in in the 11th. Mulcahy had a homer for Gonzaga. 

Mulcahy (W) and xxx
Jenkinson, Byman (8) and Spees

Cooper Goodwin(May 14)  Gonzaga blanked the homesters twice by identical 4 to 0 scores in the follow-up double-bill. Cooper Goodwin (left) out duelled Joey Jankola in the afternoon game, scattering four blows while Trail’s Jankola gave up five base knocks while fanning nine.

Goodwin (W) and xxx
Jankola (L) and Spees

Reg Regimbal of the Bulldogs served up the pitching gem of the series in the late encounter as he allowed only one Trail hit. Infielder Julie Bilesky singled in the first inning but, after that, it was lights out. Meanwhile, Irv Lavorato was touched for an unearned run in the third and three more in the fifth after the locals, with one out, muffed a tailor-made double play. Joe Monaldi took over mound duties at this point and blanked the Gonzaga gang the rest of the way.

Regimbal (W) and xxx
Lavorato (L), Monaldi (5) and Spees

Trail’s next challenges were their first tournament events of the season. The annual Creston Blossom Festival tourney was a a four-team, single knockout affair and led off the road trip.

(May 19)  The Trailites whipped host Creston 7 to 2 in the opener of the two-day affair. Al Byman tossed the first five frames, allowing five hits and a single run, before turning the ball over to Irv Lavorato who completed the final four with an impressive ten strikeout display. Infielders Julie Bilesky and Danny Geronazzo both had a pair of extra-base blows.

Byman (W), Lavorato (6) and Spees
xxx (L) and xxx

(May 20)  The team from Kimberley, having defeated Fernie 5 to 3 in the other preliminary game, faced the Smokies in the finale and were crushed 21 to 4 in a game mercifully called after seven innings. Gilbertson, the starting pitcher for the Elks, as they were called, got the hook in the initial frame as the Smokies sent 12 batters to the plate. Dynamiter hockey players, Bill Hrycuik and Claude Bell followed him to the hill, splitting the hurling duties the rest of the way. Catcher Ivan Spees led Trail’s assault with a four-for-five output, including two mammoth home runs over cars in right field. Bud Dobson and Al Byman also hit circuit-clouts for the winners. Tom Jenkinson was Trail’s starter and winner. He gave up all the Kimberley runs on five hits including a first pitch homer to Hrycuik and another round-tripper to Red Sutherland. Joe Jankola finished on the hill for Trail, fanning five of the six batters he faced. The victory added $150 to the Smoke Eaters’ coffers.

Gilbertson (L), Hrycuik, Bell and xxx
Jenkinson (W), Jankola (6) and Spees

Fruitvale’s four-team event followed the Creston triumph. The final result, however, was not as flattering.

(May 20)  Jimmy Todd and Les Hufty combined to blank Rossland-Fruitvale All-Stars on three hits Sunday as Nelson Peerless 9 kicked off the season with a 9-0 exhibition victory. First baseman Red Wassick was the big gun for the winners slamming a pair of doubles and two singles, good for three runs, while brothers Fritz and Bob Koehle had two hits apiece. Todd, an 18-year-old southpaw, picked up the win.

Grieve (L), Ferguson (4), Ling (7), Wynn (8) and Hackett
Todd (W), Hufty (5) and B.Koehle

(May 24)  The Smelter Smokies took out the Rossland entry with relative ease in their first tussle, knocking off the Cubs 5 to 1. Kenny Stanton’s bat which boomed out a two-run homer and a triple, sparked the victory. Joey Jankola held Rossland scoreless for six frames, surrendering only 3 hits. The Cubs’ lone run came off Irv Lavorato in the seventh.

Jankola (W), Lavorato (7) and Spees
xxx (L) and xxx

The hard-hitting Nelson Tigers captured the annual May 24th Fruitvale tourney and the $150 first prize money by bowling over the Smoke Eaters 8 to 5 in the finale. The Tabbies had earlier eliminated the host Fruitvale team 6 to 1. Bob Koehle and Carl Locatelli led Nelson with the lumber, banging out three hits each, while the Smokies, who out-hit the winners 13 to 11, were paced by Ken Nicol’s four-for-four and Mushy Anselmo’s three-for-three. Trail’s Al Byman, battered from the hill in the first frame, took the loss. The Smokies collected $100 as the tournament runner-up.

Todd (W), L. Hufty (6) and xxx
Byman (L), Jenkinson (1) and Spees 

With two tournaments now behind them, the Trailites returned to the friendly confines of Butler Park to engage in a three-game series with the always tough Fairchild Air Force Base Flyers of the Spokane area. The Fly Boys have five former minor-league professionals on their roster and they recently posted three victories over Gonzaga University, conquerors of the Smokies.

(May 26)  The locals copped a 3 to 2 verdict over the Flyers in a well-played opener. Left-hander Irv Lavorato earned the mound victory as he struck out 10 while yielding an equal number of safeties to the Pilots. The visitors struck quickly in this contest as Jack Zajac kissed one over the left field wall in the first and Tony Weaver’s double in the third upped the lead to 2 – 0. The Smoke Stack gang tied it up in the fourth frame with Danny Geronazzo and Julie Bilesky driving in the runs. Trail got the winner in the seventh when pinch-hitter Lui Corrado, batting with Bud Dobson on first, dumped a dying quail over the infielders allowing Dobson to reach second and break for third. The relay throw from Flyers’ first baseman Wilson to third was wild and Dobson was waved home with the lead run that ultimately spelled defeat for Fairchild’s left-hander Jess Cowert.

Cowert (L) and Field
Lavorato (W) and Spees 

(May 27)  The Fairchild Fly Boys came out with vengeance the following afternoon and laid a 12 to 2 drubbing on the Smoke Eaters in the matinee event and then grabbed the seven-inning windup scrap 6 to 2 thanks to a three-run outburst in the sixth inning. Paul Buckovitch served up a five-hitter for Fairchild in the opener, winning with ease. The Flyers jumped all over loser Joey Jankola for a trio of first frame markers and continued to pile it on from there. Jack Zajac had an inside-the-park homer for the Pilots which drove in three big runs. Danny Geronazzo belted a bases-empty round-tripper for the hosts.

Buckovitch (W) and Field
Jankola (L), Byman (3), Jenkinson (6) and Spees 

Smoke Eater hurler Joe Monaldi and Flyer twirler Oren “Moose” Muse duelled for five innings of the finale with a 2 – 2 deadlock showing on the scoreboard. In the sixth with two out, a Smokie defensive miscue allowed the visitors to tally three times and eventually cop the win. Over the seven innings he pitched, Muse  scattered five hits while Monaldi was nicked for seven before giving way to Pete Boisvert in the last inning.

Muse (W) and Field
Monaldi (L), Boisvert (7) and Spees

(May 27)    Nelson Tigers won top money at the Kaslo Tournament Victoria Day downing the home squad 9-4. Winning pitcher Ron Brown had 14 strikeouts.  Losing hurler Ray Driver fanned ten. Although played in a pouring rain for three innings, play was not interrupted and seen by a large crowd.

Brown (W) and Charles Christenson
Driver (L) and Norberg

The Trail Daily Times of May 29, 1951 published a list of batting averages of those players who had been to bat more than at least a dozen times during the young season. Scanning the results, it was highly evident that offensive firepower was sorely lacking.
                      AB    H    Aver.
Kenny Nicol           20   10    .500
Mushy Anselmo         12    6    .500
Danny Geronazzo       37   11    .297
Ivan Spees            34   10    .294
Julie Bilesky         35   10    .286
Bud Dobson            26    5    .192
Lui Corrado           16    3    .188
Kenny Stanton         25    4    .160
Pete Boisvert         33    4    .121
Jim MacDonald         26    3    .115     

A short journey to Nelson for an exhibition tilt with the Tigers, and an opportunity to even the score with the foe who upset them in the finale of the Fruitvale tourney, was next on the agenda for the Silver City Smokies.

(May 30)  Revenge was sweet for the Trailites as they hammered the Nelson nine 15 to 1 in a seven-inning contest that at least partially redeemed their pride but, more importantly, saw the beginnings of the offensive punch that has been absent. The Smokies teed off on two Nelson chuckers for 15 hits. Meanwhile, portsider Irv Lavorato held the homesters to three hits and one run in the five frames he worked. Kenny Nicol went three-for-five at the dish while Jim MacDonald, Dan Geronazzo and Kenny Stanton all contributed two hits with one of Stanton’s being a home run and one of Geronazzo’s a triple.

Lavorato (W), Byman (6) and Spees
L. Hufty (L), Todd (3) and xxx

Next on the agenda for the Smelter Smokies was another team out of Spokane, Washington. Trail will entertain the Knights of Columbus club from the Lilac City in a scheduled three-game weekend series at Butler Park. Going into the month of June, the Smoke Eaters had an overall record of five wins against six losses in eleven exhibition and tournament games played during May.

(June 2)  Joey Jankola set the Spokes down on six hits while fanning 12 in the Saturday opener of the three-game set as the hosts prevailed 7 to 4. Three walks and Bob Patterson’s triple accounted for three of the losers’ tallies in the sixth but the Smokies were always in command. Trail tagged losing pitcher Roy Velling for nine hits, two of the long-distance variety. In the third, Mush Anselmo socked a two-run four-master to right centre while Bud Dobson duplicated the feat in the eighth. Dobson and Jankola were the Smoke Eaters’ top stickmen, each producing a brace of base knocks. Shortstop Bobby Burns of the KC’s also picked up a pair of hits.

Velling (L) and xxx
Jankola (W) and Spees

(June 3)   The second day of action fell victim to adverse weather conditions yet saw the local aggregation triumph 2 to 1 in a rain-interrupted opener before the late game had to be called off entirely. Cooper Goodwin of the Knights and lefty Tom Jenkinson of Trail duelled for four and a half frames under threatening skies, each surrendering two hits and no runs, before the rains came and and the game had to be suspended until the evening. When play finally resumed, Kenny Stanton drove home Ivan Spees with the game’s first run but Al Byman, who had come on for the Smokies after the long delay, issued a free pass followed by a double to Bobby Burns and the score was knotted 1 – 1 after six stanzas were in the books. Julie Bilesky’s line-drive single down the left field line chased home Spees, who had doubled, with the winning counter in the bottom of the seventh. Catcher Spees had two of the Trail team’s six blows while Byman, the winning hurler, gave up but one hit in his two innings of relief. 

Goodwin (L) and xxx
Jenkinson, Byman (W) (6) and Spees

In preparation for a lengthy road trip, the Smokies hosted the Nelson Tigers at Butler Park in a mid-week affair. It was a grudge match of sorts as both teams had locked horns twice already with each team claiming a victory.

(June 7)  The baseballing Smoke Eaters ran their win streak to four by thrashing the Nelson Tigers 11 to 1 in the “rubber game” of their season-long joust. A pair of left-hander, Irv Lavorato and Pete Boisvert, handcuffed the visitors on two hits and, except for a pair of throwing errors in the sixth, the Smokies would have had a shutout. Lavorato whiffed 11 batters in the six frames he worked while Boisvert struck out seven in his three inning stint. Meanwhile, Nelson’s Jimmy Todd was tagged for an even dozen safeties before giving way to Les Hufty. Julie Bilesky and Lui Corrado led the Smokie assault with three hits each.

Todd, L. Hufty (8) and Richardson
Lavorato (W), Boisvert (7) and Spees

With no further home action scheduled until late June, the Smoke Eaters embarked upon the barnstorming portion of their season of rebirth. Exhibition and tournament dates were penciled in for the East Kootenays, Alberta and even for Saskatchewan. The first stop on the tour was Kimberley which, not unlike Trail, was labelled a Cominco company town. Three weekend games awaited the Trailites.

(June 9)  The first match saw the West Kootenay visitors win handily by a 16 to 4 margin in a game that was shortened by concession to eight innings because of the wide run differential. Southpaw Pete Boisvert earned credit for the mound win as he set the Kimberley squad down on six hits, striking out 14. The Trail nine pounded out 16 base hits including three homers by outfielder Kenny Stanton and a grand slam round-tripper by Lui Corrado.

Boisvert (W) and Spees
xxx (L) and xxx

(June 10)  Nelson Peerless 9 took an early lead then held on Sunday to edge Fruitvale 5-4 in West Kootney League action. Les Hufty threw a four-hitter for the win, his second of the season, and helped at the plate with a triple and single. Carl Locatelli and Fritz Koehle had back-to-back homers, on consecutive pitches in the first inning, for Nelson.  Trailing 5-1, Fruitvale scored one in the 7th and two in the 8th and Johnny Rypien, who had tripled and scored in the 7th, was heading home with the tying run when Frank Hufty's perfect throw from centre field nailed him at the plate.

Hufty (W) and B.Koehle
Oley (L), Grieve (1) and Simpson

(June 10)  The smelter town tourists defeated the Kimberley Elks twice in the next day’s doubleheader event, blanking the Antlered Tribe 4 to 0 in the opener and then waltzing to a 9 to 3 victory in the evening contest. Tom Jenkinson tossed a complete game four-hitter to garner the shutout triumph. His batterymate, catcher Ivan Spees, provided the game-winning triple.

Jenkinson (W) and Spees
xxx (L) and xxx

Completing the sweep with relative ease, the Smoke Eaters ran their winning streak to seven in the nightcap. Joey Monaldi earned the third game hill victory with a seven-hitter. The barnstormers played with a makeshift lineup, resting some of their regulars. Tom Jenkinson, a starting pitcher, came off the bench to patrol the outfield and wound up hitting a home run.

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

Heading into central Alberta, the travellers next made a stop at Ponoka, taking to the diamond to tangle with the local Stampeders.

(June 11)  Al Byman hurled a five-hitter at the Rodeo Rustlers as the Silver City nine prevailed 16 to 7. The win was the eighth in a row for the Smokies. Byman ran into trouble in the fourth inning when he was lit up for four hits which led to six runs. Other than that, he was able to keep the Palooka club in check. Lui Corrado led Trail offensively with a three-run homer in addition to three other bingles. Also connecting for four hits were Kenny Stanton, Bud Dobson and Byman.

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

With two players currently on the sick list, the vagabonds moved on to participate in the Camrose, Alberta tournament which was offering $4,400 in prize money. They were drawn to play a team known as the Central Alberta All-Stars in the first round of the tourney.

(June 12)  Trail gained a berth in the tournament semi-finals when they came from behind to register a 5 to 3 victory over the Albertans. A pair of southpaws, Irv Lavorato and Pete Boisvert shared the mound duties for the winners, holding the Stars to six hits. Manager Eric Bishop, who normally confines himself to the dugout, came on to successfully pinch hit in the seventh to drive in the tying run. Shortstop Kenny Nicol then drove in the winner. Catcher Ivan Spees led the Trail swatters with three hits off the slants of loser Ralph Vold.

Lavorato (W), Boisvert (7) and Spees
Vold (L) and Coughlin

The Smoke Eaters now face their toughest hurdle of the season as their next opponent is the strong Sceptre aggregation which is laden with highly-regarded import talent including Chet Brewer. The Saskatchewan club also has former Trailites Cliff Jacobson and Roy Sheppard on its roster. Their leading hitter is Reg Clarkson, formerly with the Vancouver Capilanos of the Western International League.

(June 13)  The Sceptre Panthers whipped the Smokies 11 to 5 in spite of being out-hit 11 to 10 and making a stunning eleven errors. Chet Brewer went the distance for the win. He was particularly tough in the clutch and left eleven Trail baserunners stranded. The Smokies simply weren’t able to capitalize on the opportunities afforded them by the more experienced prairie club. Reg Clarkson belted a two-run homer for the winners, his third of the two-day tournament. The Saskatchewan club sewed things up in the fifth when two costly Trail errors, both on very makeable double-play grounders, added four unearned runs to their output. Lanky Tom Jenkinson started for the B.C. battalion and lasted until the fifth when wildness put him in trouble. Irv Lavorato and Pete Boisvert both took turns on the hill after Jenkinson was given the hook. With their elimination from the semi-finals, the Kootenay club still managed to pick up $500 as their share of tying for third place in the tourney.

Jenkinson (L), Lavorato (5), Boisvert (7) and Spees
Brewer (W) and Hamilton

The trek then continued into north-central Saskatchewan, specifically the community of North Battleford, where the Smokies had a double-date to tango with the Beavers, strong contenders for first place in the Northern Saskatchewan Baseball League.

(June 13)   Teenage lefty Jimmy Todd gained his third win of the young season Wednesday as Nelson Peerless 9 downed Fruitvale Beavers 10-7 in a West Kootenay League encounter. Todd, who went just five innings, also was proficient with the stick slamming a run-scoring double in the 2nd inning. Les Hufty, in his last appearance before his wedding day, finished up. Bob McNabb belted a homer for Nelson and Carl Locatelli and Bob Koehle each had three hits. Centre fielder Sandy McInnes banged out two hits and scored twice for the Beavers.

Grieve (L), Fitzgerald (7) and Simpson
Todd (W), Hufty (6) and Koehle

(June 14)  Exploding for seven runs in the sixth inning, the hometown Beavers defeated the Smoke Eaters 10 to 8. The Trail contingent out hit their hosts 11 to 9 but was scuttled by the Saskatchewan club’s big sixth frame output. The Smokies grabbed an early lead, scoring three times in their first turn at bat on Lui Corrado’s triple and singles by Julie Bilesky and Danny Geronazzo. The Beavers whittled the lead and eventually shelled losing chucker Joey Monaldi from the mound in the fateful sixth in assuming  a six-run edge. A ninth-inning rally by the visitors just failed to tie the game. The Trail four-run splurge in the last chapter was fuelled by a two-run circuit-blast from the booming bat of Corrado. With the tying counters on base, Beaver twirler Les Dean fanned Ivan Spees to end the comeback and the game. Kenny Nicol had a trio of base raps for the tourists while Geronazzo, Bilesky and Corrado, with his four-bagger and triple, all ended up with a two-hit production.

Monaldi (L), Boisvert (6) and Bishop, Spees (3)
L. Dean (W) and Green

Entering the second game of their set-to with the Saskatchewan squad, the Trailites found their roster of available players reduced as Kenny Stanton is out with a pulled muscle while Bud Dobson was admitted to the hospital with an infected throat.

(June 15)  The hosts registered their second victory over the road-weary British Columbians when they captured the series finale 7 to 5. Al Byman was on the mound for the Smokies but received somewhat shaky support from his mates who made six errors. According to manager Eric Bishop, the Trailites played their worst game of the tour. As in the first game, Trail had more base hits than the Beavers, spanking out 13 while the homesters replied with 11. Also, as with the initial contest, the Smoke Eaters came up with a last-inning rally. Behind 7 to 2 entering the ninth, Trail blasted four hits, including a triple by Byman and a home run by shortstop Kenny Nicol, good for three runs. With two runners on base and only one retired, winning hurler Pete Polus induced Trail catcher Ivan Spees to ground into a game-ending twin-killing.

Byman (L) and Spees
Polus (W) and Green

Next, it was back to Alberta and the provincial capital Edmonton where the Oilers baseball club awaited their turn at the tourists. The Oilers had an run up an impressive resumé to date, winning their first nine exhibition tilts including three each from the highly competitive Delisle Gems and the Great Falls Montana Airlifters.

(June 16)  Trail’s woes continued as they lost the series opener 8 to 4 which extended their losing streak to four games. The Oilers’ Jack Devine and Tom Jenkinson of the visitors both gave up only five hits but it was Jenkinson’s control difficulties plus a leaky Smokie defense which proved the difference between the teams. Jenkinson issued ten bases on balls and was also lit up for a three-run inside-the-park homer by Edmonton third sacker Des O’Connor in the sixth inning. Danny Geronazzo led the Smokies at the dish with three hits.

Jenkinson (L) and Spees
Devine (W) and Kortgaard

(June 17)  Before 3,000 fans, the Kootenay travellers broke out of their slump in a mighty way, walloping the Edmonton Oilers 17 to 7 to square the exhibition series at one game apiece. Trail blasted three Edmonton hurlers for 17 hits in a loosely played tussle. Every Smoke Eater in the line-up had at least one hit. Pete Boisvert, in a relief role, was credited with the hill triumph. Former Nelson hurler John Carpenter of the Oilers, who took over mound chores in the third, was tagged with the loss. Hard-hitting Lui Corrado added to his home run total for the season, blasting his fourth of the tour.

Lavorato, Boisvert (W) (2) and Spees
Forss, Carpenter (L) (3), Belter (9) and Kortgard 

Now, in the home stretch of their tri-province journey, the trekkers ran into adverse weather in Alberta and had their exhibition tilts of June 18 in Lacombe, June 19 in Drumheller and June 20 in Lethbridge all rained out. The enforced idleness probably helped to rejuvenate their tired bodies as they headed back into British Columbia to face the team from Creston in the final game of their expedition.

(June 21)  Irv Lavorato  realized a pitcher’s dream in Creston. The 19-year old Trail portsider served up a no-hit, no-run game as the Smoke Eaters wound up their baseball tour by soundly whipping the homesters 9 to 0.  Lavorato faced only 30 batters over nine innings. He walked three, two of them in the first inning, and allowed only one opposition baserunner to reach second base. The southpaw moundsman set down 19 would-be Creston hitters via the strikeout route. Meanwhile, his mates smashed two Creston chuckers for 19 base hits. First baseman Lui Corrado set the pace with a four-for-six night.

Lavorato (W) and Spees
Clark (L), Empree (6) and Shunter

Following their exhausting junket, the Smokies were given a day off by skipper Bishop before entertaining the highly regarded Brooks Tavern club out of Spokane in a three-game weekend showdown in their own backyard, better known as Butler Park.

(June 23)  Saturday’s opener saw the Brooks Bar Boys out of the Inland Empire jump into an early 4 to 0 lead in copping a 6 to 2 decision as winning twirler Roy Velling held the locals to seven scattered base blows. His mates collected nine safeties off loser Al Byman.

Velling (W) and Viro
Byman (L) and Spees

(June 24)  Down 7-5 to Fruitvale going into the 9th inning, Rossland exploded for six runs in the final frame to down the Beavers 11-7 at Fruitvale Recreation Park. The game was fairly even until the 4th when Howie Palmer belted a grand slam homer to give Fruitvale a 7-3 lead.

Ferguson, Levique, Wynn and Hackett
Grieves, Dave Ewing (9), Roy Fitzgerald (9) and Simpson

Stanton catch(June 24)  The Silver City baseballers made their “homecoming series” a successful one as the local aggregation came back from a first-game setback to post 6 to 4 and 4 to 1 triumphs against the Brooks Tavern nine, current second-placers in the Spokane independent circuit. Southpaw Pete Boisvert, normally a reliever, made only his second mound start of the campaign for the Trailites and was able to check the Spokes on eight bingles while whiffing five in earning the win in the Sunday matinee affair. His hill opponent, right-hander Bert Phillips, was lit up for nine base blows and was nailed with the loss. The Smokies led all the way, scoring twice in the first frame when Julie Bilesky doubled and was driven home on a single by Ken Stanton (left). The fleet Trail outfielder wound up at third later in the inning and then stole home. Hits by Lui Corrado and Joe Jankola, coupled with two Brooks errors, gave the homesters three more runs in the third and that was essentially the game as Boisvert, except for a somewhat shaky seventh, was too tough.

Phillips (L) and Viro, O’Leary
Boisvert (W) and Spees

Lefty Irv Lavorato’s arm and Kenny Nicol’s bat gave the locals the series in the wind-up game. Lavorato hurled a neat three-hitter, fanning nine, while Nicol’s two-run homer over the left field wall sewed up the tilt. Lavorato served up five hitless frames to begin the contest, running his streak to 14 innings without surrendering a safe blow before Spokane’s Len Pyne burst the bubble with a two-bagger. Trail infielder Julie Bilesky had a triple and double off the southpaw slants of losing twirler Jawn Pressley.

Pressley (L) and O’Leary
Lavorato (W) and Spees

Statistical data for the 29 games played to date by the Smoke Eaters were printed in the June 27 edition of the Trail Daily Times.

Batting (minimum of 25 at bats)
                      AB    R     H   RBI    Aver.
Mush Anselmo          28    7    11     4    .386
Ivan Spees           108   19    36    21    .330
Dan Geronazzo        117   27    38    17    .325
Ken Nicol            103   25    35    18    .314
Julie Bilesky        111   20    34    27    .306
Ken Stanton           91   18    26    13    .296
Lui Corrado           98   18    28    23    .286
Bob Patterson         56    9    16     4    .286
Bud Dobson            63   14    15     8    .238
Jim MacDonald         62    8    13     5    .210
Pete Boisvert         58   10    10     4    .174

                      IP    W   L   SO    ERA
Pete Boisvert         38    3   1   35    2.13
Joey Jankola          37    2   2   29    2.43
Irv Lavorato          56    6   1   92    2.57
Tom Jenkinson         49    2   2   33    5.15
Al Byman              41    3   4   36    5.24
Joe Monaldi           22    1   2   15    5.32

With the Dominion Day weekend looming, the Smokies found themselves minus seven players as they prepared for the first annual $3,000 Kimberley tournament. Due to holiday work schedules at Cominco, several of the locals’ hard-hitters were not able to participate with their teammates at the tourney. The most notable absentees of the missing seven were Ivan Spees, Danny Geronazzo and Lui Corrado, all who formed the heart of the batting order. Also, unable to make the trip were outfielders Bud Dobson, Jim MacDonald and pitcher Joey Monaldi.  Only eleven players, two of them newcomers from the junior ranks, were on hand for the a first-round match against Creston.

Joey Jankola(June 30)  Joey Jankola (left) scattered six hits as Trail walloped Creston 11 to 1 in first-round action. The Smokies smashed 13 hits off three opposing hurlers. Kenny Nicol led the assault with two doubles and a single while Ken Stanton cracked out a home run.

Jankola (W) and Bishop
xxx (L), xxx, xxx and xxx

(July 1)  The Trailites were eliminated from the 12-team event by the Kimberley Elks, reinforced with pickups out of Spokane, losing the second-round game by a narrow 6 to 5 count. The Elks later went on to capture the first prize money of $1,000. Winning pitcher Curt Bloomquist, a hired gun for the tourney, was cracked for ten Trail hits whereas Kimberley was limited to five off the combined offerings of lefties Irv Lavorato and Pete Boisvert. The Elks’ blows were of the clutch variety which fostered the win and later the tournament for the scrappy, hustling crew. Bloomquist cracked a fifth inning run-scoring triple to send the hosts into a 1 to 0 lead.  The score was upped to 3 – 0 in the sixth frame when his batterymate, Heathcott, belted a solo homer which was followed later in the inning with an RBI hit by Buzz Mellor. In their half of the sixth, Trail bounced back as outfielder Bob Patterson hit a two-run triple and scored on an overthrow to home to tie matters. Leading off the seventh, Bloomquist was hit with a pitch from losing chucker Lavorato and moved around to score on a passed ball and an error to restore the Kimberley lead. In the eighth, the Elks took a 5 to 3 lead as Mellor again drove in the run. Kenny Nicol got that one back with a line-drive homer only to have Kimberley score in the ninth on an error and an overthrow. Down 6 to 4 in the bottom of the ninth, the Smoke Eaters rallied briefly as, with one out, pinch-hitter Eric Bishop walked, moved to second on an infield out and scored on Ken Stanton’s single. But Kimberley centre fielder Claude Bell hauled down Nicol’s smash near the outfield fence to end the game.

Bloomquist (W) and Heathcott
Lavorato (L), Boisvert (7) and xxx

For the very first weekend since the season began, Bishop’s boys were idle. Originally booked to trek to Oliver, the three-game series was cancelled at the Okanagan club’s request due to schedule commitments. Attempts to arrange games in Lethbridge, Kettle Falls or Nelson failed due to such short notice. The local nine continued practices expecting to entertain the tough Fairchild Air Base club from Spokane the following weekend. The Fly Boys are undefeated within the Spokane Independent league. Prolonged inclement weather, however, played havoc with the plans and a one-week hiatus eventually turned into an unthinkable three-week break from diamond action.

During the break, the National Baseball Congress was in touch with Smoke Eater club officials, expressing an interest in staging a sanctioned tournament at Butler Park from which would emerge a British Columbia champion, eligible to meet other provincial winners in a four-team round-robin series for the Western Canada championship. Readily accepted, the eight-team affair will offer prize money totalling $2,500 and will take place between August 4 and 7. Clubs from the Okanagan as well as the East and West Kootenays are expected to enter. Under current National Baseball Congress rules, even the odd American team may join the fray as they are eligible.

(July 1)   New Denver topped the Nelson Tigers 9-8 Sunday at the Civic Recreation Grounds. The home squad came to bat in the final inning down 9-5 and rallied for three runs on hits by Kraft, Nash and Christenson. With the bases loaded and two out, Dozzi caught an inside pitch for what looked like a sure safety.  With all the Tiger base runners on the move, N. Hayashi at shortstop went well back to make a spectacular one-handed catch to end the game. K.Hayashi went the distance for the win, besting Ron Brown.

K. Hayashi and xxx
R.Brown (L) and xxx

(July 8)  Nelson Peerless 9 rapped 20 hits to ring up their third straight West Kootenay victory Sunday thumping Fruitvale 16-6. Winning pitcher Les Hufty banged a triple, Red Wassick slammed a pair of doubles and Lee Hyssop, Jim McNabb and Dunc Kennedy each had three hits. Johnny Rypien punched out three hits for the Beavers.

Hufty (W) and xxx
Grieve (L), Fitzgerald, Ewing and xxx

(July 9)  At New Denver, Nelson Tigers downed the short-handed host team 6-3. New Denver's regular catcher and second baseman were replaced by school boys. Kraft, the Tigers' starter left in the 4th after New Denver had scored three times. Ron Brown held New Denver scoreless the rest of the way. Pearson pitched a fine game for New Denver allowing but four hits and compiling 14 strikeouts. He walked three. Brown fanned nine and walked one in his winning stint.

Kraft, Brown (W) (4) and xxx
Pearson (L) and xxx

(July 11)  Nelson Peerless 9 continued their winning ways in West Kootenay action Wednesday ripping Fruitvale 7-3 in spite of loaning two plyers to help the short-handed to the Beavers.  Les Hufty and Ron Brown held Fruitvale to three hits while Nelson rapped out eleven, three each by Frank Hufty and Bill Halldane. Les Hufty injured his ankle running the bases in the 4th inninng and Ron Brown replaced him on the mound and went the rest of the way for the win, in spite of issuing nine bases on balls.

Fitzgerald (L) , Grieve and McInnes
Hufty, Brown (W) and Anderson

(July 15)    Nakusp and Nelson Tigers divided a twin-bill at Nelson Sunday.  Nakusp trounced the host club 18-11 in the opener and Nelson rebounded to take the evening encounter 9-8. It was Nakusp's third win in four starts against the Tigers having won both games at Nakusp.

Naksup had three big innings in the first game, scoring six in the 5th and four in each of the 1st and 7th innings. Nelson out-hit the visitors in both games, 8 to 6, and 15 to 5.

Marchessault, Dolman, E.Desrochers and xxx
Kraft, J.Poznikoff and xxx

Marchessault, E.Desrochers, S.Yano and xxx
Irwin (W) and xxx

(July 16)  Rossland Cubs thrilled the home fans Sunday trouncing Nelson Peerless 9 13-2 behind newcomer Al Laatseh who combined with Tommy Bryan to hold the visitors to eight hits. Laatseh also led the hitters driving in five runs with a double and two singles.  His battery mate, Sonny Hackett, rapped a triple, double and single and scored three times. Jimmy Todd whacked a pair of doubles for Nelson. Ron Brown threw 161 pitches in going the route for the losers.

Brown (L) and Anderson
Laatseh (W), Bryan (6) and Hackett

(July 21)  Despite losing an eleven-inning heartbreaker 3 to 2 to the visiting Fairchild Air Base Flyers in the opener of a triad of weekend tussles, the Trail club looked reasonably sharp after the long weather-driven layoff. The tandem of Pete Boisvert and Joey Jankola performed mound chores for the homesters while Ev Smith tossed the entire 11 innings for the Fly Boys. Both clubs managed eight hits in the tightly contested affair. Smith plated the winning marker when, with two out in the second extra frame, he singled off Jankola. Following a walk to Al Broncito, shortstop Dick Baldi hit a shallow single which Smokie outfielder Bob Patterson bobbled just long enough for Smith to race around third and score. Ironically, Patterson would make up for his costly miscue at other times in the series as he wound up collecting seven hits during the three-game series and drove in five runs.

Smith (W) and xxx
Boisvert, Jankola (L) (10) and Spees

(July 22)  The locals took both of the Sunday games by scores of 7 to 3 and 6 to 0 to win the weekend series two games to one. Sunday afternoon saw Al Byman pitch his best game of the season for Trail. Gene McCarthy’s bases-loaded single scored two Flyers in the first inning but, after that, Byman was simply too tough in allowing any sustained Spokane offense and went on to a complete game victory, scattering ten hits in fine style. The Smokies wrapped it up with a five-hit, five-run outburst in the second frame. Ken “Chico” Nicol started things against loser “Moose” Muse with a triple and, before the stanza was over, Lui Corrado, Ivan Spees and Julie Bilesky had collected hits and Bob Patterson had homered.

Muse (L) and xxx
Byman (W) and Spees

In the evening game, lefty Irv Lavorato handcuffed the Airmen, yielding but three hits in tossing the shutout. Kenny Nicol iced the game for him with a two-run circuit-blast in the opening frame. Julie Bilesky followed suit in the fifth, upping the margin to 4 – 0. Bob Patterson’s single in the fifth and Bud Dobson’s sixth inning triple pushed in the other two Trail counters.

xxx (L) and xxx
Lavorato (W) and Spees 

While the entries for the approaching NBC sponsored provincial tournament were being sorted out, the Smokies continued to fine tune their skills with exhibition games against the Fruitvale Beavers and the Nelson Peerless nine.

(July 22)  Nelson blew a 4-2 8th inning lead allowing Colville, Washington to plate four innings and notch a 6-4 victory in the first of a home and home exhibition set.  Hal Davis held Nelson to six hits and fanned 11 in going the distance for the Americans. Catcher Lorne Abernathy knocked in three runs for Colville.

Hufty (L) and Anderson
Davis (W) and Abernathy, Harbolt (6)

(July 26)   Nelson Peerless 9 scored three in the first inning and cruised to a 9-1 win over Rossland to regain first place in the West Kootenay standings. Bill Halldane led a 14-hit attack with a triple, double and single. He scored twice and knocked in a pair. Les Hufty held the Cubs to six hits.  Frank Hufty and Joe Postnikoff, up from the intermediate Tigers, belted homers for Nelson and Charlie Christensen and Les Hufty added three baggers.

Hufty (W) and Christensen
Bryan (L) and Crowder

(July 26)   Troy, Montana, downed Creston 7-6 in a thrilling contest at Creston. Many Crestonites claimed it to be the best of the season.  The score see-sawed back and forth until the 9th when Troy took a two-run lead.  In the bottom of the 9th, Creston had two runners on base with one out and a run in.  A sacrifice advanced the runners to second and third. Armstrong smacked a single as the runners headed for home. An outstanding throw from the outfield caught the runner sliding to the plate for the final out. Creston plays Bonners Ferry next Sunday.

(July 26)  The shorthanded Fruitvale crew, aided by a pair of Trail players, gave the Smoke Eaters all they could handle before bowing out 8 to 7. The Beavers forged into a 7 to 5 lead in the sixth on a pair of two-run homers by brothers Vic and Andy Bilesky. Tom Jenkinson was the Silver City starter and was victimized for all seven Fruitvale runs in the five plus innings that he toiled before giving way to Joe Jankola. Al Byman, on loan to the Beavers, took over for them on the hill in the seventh and served up Bud Dobson’s three-run circuit-jack in the eighth which won it for the visitors.

Jenkinson (W), Jankola (W) (6) and xxx
A. Bilesky, Byman (L) (7) and xxx

(July 29)  Les Hufty pitched and batted Nelson Peerless-9 to a 5-4 win over Rossland Cubs. Hufty held the Cubs to five hits in his mound duties while he belted a double and three singles at the plate. Nelson took an early 3-1 lead but fell behind as Rossland erupted for three in the 6th. Nelson rallied in the 8th to notch the win. With two runners aboard on free passes, Hufty banged out his 4th hit to knot the count. Jimmy Todd's single brought in the winner.

Laatseh (L) and Hackett
Hufty (W) and Christensen

(July 29)  Rapping three Nelson pitchers for a total of 15 hits, the Trailites breezed to a 15 to 1 pasting of the Peerless Dentists. While Pete Boisvert was scattering five hits, his mates tore into losing hurler Jimmy Todd and Sam Pierson for many a base knock before Ron Brown came on to silence their bats somewhat. Jimmy MacDonald and Lui Corrado led the winners with the lumber, drilling three hits apiece. One of Corrado’s blows was a tremendous home run to deep right field which scored three runs. The lone Nelson tally came in the seventh when catcher Charlie Christensen doubled to score Fritz Koehle from second.

Boisvert (W) and xxx
Todd  (L), Pierson (2), Brown (6) and Christensen

(August 07)   BC National Baseball Congress Tournament 

(August 7)   Having annexed the B.C. title, the locals had some time to prepare for the Western Canada tournament in Saskatoon. With that in mind, arrangements were made to play a two-game exhibition series in Troy, Montana against the team that had presented them with the greatest challenge in the recently completed National Baseball Congress tourney. With four of their regulars unable to make the weekend trip, the Trailites nevertheless saw the two-game set as an opportunity to keep some of their lesser lights in game-shape. The original plan called for a game on Saturday and another Sunday but car trouble resulted in only half of the team arriving in time for a Saturday tilt. As a result, the game was abandoned and a doubleheader was played Sunday.

(August 13)   Colville Eagles exploded for eight runs in the first inning and went on to clobber Nelson Tigers 11-4 Sunday in an exhibition game at Kettle Falls, Washington. Eagles combined four walks with five hits in their big inning. Davis and Kylo combined to hold the Tigers to six hits, three by Ron Nash.

Grill, Kraft (2), Brown (3) and Nash
Davis, Kylo (8) and Abernathy

(August 13)  The depleted roster of the Smokies was reduced even further as two players were injured and forced to retire from the first game. Absorbing their most humiliating defeat of the season, the locals were drubbed 17 to 1 by the Montanans, current leaders of the Idaho-Montana-British Columbia circuit, in the opener of the twin-bill. The Smoke Eaters, behind Irv Lavorato’s three-hit flinging, bounced back to cop the second tilt 4 to 0. All told, the Troy nine cracked three Trail pitchers for 16 hits while right-hander Dale Thompson stopped the locals with six.

Byman (L), Jenkinson (5), Geronazzo (7) and Spees
Thompson (W) and xxx

In the second fixture, despite using a make-shift line-up, the Silver City nine regained their composure as Lavorato handcuffed the Montana men. His mates hopped on losing twirler Art Previs for ten hits, four in the first inning which were good enough for three runs and the ultimate victory.

Lavorato (W) and Field
Previs (L) and xxx

The following batting statistics for the Smoke Eater baseball squad were published in the August 17 edition of the Trail Daily Times. The article indicates that the team has played 45 games to date, winning 30 while dropping 15.

                    AB     R     H    RBI    Aver.
Ken Nicol          162    42    59     32    .364
Ivan Spees         142    24    45     25    .316
Julie Bilesky      160    33    50     37    .313
Dan Geronazzo      169    36    52     24    .307
Jim MacDonald       83    13    25      8    .301
Lui Corrado        152    26    45     31    .291
Ken Stanton        138    28    40     21    .289
Al Byman            38     8    11      6    .288
Bud Dobson          85    23    24     13    .282
Irv Lavorato        38     7    10      5    .263
Eric Bishop         32     5     8      2    .250
Joe Jankola         33     1     8      5    .242
Pete Boisvert       72    14    12      6    .167
Tom Jenkinson       24     2     4      4    .167

One last exhibition series was on the books for the locals prior to their departure for the National Baseball Congress Western Canada tournament in the Hub City. Making their first home appearance since capturing the provincial crown, the Smokies hosted the highly rated City Boosters congregation out of Spokane who recently took over first place in the Spokane Independent League. Three tussles are scheduled over the weekend at Butler Park.

(August 17)   Rossland Cubs blew an early 5-0 lead but rebounded with three late runs to notch a 10-9 win over Nelson Peerless in an error-filled contest. Trailing 9-8 going into the 8th and final inning, reliever Rusty Wynn poked a homer for the tie and then with Al Lavorato aboard catcher Kelly Campbell cracked a double for the winning run. Hockey star Seth Martin paced Rossland's ten-hit attack with three successive doubles. Campell knocked in three runs with a pair of two-baggers. The teams made a total of 13 errors.

Bryan, Wynn (W) (6) and Campbell
Hufty (L) and Anderson

(August 18)  The lid-lifter of this series turned out to be nightmarish for the Trailites who committed no less than nine errors with third sacker Danny Geronazzo being snake-bitten for five of them. The visitors took advantage of every opportunity afforded them and copped the opener 12 to 8. Joe Jankola was on the hill for the Smelter City squad and gave up ten hits but only two City Booster runs were earned. Bob Miller, a one-time Spokane Indian pitcher, started on the mound for the winners but gave way to Jud Heathcotte in the sixth due to a charley horse. It was Heathcotte’s three-run homer in the first frame which sent the Boosters out in front. The Smoke Eaters tied it up on no less than three occasions and once went ahead 7 to 6, but they booted it away.

Miller (W), Heathcotte (6) and Farr
Jankola (L) and Spees

(August 19)  The visitors were halted by Irv Lavorato 4 to 0 in the matinee game of the second day’s action but rebounded to take the nightcap 2 to 0 as left-hander Jack Spring blanked the local aggregation for the first time in 45 games. Sunday afternoon, Lavorato stopped the Spokes on five hits as he registered his second straight whitewashing. He now has pitched 19 consecutive frames of shutout ball. His opponent off the rubber, Pete Wertz, was combed for ten safeties and it was Lavorato who started a two-run third inning with a single. Ken Stanton and “Chico” Nicol followed along with run-scoring blows. In the sixth, Dan Geronazzo’s double made it 3 to 0 and Lui Corrado socked a homer in the eighth to end the scoring.

Wertz (L) and Farr
Lavorato (W) and Spees

Although the Smokies out hit the Boosters 6 to 3 in the series finale, portsider Jack Spring proved to be too tough for them in the clutch as he captured the mound decision from Pete Boisvert. The Silver City southpaw pitched very capably but one of the hits he gave up was a sixth-inning circuit-clout to big Jud Heathcotte with a mate aboard.

Spring (W) and Farr
Boisvert (L) and Spees 

Heading into Saskatchewan for the National Baseball Congress tournament to decide a western Canada champion, the youthful Trail aggregation was considered a decided longshot to pull off any upsets, especially against the powerful Sceptre Nixons and Indian Head Rockets who were loaded with many talented American imports.

(August 24)   In another wild finish, Nelson blew a 9-3 lead in the 7th and final inning as Rossland scored six times to fight to a 9-9 draw with the Peerless-9 in the first game of the West Kootenay round robin series. The game was called because of darkness. Nelson's Les Hufty got just one batter out in the top of the 7th while five got to him for hits before manager Gord Richardson pulled him in favour of Ron Brown who gave up another hit and Nelson committed another error good for six runs before getting the third out. Rusty Wynn fanned the side in the bottom of the frame to preserve the tie. Rossland out-hit Nelson 15 to 12. Harold Jones, Don Davis and Ed Crowder each connected for three hits for the winners. Carl Locatelli was the big man for Nelson knocking in four runs with a homer and triple.

Wynn and Crowder
Hufty, Brown (7) and Anderson

(September 2-3)   Nelson Peerless-9 took two of three weekend exhibition games against Davenport, Washington. After dropping the Sunday opener 8-4, Nelson rebounded with 13-9 and 4-1 victories. Davenport came from behind a 4-2 deficit to take the first game. Harry Moeller, on the hill for the Americans, gave up ten hits but went all the way for the win. Ron Brown and Les Hufty allowed just seven hits but Brown issued eight free passes.

Moeller (W) and Panekas
Brown, Hufty (8) and Anderson

After falling behind 8-2 in the 5th inning, Nelson erupted for two big innings, four in the 5th and seven in the 6th to crush Davenport 13-9 in the second contest pounding out 15 hits including homers by Bill Haldane and Carl Locatelli, who also had a triple and single. Les Hufty scattered ten hits for the win.

Mercer (L) and Simpson
Hufty (W) and Anderson

Keith Cedarbloom swatted a triple and scored in the opening frame as Davenport, the Big Bend League leaders, took the lead in the rubber game. But, it would be the only run the Americans would put on the board as Nelson notched a pair in the 4th and another two in the 5th to secure a 4-1 triumph in a seven inning contest. The game was shortened to permit Davenport to make it to the border before closing time. Jim Todd went the distance for his first complete game of the season for the Peerless-9. He allowed just six hits.  Down 1-0 in the 4th, Les Hufty doubled to score Locatelli and scored himself when Frank Hufty followed with another safety. In the 5th, Fritz Koehle bashed a triple and Bill Haldane drove him home. Haldane plated the final run on a squeeze play.

M.Cedarbloom (L) and Simpson
Todd (W) and Christensen

(September 3)  With wet grounds plaguing the participants at Cairns Field, the Trailites took to the field in the tournament’s second game and were trounced 8 to 0 by the Indian Head Rockets. Six fielding miscues made it difficult for starter and loser Jack Spring who gave up eight safeties while his mates collared six off the slants of veteran Negro League moundsman Chet Brewer.

Brewer (W) and Landrum
Spring (L), Byman (9) and Field

(September 4)  The Sceptre Nixons waltzed to an easy 20 to 5 victory over the Trail Smoke Eaters, eliminating the locals from further play in the tournament. The game was essentially over after one inning when the Nixons scored 13 times off nine walks by three Smokie chuckers, two hits and five errors. The Sceptre squad would later go on to take the tournament.

Lavorato (L), Jankola (1), Byman (1), Boisvert (5) and Field, Spees (5)
Price (W), Nelson (2), Mahaffy (3), Jacobson (4) and Garay 

With their season now but a memory, the baseballing Smoke Eaters arrived back in Trail a sadder, but much wiser, group of players. Manager Eric Bishop reported that the trip was a disappointment in practically all aspects. Ten days of rain had left the roads and playing fields a quagmire and the cold, wet weather not only diminished the calibre of ball but also the attendance at the games. As for the resounding defeats that the Smokies suffered, manager Bishop had no excuses. “The boys just tightened up,” he said. “Youth and inexperience don’t stand up in the clutches. We just got beat.”           

Roster of players who performed for the Trail Smoke Eaters at various times during the 1951 season 
Anselmo Mushy OF,  Bilesky Julie SS/2B, Bishop Eric MGR/C/2B, Boisvert Pete 1B/LHP, Byman Al RHP, Corrado Lui OF/1B, Dobson Bud 3B/OF, Field Tom C, Geronazzo Danny OF/3B, Jankola Joey P, Jenkinson Tom LHP, Lavorato Irv LHP, MacDonald Jim OF, McCarthy Gene 3B, Monaldi Joe P, Nicol Ken 2B/SS, Patterson Bob OF/3B, Spees Ivan C,  Spring Jack P, Stanton Ken OF, Zajac Jack OF

(September 10)   Nelson and Rossland split the opening games of the West Kootnay League final series in a double-bill at Rossland. What began as a round robin was changed to a best-of-five series after Fruitvale withdrew. Cubs took the first game 7-3 while Nelson rebounded with a 3-2 victory in the second game. Both teams had make-shift lineups with several key players missing.  Rossland jumped out into a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the first game leaving the bases loaded and losing another potential run when a runner was cut down at the plate. In the 3rd, Carl Locatelli's triple and three singles off reliever Harold Jones tied the count at 2-2. But Jones made amends with three-bagger in the 6th scoring Ed Crowder and then scored himself on a fly ball to put Rossland out front 4-2. Nelson got one back in the bottom of the 6th but Cubs hit back with three in the seventh for the win. Kelly Campbell's double was a highlight of the three-run uprising.

Broman, Jones (W) (3) and Crowder
Hufty (L) and Christensen

Nelson scored first in the second game. Charlie Christensen belted a first inning triple and came home on Locatelli's ground-rule double. In the 4th Mickey Maglio doubled in Frank Hufty for a 2-0 lead and Nelson added another in the top of the 6th as Don Kennedy poked a two-bagger to again plate Frank Hufty.  Rossland rallied in the bottom of the 6th against reliever Les Hufty. Joe Postnikoff had fired five scoreless innings allowing just one hit, a triple by Seth Martin. Hufty was greeted by doubles by Martin and Sonny Hackett and a single by Don Davis to close the gap to 3-2. The game was called after six because of darkness.

Postnikoff (W), Hufty (6) and Christensen
Lavorato, Hackett (6) and Hackett, Crowder (6)

(September 14)  Power-hittinng Carl Locatelli, the veteran Nelson infielder who has gone hitless in just one of 20 games this season, is Nelson's leading hitter with a .455 mark in the latest statistics. Bill Haldane is second among regulars with a .409 average. Locatelli leads with three homers, 17 runs batted in, 35 hits and is tied with Les Hufty and Fritz Koehler with four triples. Les Hufty is tops in doubles, with six.

Young southpaw Jimmy Todd leads the hurlers with a four and two mark while Les Hufty has won six and lost five. Hufty has a 3.78 earned run average and has whiffed 82 in 107 innnings pitched. Fireballer Ron Brown has fanned 27 in 25 and 1/3 frames. 

                  G AB  R  H  AVE
Locatelli 20 77 15 35 .455
Wassick 6 19 5 8 .421
Haldane 11 44 13 18 .409
Hufty Les 20 62 9 22 .355
Hyssop 5 20 1 7 .350
Koehle Fritz 18 69 16 24 .348
Koehle Bob 7 26 8 9 .346
McNabb Jim 9 21 2 7 .333
Hufty Frank 15 54 11 16 .296
McNabb Bob 10 30 9 8 .267
Anderson 9 34 9 9 .265
Todd 18 58 8 15 .259
Chistensen 6 21 2 5 .238
Maglio 12 25 5 5 .200
Wertz 1 5 1 1 .200

(September 16)   Trail Smokie lefty Pete Boisvert fired a three-hitter, whiffing 15, as Trail defeated Nelson 3-1 in an exhibition encounter.  Nelson drew first blood as Joe Postnikoff doubled down the right field line in the top of the 4th and came home on a single by Les Hufty.  Trail had four hits and plated two runs in the bottom of the 4th to take the lead. Trail got an insurance run in the 7th as Bud Dobson drove one into centre field and came all the way around as the ball took a high hop over Bill Haldane.

Hufty (L) and Christensen
Boisvert (W) and Spees

(September 30)   Nelson Peerless-9 captured the West Kootenay baseball title Sunday downing Rossland 6-3 to take the best of three series two games to one. Nelson jumped into a 3-0 lead in the first inning on singles by Red Koehle, Bill Haldane and Frank Hufty and a triple from slugger Carl Locatelli and were never headed running up a 6-1 margin before Rossland responded with two runs in the 8th. Les Hufty hurled steady ball scattering eleven hits and fanning nine. Bill Haldane led a 10-hit attack for Nelson with three hits, including a long double in the 3rd inning. Ed Loutit of Rossland, representing the league president, presented the Allan Hotel Trophy, emblematic of the league championship to Nelson manager Gordon Richardson.

Wynn (L) and Hackett
Hufty (W) and Christensen


(May 20)    Nakusp started the season on a winning note at home taking a 3-2 decision from New Denver. Out-hit 7 to 5, Nakusp took advantage of eight free passes and five New Denver errors. Otto Yanagisawa had two hits for Nakusp and singles went to Neil Shaw, Ed Desrochers and C.Johnson. For New Denver, Nobby Hayashi led with a pair, one a double, J.Hayashi had two singles and Walt Thring and Tommy Pearson each had one. Sam Yano fanned eight and walked two in going the route for the pitching win.

Pearson, Takenaka (4), Gawryletz (7) and Tateishi
Yano (W) and Yanagisawa

(May 24)   Silverton captured the New Denver tournament downing Winlaw 5-4 although out-hit 8 to 4. Errors and some aggressive base running helped Silverton to the title. Ken Gordon went all the way for the win to top K.Gustafson who took the loss although allowing just four hits and two walks. Randolph Harding's double was the big hit for the winners while T.Nishimura cracked a three-bagger for Winlaw.

K.Gordon (W) and xxx
K.Gustafson (L) and xxx

In the tournament's opening game, Silverton edged New Denver 4-3 behind the solid mound work of Ken Gordon who fired a four-hitter and fanned eight. W.Gordon, with a double and single, and A.Orr had two hits for Silverton.

Pearson (L) and xxx
K.Gordon (W) and xxx

(May 27)  At Winlaw, New Denver won the opening game of the Slocan League schedule beating the host club 6-2. J.Gawryletz pounded out three hits to lead a 10-hit attack for the winners.  Jimmy Tateishi and Nobby Hayashi each had a pair. W. Avis had a perfect day at the plate for Winlaw with a triple and two singles.  New Denver threw out five base runners, made the only double play and stole ten sacks. Tamo Takenaka pitched a four-hitter for the win. He fanned nine and walked five.  E. Gustafson rang up ten strikeouts in just five innings for Winlaw.

Takenaka (W) and Tateishi
E.Gustafson (L), Brawn (6) and E.Sutherland

(May 28)   After taking the first game from New Denver, Silverton continued on its winning ways downing Winlaw 8-4 to win the New Denver Tournament. Allan Lind held Winlaw to eight hits to register the win, although handing out five free passes with just one strikeout. K. Gustafson allowed only four hits in taking the loss. He fanned six and walked two. Winlaw's T.Nishimura led the hitters with a triple and single.

K.Gustafson (L) and E.Sutherland
A.Lind (W) and xxx

(June 3) In the opening game of the Arrow Lakes Baseball League, Nakusp erupted for six runs on four hits and three Edgewood errors in the second inning en route to a 12-6 victory. George Marchessault hurled the first four innings for the winners, leaving the mound with a 10-1 lead.

Volansky and R.Jackson
Marchessault, Hale (5) and Yanagisawa, A.Yano (8)

(June 3)  After Sunday's game, the Nakusp Baseball Club held a meeting to elect officers for the season. Tony Steenhoff was chosen as president of the club and F. Natsuhara as Secretary-Treasurer. Otto Yanagisawa was selected as team captain and Alan Stanley was appointed scorekeeper and public relations manager. It was decided to hold a three-team playoff on the first of July with Edgewood and Burton with one team drawing a bye to play the winner of the first game.

(June 6)  In a slugfest at New Denver, the home team clobbered Silverton 18-9 with J.Gawryletz leading the attack with four hits, including a pair of two-baggers. Saruyama also had four safeties and Nobby Hayashi had three. Tanaka clouted a homer. O'Grady with two doubles was best for Silverton. Tommy Pearson, on the mound for New Denver held the visitors to four hits until the 9th when they combined two doubles, a single, three walks, a hit batsman and two errors for seven runs.

K.Gordon, W.Gordon (3) and xxx
Pearson (W) and xxx

(June 10)  Silverton topped Winlaw 9-8 as Ken Gordon slugged a two-run homer and a double. Winlaw out-hit the winners 12 to 9 with E.Gustafson collecting three safeties. Benny Lister and W.Avis each had two hits.

E.Gustafson, Braun (7) and xxx
K.Gordon, Groenhuysen (7) and xxx

(June 17)   The hometown Nakusp nine surprised visiting Nelson taking both games of a double-header, 16-6 and 6-5. In the opener, Nakusp took a big lead in the first inning scoring six times on three walks, three singles, a triple and a home run.  They put the game away in the second inning with two more runs on a walk, error and a double. In the second game, a four-run fourth inning for Nakusp proved to be the difference in a 6-5 triumph.

(June 17)   With two outs in the 9th, New Denver got two hits and took advantage of an error to score the winning run in a 9-8 decision over Winlaw.. New Denver had blown an early 4-0 lead as Winlaw got four hits and the home club booted the ball four times in the 4th inning to knot the count. Winlaw took the lead in the 5th on E.Gustafson's homer. New Denver got one back on Tommy Pearson's four-bagger in the sixth. Kuts Hayashi went all the way for New Denver allowing eight hits with nine strikeouts and three walks. W.Avis  started for Winlaw but gave up three runs on two hits, two walks and an error and didn't get out of the first inning. In relief, E.Gustafson pitched an eight-hitter and fanned 13 with just one walk.

W.Avis (L), E.Gustafson (1) and xxx
K.Hayashi (W) and xxx

(June 24)  At Edgewood, Nakusp pounded out 17 hits in trouncing the home squad 14-5. The winners had two big innings scoring four in the 5th and five in the 9th when they batted around the lineup getting three hits and a walk while five reached on errors.

(July 1)   New Denver topped the Nelson Tigers 9-8 Sunday at the Civic Recreation Grounds. The home squad came to bat in the final inning down 9-5 and rallied for three runs on hits by Denny Kraft, Ron Nash and Christenson. With the bases loaded and two out, Bill Dozzi caught an inside pitch for what looked like a sure safety.  With all the Tiger base runners on the move, Nobby Hayashi at shortstop went well back to make a spectacular one-handed catch to end the game. Tamo Takenaka belted a triple, stole two bags and scored four times for the winners. Kuts Hayashi went the distance for the win, besting Ron Brown.

K. Hayashi and xxx
R.Brown (L) and xxx

(July 2)   New Denver won the Silverton Tournament with a 2-1 thriller over Silverton scoring the winner in the ninth inning as Tamo Takenaka reached on a fielder's choice, advanced on a stolen base and Walter Thring's single and scored on a squeeze play. In a sterling pitcher's duel, Tommy Pearson, with a four-hitter and 17 strikeouts bested Dutch Groenhuysen who allowed six hits. New Denver scored the first run as third inning singles by Jimmy Tateishi and Nobby Hayashi brought in Pearson who had reached on an error. Silverton tied the count in the fourth when Randolph Harding doubled, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a fielder's choice.

Pearson (W) and xxx
Groenhuysen (L) and xxx

New Denver made the final defeating Winlaw 3-2 in a five-inning first game. Nobby Hayashi doubled and scored the winner in the fourth inning on a fielder's choice. Tommy Pearson fanned 11 while surrendering just three hits. Swanson, for Winlaw, gave up just two hits.  New Denver got its first run courtesy of three errors and two stolen bases while a passed ball and a sacrifice helped in the team's second run.

Swanson (L) and xxx
Pearson (W) and xxx

(July 2)  In a holiday tournament, Nakusp came away victorious with easy wins over Edgewood and Burton. In the opener, Nakusp scored nine runs in the sixth inning en route to an 18-2 triumph over Edgewood.

In the second game,  I.Yano had a no-hitter for four innings in pitching Nakusp to an 11-2 victory over Burton.  Nakusp scored early and often getting two in the first, another pair in the second and six in the third.

(July 8)  Again, Nakusp scored early in taking a 12-4 victory over Burton at the Nakusp diamond. The home squad rapped four hits in the first inning to put three runs on the scoreboard and added five more in the second.

R.Johnson and D.Roberts
E.Desrochers (W) and Yanagisawa

(July 9)  At New Denver, Nelson Tigers downed the short-handed host team 6-3. New Denver's regular catcher and second baseman were replaced by school boys. Denny Kraft, the Tigers' starter left in the 4th after New Denver had scored three times. Ron Brown held New Denver scoreless the rest of the way. Tommy Pearson pitched a fine game for New Denver allowing but four hits and compiling 14 strikeouts. He walked three. Brown fanned nine and walked one in his winning stint.

Kraft, Brown (W) (4) and xxx
Pearson (L) and xxx

(July 15)    Nakusp and Nelson Tigers divided a twin-bill at Nelson Sunday.  Nakusp trounced the host club 18-11 in the opener and Nelson rebounded to take the evening encounter 9-8. It was Nakusp's third win in four starts against the Tigers having won both games at Nakusp.

Nakusp had three big innings in the first game, scoring six in the 5th and four in each of the 1st and 7th innings. Barin Yoshida smacked a homer for Nakusp while Don Porteous had a four-bagger for Nelson. Ron Nash added a triple. Nelson out-hit the visitors in both games, 8 to 6, and 15 to 5.

Marchessault, Dolman, E.Desrochers and xxx
Kraft, J.Poznikoff and xxx

Marchessault, E.Desrochers, S.Yano and xxx
Irwin (W) and xxx

(July 17)  In a game which featured two homers, three triples and four doubles, New Denver won its last scheduled league game 7-6 over Silverton.  Silverton got on the scoreboard in the first inning as Dutch Groenhuysen tripled to score Dick Hambly, who had reached on an error, then came home when the centre fielder threw wildly to try and hold him at third. New Denver took the lead with three in the third but Silverton tied it in their half of the third and went ahead in the 5th. The visitors came back to knot the count in the 6th when, with two out, Tommy Pearson singled, advanced to third and scored on Walt Thring's safety. In the last of the 6th, Silverton plated a pair on doubles by Kynock and Morrison and hits by Gordon and Hambly to again move in front.  It was tied in the 7th and New Denver posted the winning tally in the 8th as Tanaka got a three-bagger and came home when the second baseman booted Thring's grounder.

Takenaka, Pearson (7) and xxx
K.Gordon, Groenhuysen (3) and xxx

(July 22)   At Winlaw, a Silverton squad weakened by the absence of many of its regulars, went down 10-7 in the final regular season game in the Slocan League.  With the two teams tied, Silverton won the toss for a sudden-death semi-final to determine an opponent for New Denver in a best-of-three final series for the Graham Cup. Winlaw broke open a 4-3 game with four runs in the fourth inning. T.Nishimura's two-run homer was the key blow. Kynock rapped a triple for Silverton.

xxx and xxx
E.Gustafson (W), Zaytsoff (6)

(July 29)   In  semi-final playoff action, Silverton crushed Winlaw 17-5 to advance to the league final against New Denver. Winlaw held a 3-1 advantage when Silverton took the lead with four runs in the 5th inning and put the game away with six unearned runs in the sixth. Randolph Harding led the attack with a triple, double and single. Ken Gordon, W.Gordon and B.Morrison each had three hits and James Fairhurst added a double and single. Ken Gordon scattered seven hits and compiled 14 strikeouts on the mound for the winners. W.Avis was best for Winlaw with a double and two singles.

E.Gustafson (L), B.Lister,E.Sutherland,W.Avis and xxx
K.Gordon (W) and xxx

(August 5)  The opening game of the final series ended in a 3-3 draw in a pitcher's duel between Tommy Pearson of New Denver and Ken Gordon of Silverton. The game was called after nine inning because of darkness.

K.Gordon and xxx
Pearson and xxx

(August 9)  The Arrow Lakes News published a few finals statistics for the Slocan Baseball League showing J. Gawryletz of New Denver topping the hitters with a .556 average and Tommy Pearson also of New Denver had the best winnining percentage for a pitcher with a 2-0 mark.

(August 12)   Silverton blanked New Denver 4-0 to go up one game in the best-of-three series for the Graham Cup.  Playing at home, Ken Gordon had a no-hitter into the 7th inning before giving up a triple to Tamo Takenaka. He ended up with a four-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts.  Silverton got its first run in the second inning when Allan Lind drew a walk, stole second, advanced on an error and scored on Randolph Harding's sacrifice. They added two more in the fourth on James Fairhurst's double and got their final tally in the 6th as Fairhurst drove in Lind with a single.

Pearson (L), K.Hayashi (6) and xxx
K.Gordon (W) and xxx

(August 19)   In a wild affair at New Denver, Silverton blew a 10-run lead in dropping a 16-15, 10-inning, decision to New Denver to tie the final series at a game apiece. J.Gawryletz, the winning hurler in a relief appearance, drove in the deciding run with a two-out hit to deep centre field in the bottom of the tenth. Trailing 11-1, New Denver got back into the game with a six run outburst in the fifth. In the ninth, down 15-10, they rallied with five straight hits before the first out and went on to score five to force an extra inning. Nobby Hayashi smacked a triple and four singles to top an 18-hit attack for the winners. He also had a theft of home for New Denver's first run. Tamo Takenaka punched out a double and three singles.  Silverton had ten hits and drew 14 free passes.

K.Gordon (L), W.Gordon (5), K.Gordon (6) and xxx
xxx, xxx, xxx, Gawryletz (W) and xxx

(Aug 19)  Nakusp captured the Dick Fowler Trophy Sunday with a 14-4 win over hometown Burton.  Kaz Hoshizaki led the winners with four hits while Sam Yano chipped in with two doubles and a single.

(August 26)   In a game played under protest by New Denver, Silverton rallied from a 5-1 deficit to score four runs in the seventh inning to down New Denver 7-5 in the deciding game of the best-of-three Slocan League final. The protest came after Umpire A.Moore of Silverton banished New Denver's star centre fielder Tamo Takenaka in the first inning for arguing a call.  J.Gawryletz gave new Denver the lead in the second inning scoring on Tommy Pearson's grounder. They added two more on a two-out error in the third and went ahead 5-1 in the fifth. Nobby Hayashi was hit by a pitch, advanced on an error and came home on Gawryletz's drive to deep right field. Two more errors allowed Gawryletz to scoot home all the way from first. Silverton got two back in the bottom of the fifth with Ken Gordon and Andy Avison knocking in the runs. In the 7th, Gordon and Avison both singled and with an error brought in a run to make the score 5-4. With two out, Dutch Groenhuysen's long clout was lost in centre field for a homer to put Silverton in the lead. Allan Lind followed with a single and with the help of two outfield errors made it all the way home.  Groenhuysen was the winning pitcher in relief of starter Ken Gordon.

Pearson (L), Gawryletz (7) and xxx
K.Gordon, Groenhuysen (3) and xxx

(September 3)  At the Labour Day sports celebration at Slocan City, Tommy Pearson fired a one-hit shutout and struck out 13 as New Denver topped the host team 8-0. The only hit against Pearson came in the final inning.

Pearson (W) and xxx
xxx, xxx, xxx and xxx

New Denver went on to defeat Silverton 2-1 as Pearson again handled pitching duties for New Denver. The run against him was unearned. In an sparkling pitcher's duel, Dutch Groenhuysen allowed just three hits, two in the first inning when New Denver scored both its runs.

Pearson (W) and xxx
Groenhuysen (L) and xxx

Silverton had earlier eliminated Winlaw 3-1.

(September 9)  The clubs of the Slocan Lakes and Nakusp decided to change the name of the Big Bend Trophy to the C.S. Leary Memorial Trophy.

(September 9)  At Silverton, Nakusp won the opening game of the playoff for the Slocan / Arrow Lakes championship downing Silverton 7-3. Although out-hit 11 to 8, Nakusp pulled off three snappy double plays and ran wild on the bases stealing nine sacks.  Sam Yano had a shutout until the seventh when Dutch Groenhuysen belted a homer. In the 8th, O'Grady was safe on an error and scored on Nelson's triple. Nelson came home on Andy Avison's single. Fred Desrochers and Barin Yoshida each had two hits for the winners. Gavin Harris had a double. Groenhuysen led all hitters with his homer, two singles and a walk.

S.Yano (W)and xxx
K.Gordon (L), Groenhuysen (7) and xxx

(September 14)  Nobby Hayashi is New Denver's top hitter for 1951 with a .390 average. He led the club in doubles, 4, stolen bases, 17, and runs, 19.  Walt Thring was tops in RBI with 18. Tommy Pearson, while not as effective as last year, was the hardest working pitcher throwing 73 2/3s innings. He fanned 113, allowed 33 walks and 53 hits for 18 earned runs and a fine earned run average of 2.20. Pearson finished with a 6-4 won/lost mark. 

(September 16)   Nakusp seniors won the Sid Leary Memorial Trophy and the Arrow-Slocan Lakes baseball championship Sunday downing Silverton 17-14 to win the best-of-three series in straight games. The final game produced 27 hits and 15 errors. Nakusp grabbed the lead with five runs in the first inning adding three in the second and four more in the third. Silverton chipped away and rallied with five in the bottom of the ninth before Nakusp could close out the series. Sam Yano managed to go the distance for the win for Nakusp in spite of ten errors by his teammates.  Gavin Harris led the winners with a triple and two singles, George Marchessault added a pair of doubles.  Gord Nelson paced Silverton with a triple, double and two singles. Dutch Groenhuysen had three singles and Allan Lind had a double and single.

Yano (W) and Hoshizaki
Groenhuysen (L), Gordon (3) and Avison

(October 15)   Members of the Nakusp baseball team were honoured by the Nakusp Rotary Club Monday night at the Leland Hotel.  Tony Steenhoff, manager of the team, introduced the players individually - Sammy Yano and George Marchessault as pitchers, Otto Yanagisawa as captain and coach, Gavin Harris as first baseman with Mel West as understudy for second base (Inouye and two Desrochers boys not present), Kaz Hoshizaki, second base, Barin Yoshida left field, Neil Shaw, centre field (known as the Kikoloa Kid), Buddy Aalten bat boy and water boy, Don Bouvette as understudy right field, Fats Natsuhara, coach for 3-4 years and now secretary and umpire, Vic Smith as umpire and Ken Highland as retired pitcher and substitute fielder. The three cups were on display - Wildfire Cup, held for five years, put up on July 1st, Arrow Lakes League cup (Dick Fowler, North American Life) won for first year, Big Bend, now known as Sid Leary Memorial Cup. Mr. Steenhoff promised the boys championship sweaters.


(May 31)   The Crow's Nest Baseball League kicked off over the weekend with the Natal-Michel Red Sox taking it on the chin losing to Blairmore Canucks 10-8 and Coleman Cubs 23-15. Red Sox did have a highlight as shortstop Tylio Fabbro of Michel belted home runs in successive trips to the plate.

(June 20)   In the Crow's Nest Pass circuit, Natal-Michel Red Sox edged Coleman Cubs 4-3 in a thrilling 10-inning contest in Natal before the largest crowd of the season.  Sox regular catcher Cliff Salahub surprised the fans taking over mound duties in a pitcher's duel with Lefty Kimoto a long-time nemesis of the Red Sox.  Salahub went the full ten innings giving up just nine hits while striking out 11. Kimoto allowed eight hits and fanned nine. Red Quorin scored the winner for the Sox slamming a double, stealing second and scampering home on a sizzler through second by rookie SerefiniQuorin and Max Turyk each had two hits for the victors while Pow, with three hits, led the Coleman attack.

Lefty Kimoto (L) and Hayashi
Salahub (W) and Red Quorin

(August 10)  In Crow's Nest Pass action Hillcrest juniors, awaiting the Alberta junior playoffs, scored a thrilling 6-5 win over Natal-Michel Red Sox. A two-run homer by catcher Somoya in the 6th inning was the deciding blow. Bossetti, with late relief by Willie Walasko, was the winning hurler. Lefty Scott went the distance for the Red Sox.

Bossetti (W), Walasko (9) and Somoya
Scott (L) and xxx

(August 23)   Blairmore Canucks scored in every inning but one in embarassing Natal-Michel 20-4 in a Crow's Nest Pass contest at Natal.  The home town Red Sox compounded their difficulties by making 12 errors.  Veteran John Dobek held the Sox to nine hits in pitching the win. Canucks battered Lefty Scott and Cliff Salahub for 14 safeties. The defeat all but eliminates the Red sox from the CNP playoffs.

Dobek (W) and xxx
Scott (L), Salahub and xxx



Bonners Ferry ID
Kimberley Elks
Libby MT
Troy MT

(May 19-20)  Creston Apple Blossom Festival Tournament

(May 27)  Kimberley’s Eric Bodin continued on his merry way by pitching and batting the hometown Elks to a one-sided 10 to 2 triumph over Bonners Ferry ID in the IMBCL opener for both aggregations. Bodin hurled a neat five-hitter while fanning six. He helped his own cause by rapping out two singles and a double. The Bonners Brigade used a trio of chuckers with left-hander Bob Davis, who started and lasted until the seventh spasm, being tagged with the loss. The Antlered Tribe lit up the triumvirate for 14 safe blows. Bruce Kerr and Ted Robb both picked up a brace of safeties in support of Bodin. Solo home runs were blasted by Claude Bell of the victors as well as Al Lafresne of the Idahoans.

(June 3)  Young Eric Bodin, better known for his achievements in cross-country skiing, continued to carve out a name for himself in east Kootenay baseball circles when he held the hard-hitting squad from Creston to seven hits while fanning five in pitching the Kimberley Elks to a 7 to 4 IMBCL triumph. Mound opponent C. Clark of the Orchardmen, another teenager, was also nicked for seven safeties, The hosts had an early 4 – 0  lead before the Horned Horde came to life in the sixth stanza to plate a trey and reduce the deficit to a singleton. They added a deuce in the seventh to move ahead for the first time and sewed things up with another brace in the ninth.  “Red” Matthews, with two singles, led a well-balanced Kimberley attack.  

(June 9 – 10)  The powerful Trail Smoke Eater baseball club dropped into town just long enough to give the hosting Kimberley Elks a weekend cleansing, capturing their three exhibition tilts by scores of 16 to 4 on Saturday and 4 to 0 and 9 to 3 in a Sunday twin-bill.

Trail collected 14 hits off Elk chuckers Ron Gilbertson and Bill Hryciuk in the Saturday event including three round-trippers by Ken Stanton and a grand-slam bomb off the lumber of Lui Corrado. Portsider Pete Boisvert of the Smokies fanned 16 and yielded six hits in a complete-game mound performance.

Tom Jenkinson, another southpaw, tossed a four-hitter for the Smelter Towners in posting the shutout knoll victory in the Sunday opener. Rain shortened the clash to seven stanzas. Eric Bodin held the fence-busting Silver City nine to just three safeties, including a game-winning triple by catcher Ivan Spees in the opening canto, but received poor defensive support from his infield.

Completing the sweep with relative ease, the visitors rested some of their regulars and played, for the most part, with a makeshift lineup. Joey Monaldi gave up round-trippers to Kimberley’s Claude Bell and MacDonald, but was still able to cruise to victory with a seven-hitter. Bodin again got the nod to start on the bump for the Antlered Herd in the nightcap but gave way to John Bailey in the fifth. Trail’s Jenkinson, the winning tosser in the afternoon joust, came off the bench as an outfielder and lit up Bodin for a four-bagger as part of the Smokies’ eight-hit offense.

(June 10)  The Libby MT diamond pastimers, a new entry in the IMBCL this season, evened their record at a win and a loss by downing Creston 11 to 4.

(June 17)  The Kimberley Elks inflicted a double defeat upon the travelling Libby MT nine, winning a regularly-schedule IMBCL fixture 10 to 6 in the afternoon and then topping the day off with a 14 to 8 conquest of the Montanans in an evening exhibition contest.

The opener was a slow-moving affair in which Ronny Gilbertson claimed the hurling verdict over Libby’s Wayne Anderson. Gilbertson was touched for six hits and managed to ring up a dozen punchouts. Anderson matched Gilbertson in strikeouts, with 12, but was raked for ten base raps. “Red” Matthews, Pontarello and “Sandy” Sanderson paced the Elks at the plate with two hits apiece.

Eric Bodin hurled the Antlered Tribe to the wind-up victory in the exhibition bout that was called after seven stanzas. Bodin was strong in the early stages of the game but had a meltdown in the sixth session when he issued five free passes and gave up two hits as the visitors ran across six big counters. Regular first sacker Lee Gehring mounted the bump for the Lincoln County Lads in this bout and was roughed up for 13 Kimberley base blows, including a four-ply clout and a double by “Red” Matthews. Claude Bell registered three hits for the winners while Walt Gelling and Bodin added two each.

(June 18)  At Windermere, Kimberley Elks downed the home club 7-3.

(June 19)  Kimberley Elks scored early and often to take both games of a Sunday double-header from Libby, Montana. Elks took the opener, a league contest, 10-6, which featured 24 strikeouts. Ron Gilbertson for the Elks and Libby's Wayne Anderson each fanned a dozen.  Kimberley had ten hits, including triples by Bill Hryciuk, Claude Bell and Pontarello

Anderson (L) and xxx
Gilbertson (W) and xxx

In the evening exhibition game, Kimberley scored two in the first and added five more in the third and went on to post a 14-8 triumph. Red Matthews poked a homer for the Elks in the 6th as part of a 6-run inning.

(June 24)  Sandy Sanderson’s hustling Kimberley Elks chalked up their fifth straight IMBCL victory by mauling the Troy MT baseballers 11 to 4. It was Troy’s first setback of the season and dropped them a rung behind the Elks in the standings. Eric Bodin picked up his third consecutive league triumph and did it in great style by holding the Americans to five hits while his clubmates were collecting nine off losing slabster Jim Nally. Claude Bell ripped a three-run triple for the Horned Horde while teammate Bill Hryciuk drove in a brace of tallies with a double. Bodin, Bill Hryciuk and “Red” Matthews all finished with a two-hit output.

(June 30 - July 1-2)  Kimberley Dominion Day weekend tournament

(July 22)  The Kimberley Elks, front-runners in the Idaho-Montana-B.C. circuit, and the Coleman Cubs, pace-setters in the Crow’s Nest Pass loop, split the spoils in an exhibition double-dip run off at the Civic grounds. The Elks downed the Cubs 8 to 5 in the afternoon fixture while the Coleman squad claimed the evening event 8 to 4.

Kimberley’s Ron Gilbertson hurled a steady eight-hitter and sent eleven Cubs down swinging in the matinee tussle. The burly heaver started off slowly, yielding a two-run dinger to Alec Kovacik in the second spasm but settled down after that and, with the exception of Kovacik who added a brace of two-baggers to his homer, had the remainder of the Coal Miners in check for most of the skirmish. Coleman threw two chuckers into the fray with starting and losing flinger Charlie Kitaguchi seeking refuge in the third as Kovacik came on to extinguish the blaze and hold the Antlered Herd to two runs on five hits the rest of the way. “Red” Mellor, playing in his first game of the season, wasted no time in adjusting his batting eye to game conditions, pounding the apple for a three-run tater and a pair of doubles. “Babe” Adams and Walt Gelling also had a stellar performance at the dish for the victors, picking up three hits apiece.

“Lefty” Kimoto, the leading hurler in the Crow’s Nest Pass League, pitched his team to the triumph in the nightcap. The Cubs jumped into a three-run lead in the opening panel against losing chucker Les Lilley and never looked back. Kovacik’s big bat once again spelt trouble for the Elks with the husky Colemanite slamming a three-run homer and a trio of two-baggers. Claude Bell was best with the baton for the vanquished Mining Towners, stroking three singles.

(July 29)  The Troy MT band of balltossers moved into a first-place tie with Kimberley in the IMBCL by doubling the Elks 6 to 3 in a league contest. An exhibition tilt followed and the Montanans rubbed salt in the wounds of the Antlered Tribe by annexing that event as well by a 6 to 1 count.

Reinforced with a quartet of recently-signed players from Spokane, the Troy team benefitted by the lackluster defensive display exhibited by the Kimberleyites in the important opening scuffle. Ten errors, three of them coming in Troy’s  third frame, cost the Elks big time. Big Ron Gilbertson of the losers dished out just four hits to the co-leaders of the circuit while walking two and fanning eight. Winning tosser Lucas of the Americans was nicked for seven Wapiti safeties while leaving seven of their baserunners stranded. Bill Hryciuk was the Eks top hitter with a double and single while Troy’s Thomason earned two of his club’s four safeties, both singles.     

Eric Bodin, back in Kimberley after an extended vacation, was on the knoll for the homesters in the meaningless second event but, once again, the Elks’ play afield left much to be desired and put him a in a hole right from the start when the visitors ran across four counters. Bodin only surrendered three hits, two of those going to Howard Rice, but his command was out of kilter and he was wilder than a forest fire, walking six batters. Troy’s Art Previs yielded four Kimberley hits, including a pair to “Red” Matthews, and walked one in gaining the mound verdict. 

(August 5)  The Kimberley Elks stayed in contention for the IMBCL pennant when they hammered Creston 23 to 4 to begin the day’s proceedings. An exhibition game 12 to 9 victory followed the league event. Creston played with a depleted lineup as some of their regular players were seconded to fight forest fires. Young Eric Bodin tossed a one-hitter in league encounter, surrendering only a lone single to Harry Ostendoff. Bodin also issued three bases-on-balls which, along with a brace of errors, helped to account for the four Creston counters. A pair of carrot tops sparked the 17-hit Kimberley offense. Both “Red” Matthews and “Red” Mellor had four hits while Bill Hryciuk checked in with three.

Les Lilley gave up eleven hits, including four to Ostendoff, in earning the win in the inconsequential follow-up match. He also banged out three singles to assist his mound effort. Creston starter Dale Embree suffered the loss. “Red” Mellor launched a four-bagger to go along with a one-base rap for the Antlered Herd.

(August 11-12)  A 4 to 1 road victory over the hometown Libby MT nine Saturday night completed the IMBCL schedule for the Kimberley Elks who finished in a tie with Troy MT for top place in the circuit with both teams sporting 10 – 2 won-loss records. The east Kootenay Mining Towners completed the weekend by decimating their Libby hosts 25 to 0 in a Sunday afternoon exhibition encounter.

The Saturday fracas was a close affair for the first eight episodes, after which the combatants were deadlocked in a 1 – 1 stalemate. In the ninth session, however, the Elks went to town and plated a three-spot to put the game on ice. Eric Bodin, in relief of starter Ron Gilbertson, garnered the pitching win, his fifth of the campaign.

FINALS  Troy MT vs Kimberley

(August 19)  The Troy MT nine found the Elk hunting in Kimberley to their liking as they polished off the homestanding Mining Towners 14 to 5 in the opener of the best-of-three IMBCL final series. Before the contest even began, the Kimberleyites lodged a protest as per a stacked Troy roster that included five Spokane players and two from Libby. Once the game began, it was no contest as the visitors rocked Kimberley starter Eric Bodin for 13 hits and nine runs before he bowed out to Ron Gilbertson in the eighth. Gilbertson didn’t last long and was kayoed after giving up five more tallies. Bill Hryciuk moved to the bump from shortstop and finally quelled the fire in the ninth. Art Previs, on the Troy mound, went the distance allowing nine hits. Jim Moore and future MLB player Ed Bouchee paced the 19-hit Troy attack with three safeties apiece. Hryciuk, “Sandy” Sanderson and “Babe” Adams each had two safe raps for the losers.

(August 26) No final score or game details of a return match in Troy MT was located.

(July 17)   In an exhibition match at Riverside Park at Kamloops Monday, the St. Louis Browns Baseball School, composed of players from all over British Columbia, trounced the Nisei Athletic Club 16-7.  Left fielder Elgin Kiel's 5th inning grand slam homer was a game highlight.  With Bob Hallam of the Okonots on third, Gordon Beecroft of the Okonots on second and Mike Duckwick of Vancouver on first, Kiel launched one over the right centre field fence.  The only other extra base hits were doubles by Bill Kushnir and Wendell Clifton of Penticton and a triple by Revelstoke's Vince Pratico.

The Browns collected 13 hits, the Nisei had just six.  Norm Allen, with two no-hitters for the Vancouver juniors, started for the Browns and went three innings followed by Clifton, Don Smith of Vancouver, Gordon Brown of Lytton and Norm Ebner. Ken Kochi started for Nisei giving way to Stan Kato. The Athletic club was reinforced by Kaye Kaminishi of CYO, Tosh Takenaka of the Okonots and Tom Hines of Kelowna. Wednesday the Browns meet the Kamloops Elks the league-leaders in the Okanagan-Mainline League.

(July 19)    The St. Louis Browns Baseball School whipped the Kamloops Elks 8-0 at Riverside Park Wednesday. Four Browns' hurlers combined to hold the Elks to five hits.  The visitors rang up six runs in the first two innings and crusied the rest of the way to the victory notching nine hits off the combined slants of Al Swaine and Bill Cliff. The Elks had the bases loaded with only one out in the fifth but failed to score as Mel Ottem fanned and Bill Portman flew out to right. Wilf Johnson had two hits for the Elks. Shorstop Gordon Sprout of the Brownies drew a tremendous ovation from the crowd as he turned two almost sure hits into outs.  In the seventh, Buzz Mellor drove one to the hole between shortstop and third  but Sprout dashed  over to make a play on the red hot grounder and throw to first for the out. The next batter lined a shot to the same spot and Sprout again was up to the task.


(May 13)   Grand Forks Cubs scored seven runs in their last two at bats to come from behind to down Curlew 7-5 in a contest at Columbia  Reliever B.Dergousoff picked up the win in relief of starter Jack Mathers.The pair held Curlew to five hits. Lindsay went all the way for Curlew giving up eight hits.

Lindsay (L) and Lindquist
Mathers, B.Dergousoff (5) (W), E.Bay (9) and Lusk, T.Chernoff (5)

(May 27)  Jack Mathers racked up 14 strikeouts in pitching a five-hitter as Grand Forks shaded Colville 4-3. The winners broke a 2-2 draw with a pair in the 8th inning then held off a Colville rally in the 9th for the win.

Mathers (W) and xxx
xxx and xxx

(June 3)  Greenwood and Grand Forks played to a 4-4 tie Sunday at Columbia.  The game was called in the top of 8th because of rain.  In spite of the timing of the call, a tie was declared even though Greenwood had scored three in the 8th for the draw and Grand Forks didn't get a chance to bat.  Jack Mathers fired a six-hitter and compiled 16 strikeouts for Grand Forks.  T.Oye and G.McPhail combined for ten strikeouts for Greenwood.  The fielding was shoddy with Greenwood committing ten errors.

T.Oye, G.McPhail (5) and Father Davis
Mathers and G.Chernoff

(July 10)   Grand Forks jumped into a 4-0 lead in the first inning, fell behind, then scored singles in the 8th and 9th innings to pull out a 9-8 win over Republic.  In the 7th, Republic broke a 7-7 as Lindsay walked, stole second and scored on a single by Davis. In the bottom of the inning. A.Dergousoff led off with a single, stole second and came home on a single by Brummet to knot the count at 8-8.  In the last of the 9th, with the bases loaded, A.Dergousoff drove a single between short and second to drive in MacDonald with the winning run.  Brummet led the winners with three hits in four trips.

Lindsay (L) and Lindquist
B.Dergousoff (W) and Graham

(June 17)  Grand Forks scored five runs in the first inning on singles by Bay, Lusk, Markin, Grey and Chernoff, a walk and an error and coasted to a 9-3 victory over the Air Base squad at Columbia diamond.  Lusk led the winners with four hits in four trips to the plate.  N.Dergousoff was credited with the pitching win.

Pace, Parabla (7) and Dennson
N.Dergousoff, Bay (5), Mathers (7) and Chernoff

(June 24)   In a pitcher's duel at the Columbia diamond Sunday, Grand Forks All-Stars edged Colville F.O.E. 2-1. Davis allowed the winners just two hits while Jack Mathers yielded just three for the All-Stars. Grand Forks took the lead in the fifth when Mackie walked, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when L.Bay's grounder got away from Plotts, Colville's second baseman.  In the seventh, Carmichael hit a triple to left and scored on an error.  Colville got its lone run in the 9th as Horbolt reached on an error, advanced on a steal and worked his way home on fielder's choices. Mathers went the distance with 12 strikeouts. Davis fanned 11 in going the route for the losers.

Davis (L) and Abernathy
Mathers (W) and Lusk

(July 1)  Grand Forks Cubs took both ends of Sunday's double-header with the Washing State Raindrops, 13 to 2 and 16 to 8.  The Cubs scored in every inning but the sixth in the opener to trounce the Americans. Johnny Lusk swatted a triple, double and single to led the offense. L.Bay scored four times. Jack Mathers fanned 17 in going the distance for the win.

Wilson (L) and Arlt
Mathers (W) and Lusk

In the second game, every batter in the Grand Forks lineup had at least one hit as the Cubs scored three in the first and seven in the second and cruised to the win. Lusk again thrilled the crowd with his hitting. In the second inning he managed to score on his own hard hit single to right as the ball was misjudged by the Raindrops fielder. Lusk also was a force on the mound taking over in the second inning and going the rest of the way for the win.

E.Bay, Lusk (W) 2) and L.Bay
Shaw (L) and Narven