1954 Ontario Game Reports      


(March 17)   The Sporting News reported Frank Colman had gone on the voluntary retired list.  The former Pittsburgh and Yankee outfielder had decided to remain at home in London, Ontario to managed the local team in the Inter-County League.  Colman was officially on the roster of Charleston of the American Association following a trade with Toronto of the International League.  Colman had been the batting champion of the Inter-County circuit before moving into pro ball.

(May 21) The 1954 Senior Intercounty Baseball League season was launched with three games Friday night. Two of them went into extra innings.

At Brantford, the Red Sox needed ten innings to edge St. Thomas Elgins 9-8. London Majors took a 3-2, 11-inning squeaker from Guelph-Waterloo Royals and in Kitchener, Galt Terriers defeated the Panthers 5-1.

Pinch-hitter Alf Gavey drove in the winning run with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the 10th inning at Brantford. The Sox were forced to come from behind an early deficit for the victory. Harry Fisher who started in right field but came into pitch in the eighth inning received credit for the win. He also slammed the game's only homer.  Joe Grasso took the loss in relief of John Ambrose.

Ambrose, Grasso (L) and xxx
xxx, xxx, xxx, Fisher (W) (8) and xxx

Russ Evon was the hero for the Majors in London. His bases-loaded single in the 11th frame brought in the winning tally. The game was scoreless for nine innings before Guelph-Waterloo counted one in the 10th on a run-scoring single by pinch-hitter Irish Miskimmons. London tied it in the bottom of the 10th. Royals again took the lead in the 11th as Billy Flick smacked a homer. but the Majors counted a pair for the win.

(May 26)  Galt Terriers handed the defending Intercounty champion Kitchener Panthers a fifth straight defeat Wednesday with a 4-1 decision at Galt.  Terriers moved to 4-1 on the season, the same as London. Mel Duncan, a former Panther, hurled a five-hitter to capture his first win of the season. Ed Steele, Galt left fielder belted the only homer, a solo shot in the second inning. Jim Hisner took the loss.

Hisner (L) and xxx
Duncan (W) and xxx

(May 26)  The London Majors kept pace defeating Brantford Red Sox 6-2 behind Bob Brake's three-hitter. Second baseman Gord McMackon led the attack with four hits, including a pair of doubles. Wilmer Fields singled home both Brantford runs in the fourth inning. Gord Roach, the first of three Red Sox hurlers took the loss.

Brake (W) and xxx
Roach (L), xxx, xxx and xxx

(May 26)  St. Thomas Elgins shaded the Guelph-Waterloo Royals 11-9. Three-run homers by Willy Casanova and Herman Mason carried St. Thomas to their victory. Don Oberholtzer slammed a two-run blast for Guelph-Waterloo. Jack Hartsell, the second of three Elgins pitchers was credited with the win. Al Gerringer took the loss.

Gerringer (L), xxx and xxx
xxx, Hartsell (W), xxx and xxx

(June 4)  The struggling Guelph-Waterloo Royals hope to strengthen their roster this weekend with three pitchers. Heading the trio will be Bing Martin along with left-hander Ed Drapcho, who played with Guelph and Oshawa last year, and Ray Butler, purchased from the London Majors. 

(June 8)  The Guelph-Waterloo Royals came from behind with two runs in the ninth inning to shade the defending champion Kitchener Panthers 6-5. It was the Panthers ninth straight loss. Playing manager Ed Sokol started the winning rally in the ninth with a two-bagger. He scored when pinch-hitter Auggie Herchenratter singled and Auggie crossed the plate with the winning run when first baseman Glen Noback singled. Ray Butler, the last of three Royals' hurlers, got his first win. Keith Weese, third of four Kitchener pitchers, was tagged with the loss.

(June 15)  Kitchener Panthers, with the longest losing streak in the Intercounty League, now have the longest winning string after a 6-4 win over Brantford Tuesday night. The Panthers, who lost nine straight to begin the season, now have five consecutive victories.  Panthers got the win in dramatic fashion, a two-run homer by playing manager Don Gallinger in the ninth inning.  Trailing 4-3 going into the final frame, Panthers tied the score on doubles by shortstop Erv Ler and Dick Curran. Gallinger followed with his big blast.

London Majors snapped a four-game losing streak in London by handing the Terriers a 9-3 defeat. Bob Brake, who picked up his third pitching win, helped his own cause with two hits, one a homer.  Frank Colman, the Majors' playing coach cracked a 400-foot homer in the first inning.  Mike Pontarelli hit the game's other homer and plated two runs for the Terriers. Bill Hanrahan was handed the pitching loss.

John Ambrose pitched a four-hitter to lead St. Thomas Elgins to a 2-0 shutout over Guelph-Waterloo Royals. A walk to Jim St. Louis with the bases loaded in the third inning provided enough for the triumph. Don Butler slammed a home run in the eighth inning to add an insurance marker. 

(July 11)  More than 12-hundred Toronto baseball fans had a look at Intercounty baseball Sunday as Brantford Red Sox and Kitchener Panthers played an exhibition game at Maple Leaf Stadium, with proceeds to the Oldtimers' minor baseball promotion.  Luther Clifford singled in Bob Slater in the ninth inning to give the Red sox a 4-3 victory. Glen Legacy tossed an eight-hitter before giving way to Bob Goldsholl with one out in the ninth.  Wilmer Fields accounted for one of the Brantford tallies with a triple.

(July 12)  Bobby Schnurr, the Guelph-Waterloo hurler, continued to pitch well but get little for the effort.  Schnurr has just two victories -- both two hit shutouts -- but has three losses, one a ten-inning, one-run defeat, a five-hitter and a four-hitter.  The four-hit loss came Monday night at St. Thomas when the last-place Royals were blanked 2-0 by the Elgins in the seven-inning opener of a double-header. Elgins also won the nightcap, 5-1. The two wins increased the Elgins' lead atop the standings to two games over London.  Johnny Ambrose held the Royals to three hits to chalk up his seventh triumph of the season, against just one loss. Catcher Doc Glenn cracked a fourth-inning homer in the second game. Outfielder Ted O'Connor had two hits, knocking in three runs for the Elgins. Jack Caffery, the St. Thomas southpaw, held the Royals to seven hits in the second game for his fourth triumph of the season. Gord Ariss, who went the route for Guelph, suffered his sixth loss.

(July 17)    Guelph-Waterloo took a pair from the Kitchener Panthers Saturday 3-0 and 9-8.  Right-hander Gord Ariss yielded just six hits in hurling the shutout. Royals jumped on Panther righty Charlie Wolf for all three runs in the first inning. Singles by Don Oberholtzer, Bobby Fischer, Billy Flick and Jim Turner plus a sacrifice fly and an error produced the three markers.  John Clarke, Guelph's new hurler, did not allow a hit through four innings as the Royals took the second game. Auggie Herchenratter slammed a two-run double in the seventh inning to provide the winning margin.

At St. Thomas, the Elgins snapped a four-game losing streak and regained first place in the standings by defeating Galt Terriers 8-4. Reliever Wilmer Harris allowed only one hit and no walks in five innings to register the win. The Elgins came from behind after the Terriers jumped on Tommy White for four runs in the fourth inning.  Third baseman Ray Urban knocked in three runs for the winners and Butch Lawing plated another two. Neil Colvin cracked a two-run homer for Galt in the fourth.

London Majors downed the Brantford Red Sox 5-1.  Bill Best twirled a three-hitter for his fourth win, helping his own cause with a pair of hits. Bob Halkard led the Majors with three hits in four trips.

(July 21)   Former Pittsburgh Pirate hurler, Harry Fisher, has won seven of his first eight decisions with Brantford of the Inter-County League.  Fisher, who played last year with Hollywood of the PCL, also was a star at the plate with a .326 mark as a part-time outfielder.  Frank Colman, the former Yankee and Pirate, had a .250 mark up to July 1 while Wilmer Fields, the former Negro League star who played with Toronto of the International League in 1952 was battering the ball at a .460 clip with 34 runs batted in over his first 22 games.  Among other former pro players, Bill Macdonald, with Hollywood in 1953, Johnny Maldovan, former hurler in the Yankee system, Charley Wolf, with Scranton of the Eastern League in 1953 and Jim Turner, with Tulsa of the Texas loop in 1953.

(July 21)  Bill MacDonald tossed a three-hitter while Harry Fisher and Wilmer Fields provided the offensive punch as the Brantford Red Sox whipped Kitchener Panthers 10-3 Wednesday at Brantford. Fisher, who has nine mound wins this season, and Fields, with six pitching wins, had big nights at the plate. Fisher drove in five runs with a pair of homers and a single.  Fields cracked his tenth homer and added a single. Charlie Wolf, who started the game on the hill for the Panthers and ended as the catcher, was charged with his third loss.

At London, the Majors, helped by seven Galt errors, crushed the Terriers 15-5. Gerry Wilson drove in five runs for the winners with a homer, double and single. Russ Evon also had three hits including a four-bagger and a triple. Although touched for 14 hits, Stan Slack went all the way for his fourth win. Jeep Jessup allowed the same number of hits in suffering his sixth loss against six wins.

(July 28)   Bill Allen made quite a debut with London of the Inter-County League.  Allen, who had an 0-4 record last season with Columbus of the American Association, registered a pair of wins on his first night with the team.  The Left-hander blanked St. Thomas 1-0 in the first game of a double-header and came back in a relief role in the second game as London won 5-4 in 18 innings.  Both games were won on home runs by Vern Kaiser, former Montreal Canadians' hockey player.

(August 13)   Brantford Red Sox vaulted into first place in the Intercounty standings Thursday night whitewashing Guelph-Waterloo 3-0 and 5-0 in a double-header. Newcomer Max Manning blanked the Royals on four hits in the seven-inning first game while Negro League veteran Barney Brown hurled a five-hitter for the shutout in the second game. It was Brown's fourth win of the season. Stan Breard had two hits, one a double, in the opener and two doubles and a single in the second game.

At London, the Majors and St. Thomas split a pair. Elgins took the first game 8-7 in 11 innings and Majors rebounded to win the second game 10-3. The opener was the completion of a game from July 27th.  Catcher Doc Glenn singled in the 11th for the St. Thomas victory. Joe Bechard led the hit parade for London in the second game with four hits. Don Butler knocked out three for the Elgins. Bill Brake was the winner while Wilmer Harris was charged with the defeat.

(August 18)  St. Thomas and Galt divided a pair Wednesday.  Terriers romped to a 9-0 win in the first game while the Elgins responded with a 10-7 decision in the nightcap.  Mel Duncan, Galt's ace right-hander, spun a four-hit shutout in the Galt triumph. He fanned seven in registering his 12th victory of the season.  Jack Colvin knocked in four runs for the winners and Ed Steele belted a pair of doubles to plate another two runs. Centre fielder Freddy Thomas and catcher Art O'Connor smashed home runs. Catcher Don Butler knocked in three runs with three singles in the second game to pace the Elgins. Jimmy St. Louis clouted a homer for St. Thomas. Again, Colvin was best for Galt with three hits, one a homer. Playing manager Tommy White, who relieved started Johnny Ambrose after three innings, was the winning hurler.  Bill Hanrahan took the loss. 

The six-hit pitching of Harry Fisher led Brantford to a 6-3 win over Kitchener. Fisher struck out ten in earning his 13th win of the season.  Stan Breard drove in a pair of runs with two hits. Earl Bossenberry, the Kitchener first baseman, got the game's only homer. John Maldovan was charged with his third defeat against nine wins.

Right fielder Joe Bechard drove in five runs with three hits to lead the London Majors to their easy 13-5 win over Guelph-Waterloo. 

(August 25)   St. Thomas Elgins downed London Majors 9-7 at St. Thomas Wednesday in a sudden-death playoff for third place. Lefty Jack Caffery went six innings for the pitching win, giving way to manager Tommy White. Stan Slack, who was charged with the loss, started for London with Bob Simpson taking over in the sixth.

Slack (L), Simpson (6) and xxx
Caffery (W), White (7) and xxx

(September 8)   Wilmer Fields captured the batting title of the Inter-County League with a .379 mark edging former major leaguer Harry Fisher who finished at .373.  Frank Colman, who also played in the majors, was third at .360.  Fields and Fisher, both with Brantford, tied for the lead in hits, each with 87, and each clubbed 14 homers to tie the league record.  Fisher led in total bases, 157, and Fields in doubles with 24.  Fisher also led the loop in wins with 13 and Johnny Maldovan, a former Yankee farmhand, had the lowest ERA, 2.54.


(June 24)  Stan Sheldon's two-out homer in the last of the 11th inning gave Westerns a thrilling 2-1 victory over West Yorks.  More than 1,500 fans, the largest turnout of the season, turned out to the St. Clair park.  Maw Mori had a big night with four hits, three of them two-baggers. Jim Rennie, with his third mound victory allowed eight hits, two apiece to Ronnie Hastings and Alex Stremicki.