1959 British Columbia Snapshots     

Si/Ci Coleman & Bill Gilchrist


Two key members of the Yarrow Ocean Sprays, Si (or Ci) Coleman (left) and Bill Gilchrist.



Pete Ratzlaff


Right - Pete "Six" Ratzlaff, ace right-hander of the Yarrow Ocean Sprays of the Fraser Valley League.

No explanation yet for the nickname, "Six".  Pete and brother Ernie Ratzlaff appear to have been the pitching staff for the Sprays.

Photos from Yarrow's Pioneers & Settlers

"Starting as a Junior baseball team in the early 1950's, Yarrow's Ocean Spray baseball club team rose through the ranks to play in the Senior Baseball League by 1959 against such teams as the Chilliwack Monarchs, and teams from around the Fraser Valley. The sponsorship of Ocean Spray (Cascade Foods Ltd.), particularly the support of its owner Marcus L. Urann, an American lawyer and entrepreneur from Boston, Massachusetts, and the dedication of coach Len Froese and manager/coach Eddy Froese facilitated the success of the club."


Yarrow six



July, 1959 - After defeating the Chilliwack Monarchs for the second time in a week, there are smiles all around as six of the Yarrow Ocean Sprays enjoy the moment.

Back row (left to right) - Bill Gilchrist, Ernie Ratzlaff, Don Smith and Barney Thiessen.

Kneeling are Si/Ci Coleman and Pete Ratzlaff.






Below, top left - Russ Keckalo, who recently returned to the Vernon Carlings from Edmonton makes the acquaintance of newcomer Jim Duncan, shortstop, from Langley of the Dewdney League.

Top right - Vernon pitcher Jim Staff, outfielder Jim Tooley and lefty hurler Tony DeRosa at a pre-season workout.

Bottom left - Pitcher Jim Staff offers a "tough luck" to fellow moundsman Ron Miciuk after the right-hander dropped a decision to the Oliver OBCs. In the middle is Vernon manager Vern Dye.

Bottom right - Jim Tooley has a disagreement with plate umpire Bill Raptis.

Russ Keckalo & Jim DuncanJim Staff, Jim Tooley & Tony DeRosa

Staff, Dye, MiciukJim Tooley & Ump

Clark Inglis batboy

Left- And, it begins !  Batboy Clark Inglis of the Vernon Carlings.

Inglis would go on to play for more than a decade with the Vernon Luckies, Vernon Coldstream Carlings and Vernon Legion. He was the playing coach from 1971 to 1975.

At 11-years-old the young Inglis was known through the league for his specialty of warming up the pitcher and then heaving the ball to second base.

Below left - Loren Bay of the Nelson Outlaws of the West Kootenay Baseball League.

Below right - Slugging teammates Keith “Buck” Buchanan, the OMBL’s leading home run hitter in 1959, and Jack Fowles, sporting the circuit’s top batting average for the campaign, raise their lumber in a “V for Victory” sign as the Kamloops Okonots embark upon the playoff trail.

Loren BayBuchanan & Fowles

Below left - First baseman Keith “Buck” Buchanan of the Kamloops Okonots is all smiles after belting three home runs in a May 24 Okanagan-Mainline League game against the Kelowna Labatts.  Below right - Third baseman Al Collier of the Kamloops Okonots displays the painful area on his face where he was struck by an errant pitch on July 5 at Butler Park in Trail. His cheekbone was fractured causing him to miss the remainder of the 1959 OMBL season

Buchanan Collier

Len GatinLefty Rolin

Left - Playing-manager Len Gatin of the
Kamloops Okonots shows his form as an outstanding pitcher in a winning
effort against the Vernon Carlings on July 1.

Right - Lefty Rolin, the 10-year veteran of the Salmon Arm Merchants, is to be honoured with a Lefty Rolin Day at Centenoka Stadium. Rolin was forced to retire from baseball following an injury in the opening game of the NOBL final, September 13th. Proceeds from an exhibition game will go towards Rolin's medical expenses


Frank Bencher



Left - Boomin' Frank Bencher displays the ball and bat he used in knocking out the first grand slam home run of the season.

Frank's hit, combined with the other 17 runs, were enough to defeat Williams Lake 21-3 in the opening game of a double-header at the Industrial diamond on the Vanderhoof Highway Sunday.

The local squad won the second game 3-0.

Victoria Three


Thinking Alike.

One thought is shared by Gerry Parker (left), Art Worth and Lyall Cornett.

All are playing-managers of teams in Victoria's Senior Amateur Baseball League and are wondering how clubs will fare in season-opening games at Royal Athletic Park Saturday.

Parker sends his rookie-studded Naval Vets squad against Worth's Eagles at 2 p.m. and Cornett will pilot Wakeman-Trimble against Page Cleaners in a 7 p.m. tussle. (Victoria Times)

Bishop safe !



Victoria Eagles' second baseman Gary Bishop scrambles back to the bag just in time to beat the throw to first sacker Berlyn Hodges of Pages.

Hodges was the hero as Pages took a 2-1 lead in the series with a 7-6 triumph in 12 innings, Wednesday night.