1959 Alberta Snapshots     

Washburn no-hitter

Ray Washburn
tossed the only no-hitter of the 1959 season.

"Nobody really thought it was a no-hitter" said Washburn,  "I walked so many, eight I think, and there were runners on the bases all night. I walked in two."

Key White Sox

Hockey stars too!



Many of the prairie baseball stars were also stars on ice.  Gordie Vejprava was among them. (Calgary Herald, August 7, 1959)

Left - Key members of the White Sox playoff drive -- Brack Bailey, Darryl Wilson, Larry Koentopp, Dick Creighton, and at the rear, batboy Gregg Park.

KC Monarchs, tourney champsDave Biggers

Left - Kansas City Monarchs won the 1959 Lethbridge tournament beating Drain 9-5 in the final.  Homers by Paul Gilbert (left), Jesse Mitchell (centre) and Willie Washington (right) brought Kansas City back from a 5-1 deficit.

Right - Dave Biggers, Lethbridge White Sox stretching out to make the catch.

Bourbeau & Schott1959 Drain Black Sox

Left - Bob Bourbeau (left) and Steve Schott (right) of the Lethbridge White Sox. [Photo courtesy of the Galt Museum & Archives, Photo # 19753802051]

Above right- Drain Black Sox, 1958 US semi-pro champs were one of the entries in the Lethbridge Tournament.  Left to right: pitcher Dick Montee, playing-manager Ray Stratton, third baseman Jim Phifer.

Herron, Tillotson & Taylor

Above - Medicine Hat's Thad Tillotson (centre) tossed a three-hitter in the Lethbridge Tournament but lost 1-0 to Tommy Taylor (right) of the Kansas City Monarchs on a homer by Bob Herron (left). At Medicine Hat, the home town Superiors upset the Kansas City Monarchs 6 to 4 to capture $1,000 first price money in the Medicine Hat Rotary Tournament. 

Aaron JonesMedicine Hat Trio

Left - Pitcher Aaron Jones of the Medicine Hat Superiors. Right - Dick Rautmann (left) rapped a three-run homer in the sixth inning which proved to be the turning point in the contest. Right-hander Ken Bailey (centre) came through with a display of clutch pitching to hold the booming bats of the Monarchs to six hits while Glen Rediger (eight) blasted a two-run homer in the seventh inning which knocked in what proved to be the winning run.

Spokane kidsUnder the lights !

Above left - Three of the 1959 Western Canada players would, in 1965, be teammates on the Los Angeles Dodgers' Spokane Indians. Brack Bailey (right), Thad Tillotson (centre) and John Werhas (left).  Right - August 2, 1959 the first game under the lights in Lethbridge.  An overflow crowd of 18-hundred at Henderson Park was on hand as the Sox whipped Kansas City Monarchs 14-2.

Szostak & MacEwenAbel & Vejprava


Left - Calgary Dodgers' hurlers, veteran Hank Szostak (left), a former pro, and youngster, Bentley MacEwen.


Right - Dave Abel (left) and Gordie Vejprava




Vaselenak trophy Bedford & TBA

Left - Lethbridge's John Vaselenak receives the Jack Boyle Memorial Trophy from the league's governor-secretary Bill MacKay for the team's first place finish during the regular season.  [Photo courtesy of the Galt Museum & Archives, Photo # 19753802060]

Right - a pair of Lethbridge hurlers at a team practice.  Mountie Bedford is at the left. The player at the right is not yet identified. [Photo courtesy of the Galt Museum & Archives, Photo # 19753802063]

Thad Tillotson1959 Koentopp MVP


Left - Right-hander Thad Tillotson of the Medicine Hat Superiors.  He was among dozens of Fresno, California, kids to suit up on prairie ball diamonds. Tillotson came to Alberta from the baseball program at Fresno City College,

Right - Larry Koentopp holds his 1959 Most Valuable Player trophy .

1959 Davis Park

Twelve Foot Davis Park, Peace River, Alberta.  Finished for the 1959 season it became known as the best ball park north of Renfrew in Edmonton.  (Image courtesy of Joe Weremy)