1973 Game Reports, BC Interior     

1973 Vancouver, Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley 
1973 BC Interior 
1973 Vancouver Island   


The long-standing Okanagan-Mainline Baseball League, known to have existed since 1945, was no more after the 1972 season. Reduced to just three entries in 1972 and ending unceremoniously in a playoff forfeiture, the circuit never got off the ground in 1973 as only one franchise, the Kamloops Okonots, survived and became an associate member of Vancouver’s Metro Baseball League, playing weekend encounters against the four lower mainland entries.


With the loss of Slocan and New Denver, league membership dwindled to just three teams for the 1973 season. Not only was diminishing player interest becoming evident but media presence was also lacking as newspaper coverage of regular-season and playoff activity for the 1973 circuit ranged from non-existent to extremely minimal.

Nelson Indians
Rossland Capilanos
Trail Silver Kings

(May 9)  The cracker-jack pitching of right-hander Rick Babcock propelled the visiting Trail Silver Kings to a decisive 19 to 5 win over the Nelson Indians as the West Kootenay Major Baseball League got underway. An opening-inning home run by Al Doherty got the ball rolling for the Silver Kings and a nine-run explosion in the fourth frame sealed the deal for the Smelter Towners.
(May 12)  R-N

(May 15)  N-R

(May 22)  Portsider Keith Van de Keere pitched a four-hit shutout and big Don Holmes drove in all three Rossland runs as the hometown Capilanos blanked the Trail Silver Kings 3 to 0 at Jubilee Park. Van de Keere fanned four and issued only two walks. The Caps scored once in the opening inning off losing chucker Rick Babcock on a double by Art Mercer and Holmes’ triple. The Golden City squad added their final two counters in the third round following singles by Ron Cull and Mercer, a sacrifice and Holmes’ two-run single.

(May 26)  T-N

(May 29)  N-R

(May 30)  The Nelson Indians won their second straight Kootenay Major Baseball League contest, slipping by the hosting Trail Silver Kings 12 to 9. Rod Waters, with relief help from Bill Markin, annexed the pitching win while Rick Brown, the second pitcher used by the Silver Kings, suffered the loss. The Tribe scored five runs in the seventh stanza against Brown with a two-run double by Val Pidgeon highlighting the outburst. Trail outfielder Randy Bursaw connected for a home run.

STANDINGS                  W       L        Pct.
Rossland Capilanos         3       1       .750
Trail Silver Kings         2       2       .500
Nelson Indians             2       4       .333  

(June 5)  T-R

(June 6)  R-T

(June 12)  N-R

(June 13)  R-N

(June 16)  The invading Trail Silver Kings, taking advantage of some erratic Nelson pitching, coasted to an easy 14 to 3 victory over the Indians. Boatloads of bases-on-balls were the nemesis of the Nelson chuckers. Winning flinger Rick Babcock handcuffed the Tribe on four safeties while ringing up ten punchouts. Rod Waters, who was derricked early in the contest in favor of playing-manager Terry Minnis, was tagged with the loss. 

(June 19)  T-R

(June 23)  T-N

(June 26)  The Rossland Capilanos defeated Nelson 11 to 3 in the first of back-to-back clashes with the Indians.

(June 27)  Russ Lafreniere throttled the homestanding Nelson Indians on three hits and struck out nine as the front-running Rossland Capilanos buried the Tribe 12 to 0. Barry Seal’s two-run single in the opening panel gave Lafreniere all the runs he would need.

(July 3)  T-R

(July 4)  The Nelson Indians blew an 8 to 1 lead and fell 18 to 9 to the visiting Rossland Capilanos, losers of only one contest all season. Don Holmes started the comeback by the Caps with a three-run dinger in the fourth frame while a five-run, fifth-round outburst, keyed by Brian Eaton’s RBI-double, tied the game at 9 – 9.  The Golden City Gang added four more counters in the sixth stanza then put the result out of reach with a five-run seventh session. Capilano heaver Jim Cotton, who came to the rescue of starter Joe Zanussi in the fourth inning, surrendered only one run during his stretch on the knoll and was credited with the win. Nelson’s Tommy Gawryletz, currently leading the circuit in home runs, lit up Zanussi for a solo tater. 

(July 5)  N-T (DH)

(July 7)  T-N

(July 8)
STANDINGS                  W       L       Pct.
Rossland Capilanos        11       1      .917
Trail Silver Kings         4       6      .400
Nelson Indians             2      10      .167  

(July 10)  The Rossland Capilanos won their twelfth game in thirteen starts by defeating the Nelson Indians 5 to 2. Jim Cotton copped the heaving verdict over the Lakesiders’ Jim Matheson.

(July 11)  The travelling Trail Silver Kings doubled the cellar-dwelling Nelson Indians 6 to 3 to solidify their grip on second place in the West Kootenay Major circuit. A deuce in the first inning, reinforced with a four-spot in the third, sent the Kings on the road to victory. Highly-touted rookie pitcher Marty Hufty made his debut in the circuit for the Tribe, working a scoreless final three innings on the hill for the vanquished nine after starter and loser Terry Minnis had been derricked. 

(July 12)  The pace-setting Rossland Capilanos dumped the Trail Silver Kings 11 to 2 in the matinee portion of a three-team doubleheader at Butler Park as Barry Seal picked up the fourth pitching win of the campaign. The hosting Silver Kings came back in the late half of the twin-bill to easily dispose of the Nelson Indians 13 to 2 with portsider Dale Payette registering the complete-game knoll triumph. Darrell Steeves started on the mound for the hard-pressed Indians who have now lost nine in a row.

(July 17)  T-R

(July 18)  
STANDINGS                   W       L      Pct. Rossland Capilanos        15      1      .938 Trail Silver Kings         6      7      .462 Nelson Indians             2      15      .118  

(July 19)   R-T & N-T (DH)

(July 21)  R-N

(July 24)  N-R

(July 26)  R-T (DH)

(July 28)  The visiting Rossland Capilanos broke out for six runs in the third inning and went on to post a 15 to 5 victory over the hapless Nelson Indians. In suffering their fifteenth consecutive setback in league played, the Tribe started out with Rod Waters on the knoll but he was quickly replaced by Marty Hufty.  

(July 31)  source -  Trail Times
      BATTING LEADERS                 AB      H        Ave
       Barry Seal  (Rossland)          51      23      .451
       Al Roemer  (Nelson)             41      17      .415
       Rick Brown  (Trail)             63      26      .413
       Ron Rebelato  (Trail)           56      22      .393
       Larry Reid (Trail)              39      14      .359
       Mike Mukanik  (Rossland)        49      17      .347
       Rich Miller  (Rossland)         35      12      .343
       Brian Eaton  (Rossland)         44      15      .341
       Steve McFarland  (Rossland)     50      17      .340
       Tom Gawryletz  (Nelson)         54      18      .333
       HITS - Rick Brown  (Trail)  26
       RUNS – Ron Rebelato  (Trail)  23
       RBI’s – Tom Gawryletz  (Nelson)  15
       WINNING PERCENTAGE – Russ  Lafreniere (Rossland)  5 – 0  1.000; 
Barry Seal (Rossland)  4 – 1  .800;  Keith Van de Keere (Rossland)  4 – 1 .800 STRIKEOUTS – Keith Van de Keere (Rossland)  32; Barry Seal (Rossland)  32;
Russ Lafreniere (Rossland)  30 E.R.A. – Keith Van de Keere (Rossland)  1.11  

(August 2)  R-T & N-T (DH)


All three teams engaged in a six-game round-robin semi-final tournament to decide the two playoff finalists.  

(August 14)  Pennant-winning Rossland battered losing heaver Terry Minnis for seven runs in the first two innings and went on to dump Nelson 12 to 3.

(August 15)  Keith Healey’s two-run homer highlighted a four-run fourth inning in which the Trail Silver Kings began mounting a comeback from a 4 – 2 deficit and went on to clobber the Nelson Indians 10 to 4 in round-robin playoff action. A two-run triple by Pat McLaughlin had tied the affair at 4 – 4 and sent losing hurler Marty Hufty to the sidelines before Nelson reliever Terry Severyn served up Healey’s four-ply clout. Trail added four insurance counters in the seventh against Terry Minnis, the third Indians’ pitcher.     

(August 16)  R-T   

(August 21)  T-R

(August 22)  Rossland humiliated Nelson to the tune of 38 to 1 to mercifully eliminate the Indians from the round-robin semi-finals. The Tribe used five pitchers, all of whom were ineffective. Twenty Capilano batters stepped to the plate in the fourth frame when the Golden City nine ran across 16 runs.

(August 23)  Nelson forfeited an engagement in Trail after their debacle of 24 hours previous.

FINALS  Trail Silver Kings vs Rossland Capilanos  (best-of-five series)  

No results found in print in either the Trail Times or Nelson News.


Quesnel’s four-team circuit remained the lone senior-level loop which was active in north-central B.C. during 1973 as diamonds in Prince George, once again, were barren of senior baseballers.


A much reduced schedule from the previous campaign plus a movement in mid-season from Alex Fraser Park to a brand-new facility named the Cariboo Pulp Ball Park highlighted happenings in 1973 for this well-established circuit.

Newspaper coverage for 1973 games was somewhat hit or miss, especially during the exciting stretch run when it was almost entirely miss. A close three-way battle for the regular-season pennant came down to the wire with the Selects finally finishing on top.

Billy Barker Inn
Jen’s Hobos

(May 22)  The Selects knocked off the Merchants 4 to 1 as the 1973 Quesnel Senior Baseball League got underway. Glen Nordin went the route on the knoll for the winners, taking the mound decision over Rod Dyck. Wally Pruden supplied all the firepower that the winners needed by smashing a three-run four-bagger in the first inning.

(May 24)  Billy Barker Inn bombed Jen’s Hobos 11 to 1 as Terry Yalowega earned his first pitching victory of the season. Shortstop Jim Crewe of the Innkeepers blasted a fourth-inning round-tripper off losing chucker Wayne Stuckleberger.

(May 29)  The Selects doubled defending champion Billy barker 8 to 4 as Arnie Prediger copped the mound verdict from Pete Swanson. Jim Alton and Wally Pruden both dialed long distance for the Selects, going yard with dingers.

(May 31)  Tom Spooner went the distance on the slab and nailed a three-bagger in leading the Merchants past Jen’s Hobos 3 to 1. Gordon Jones was charged with the loss.

(June 5)  The undefeated Selects rolled to their third consecutive victory as winning pitcher Dale Phoenix hurled a no-hitter, leading his club to a 5 to 1 conquest of Jen’s Hobos at Alex Fraser Park. Jim Alton smashed a solo home run for the winners. Losing twirler Wayne Stuckleberger was driven from the knoll in favor of Wayne Huska in the third panel.

(June 7)  Terry Yalowega went all the way on the hill for Billy Barker as they recorded a 5 to 1 decision over the Merchants. Harry West, driven from the bump in the second stanza as Rod Dyck took over in relief, was saddled with the defeat.

(June 19)  Terry Yalowega outdueled Dale Phoenix as the Billy Barker Inn knocked the Selects from the ranks of the undefeated by inflicting a 5 to 3 setback on their evenly-matched foe. The Selects had a slight 9 to 8 advantage in base hits as both clubs committed one error.

(June 21)  Steve Huska and Wayne Stuckleberger combined their pitching talents to toss a one-hitter as Jen’s Hobos knocked off the Merchants 5 to 3 to gain their first victory after four consecutive losses to begin the season. The Tramps nicked losing twirler Rod Dyck for seven safeties.

(June 29-July 2)  For the second straight year, the Billy Barker Inn captured top money of $500 in the Quesnel Dominion Day weekend tournament staged at the new Cariboo Pulp Ball Park facility. The Innkeepers decisively disposed of Jen’s Hobos 11 to 2 in the tourney final. The B-B’s went undefeated over the weekend event, qualifying for the championship game with a first-round 4 to 3 triumph over the arch-rival Selects and then clipping the Merchants 9 to 5.

(July 5)  The Merchants claimed a QSBL victory over the Selects by default.

(July 10)  The Billy Barkers had a tough fight on their hands before they were able to edge Jen’s Hobos 4 to 3 in a match that took two extra innings. Both clubs managed just four hits as Terry Yalowega got the pitching nod over Wayne Stuckleberger.

(July 12)  The Merchants clobbered Jen’s Junior Hobos 8 to 2 behind the solid pitching of Tom Spooner. The Retailers smacked a total of ten hits off pitchers Eric Sanderson and Brad Gassoff as Spooner helped his own cause by going three-for-three at the platter.

(July 15)  A steady mound performance by Rod Dyck helped the Merchants nose out the Selects 3 to 2. Dyck rang up ten punchouts in going the distance.

(July 17)  The Selects came out of the gate with a vengeance and recorded a one-sided 13 to 3 thumping over Billy Barker Inn, sending losing hurler Pete Swanson to the showers during the fifth inning. Dale Phoenix earned the knoll triumph as teammate Jim Alton launched his third circuit-jack of the campaign.

(July 19)  A solid three-hit pitching performance by Terry Yalowega lifted Billy Barker past the Merchants 5 to 1. Terry Spooner, relieved in the fifth frame by Harry West, was tagged with the loss.

(July 29)  The Merchants ended their regular season by toppling the cellar-dwelling Jen’s Hobos 5 to 3 at the Cariboo Pulp Ball Park.

Final Standings          W     L     T     Pts.
Selects                  8     4     0      16
Billy Barker Inn         7     4     1      15
Merchants                7     5     0      14
Jen’s Hobos              1    10     1       3  

SEMI-FINALS  Merchants vs Selects & Jen’s Hobos vs Bill Barker  (best-of-three series)

(August 7)  Rod Dyck spun a no-hitter as the underdog Merchants clipped the pennant-winning Selects 5 to 2 in the opener of their semi-final series.

(August 9)  Billy Barker took a one-game lead in their playoff set-to with Jen’s Hobos. Final score and game details not published.

(August 12)  Despite having a 7 to 6 advantage in base hits, the pennant-winning Selects were upset 5 to 2 by the Merchants and bowed out of the playoffs in two straight games. The Selects imploded in this contest, making five costly errors, as Tom Spooner took the mound decision over Dale Phoenix.

(August 14)  A second-straight victory for the Bill Barker Inn eliminated Jen’s Hobos from the playoff picture. No final score or game details were printed in Quesnel Cariboo Observer.

FINALS  Merchants vs Billy Barker Inn  (best-of-five series) 

(August 19)  The Billy Barkers took a commanding lead in the QSBL finals when they took both ends of a hard-fought doubleheader from the Merchants by scores of 2 to 0 and 5 to 4. Terry Yalowega did yeoman service for the Innkeepers, performing the iron-man task of pitching winning baseball in both games and doing so in complete-game fashion. The B-B slabster was dominant in the opener, tossing a no-hit, no-run gem. The wrap-up contest featured more of a challenge, however, and it wasn’t until the top-of-the-seventh inning that the Barkers broke a 4 – 4 tie when middle pasture patroller Rod Livingstone crossed the pan from the hot corner sack on a wild pitch. The Retailers then put things in motion for a comeback in their half of the canto when they loaded the bases with one out. Yalowega foiled the plot at this point when he snared Merchant backstop Ralph Beaudry’s popped up bunt and easily doubled up runner Joe Weremy at third base in a bungled squeeze play attempt. Rod Dyck and Tom Spooner suffered the pitching defeats in the twin-bill. This was Yalowega’s final appearance of the campaign for the Innkeepers as was scheduled to leave for Germany before game three commenced.

(August 28)  The Billy Barker Inn captured the QSBL playoff title for the third consecutive year after finishing of the Merchants in three straight games. Final score of the clincher and game details not published.