1974 Game Reports, BC Interior     

1974 Vancouver, Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley 
1974 BC Interior 
1974 Vancouver Island   


As was the case in the previous season, no senior A level league was operational in 1974 in the Okanagan.


Kopetski A’s :                                            
Jen’s Hobos :                                    
Billy Barker Merchants :                                        
Selects : 


(August 17)  The pennant-winning Kopetski A’s clipped the Billy Barker Merchants 7 to 4 as the QSBL finals got underway. “Bud" Atkins got the pitching win over Wayne Boucher, who led the league with an 8 – 3 record during the regular season. Atkins had two hits for the winners.

(August 18)  Fresh from their opening-game triumph in the finals just 24 hours previous, the Kopetski A’s took the diamond again and once more prevailed, doubling the Billy Barker Merchants 10 to 5 to grab a two-game stranglehold in the best-of-five final series. Pete Swanson earned the hurling victory over Tom Spooner. A six-run fourth inning set the A’s on the road to victory.

(August 20)  The Kopetsky A’s spotted the Billy Barker Merchants an early lead but came back to capture game three of the series 10 to 6 and sweep the QSBL finals. Jim Swanson, who came on in relief of starter Glen Travers, copped the heaving verdict over complete-game loser Wayne Boucher.


Houston Bees : 
Moricetown Cubs :                         
Smithers Glaciers : 
Smithers Highlanders :
Terrace Reds :  


(September 1-2)  The Houston Bees annexed the 1974 Bulkley Valley Baseball League championship when they defeated the Smithers Glaciers two games out of three over the weekend. The Bees, pennant winners during the regular season, took the first session 7 to 4 as Pete Denman copped the pitching decision over the Glaciers’ Rob Fraser.

The Glaciers came back to win the second game 6 to 5 with Smithers’ Ken Giles outdueling Houston’s Don Jenzen. In the final match, pitcher Herb Elcia/Elsea led the Houston team to a 14 to 9 conquest of the Glaciers. Bob Kester was tagged with the loss.


Following a disappointing 1973 season during which the level of competition between participating teams was heavily imbalanced, both player and fan interest languished as did the media coverage afforded the West Kootenay Major Baseball League. It was evident that this three-team association of senior-level clubs was in big time trouble and predictable that it would not survive to see another campaign. Not surprisingly, the loop never got off the ground in 1974 but the void, to a large extent, was picked up with the organization of a five-team loop, known as the Selkirk Senior Babe Ruth League, which consisted of younger, up-and-coming baseballers, many of whom had playing experience in the senior WKMBL the previous season. The main architect behind the formation of this new association of teams was Lou DeRosa of Trail.

(June 20)  East Trail portsider Ken Umbarger threw a no-hitter in leading the Reds to a 4 to 1 conquest of the West Trail Blues, a win that clinched third place in the Selkirk Senior Babe Ruth League final standings. Umbarger, who experienced control spasms during the clash, walked six but performed solidly when he had to, striking out ten. The only run Umbarger permitted came in the third inning on two walks and an infield out. East Trail scored single runs in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth stanzas as the Blues used three pitchers with starter Mike Mondin taking the loss. 

       FINAL STANDINGS       W      L     T      Pts.
       Beaver  Valley       11      3     1      23
       Nelson               10      5     0      20
       East Trail Reds       6      8*    2      14
       West Trail  Blues     5     10     1      11
       Castlegar             5     11     0      10

*  loss total includes two forfeitures due to a shortage of players

SEMI-FINALS  West Trail Blues vs Beaver Valley & East Trail Reds vs Nelson Savoys (best-of-three series)

(June 25)  Beaver Valley overcame a 4 – 0 deficit and rolled to an 8 to 5 conquest of the West Trail Blues as the Selkirk Senior Babe Ruth League semi-finals got underway. Larry Reid smashed a two-run dinger in the opening panel to vault the visitors in front and, with another deuce in the third round, it appeared that an upset might be in the making. However, the strong relief pitching of Russ Lafreniere, who came to hurl in the third, allowed the Beavers to get their offense in gear. Two base hits along with four free passes parlayed into six runs for the winners and they were on their way to victory. Losing heaver Mike Mondin gave way to Chris Vlanich once the Blues fell behind.   

(June 26)  Scoring four runs off losing chucker Marty Hufty in the opening inning, the visiting East Trail Reds went on to annex a 9 to 4 victory over the hosting Savoys in the first game of their semi-final showdown. Left-hander Neil Paolone pitched a six-hitter for the Reds, fanning 11 along the way, as his teammates pounded Nelson pitching for four home runs, including two by infielder Dave Baines. Terry Taranoff finished on the hill for Nelson after Hufty was derricked early. Bruce Ferguson and Pat Healey also launched four-baggers for the winners while outfielder Jamie Hawthorne did likewise for the losers.  

(June 26)  Pennant-winning Beaver Valley advanced to the Selkirk Senior Babe Ruth League finals by doubling the fourth-place West Trail Blues 6 to 3 to capture the best-of-three semi-final series in two straight games. Holding a 3 – 2 lead, West Trail pitcher Al Pastro was within one out of the victory, having retired the first two batters in the final stanza, before the roof fell in on him. Ed Wilcox drew a walk, stole second and was eventually singled home by Dave Cominotto with the tying run. Len Gordon followed with a double to plate what turned out to be the winning marker. A triple by relief pitcher Russ Lafreniere and a one-bagger off the bat of Gerry Hollett added two insurance tallies. Lafreniere, who ascended the knoll in the third round, earned the mound victory.   

(June 27)  Facing a 2 – 0 deficit in the bottom-of-the-sixth spasm, the East Trail Reds broke open the game with a seven-spot and went on to knock off the visiting Nelson Savoys 7 to 2, eliminating the Laksesiders from the Selkirk Senior Babe Ruth League playoffs. Winning pitcher Pat McLaughlin drove in the tying and lead runs with a two-bagger during the sixth-stanza uprising. Barry Zanier also contributed a two-RBI base rap late in the rally. McLaughlin allowed five Nelson hits, whiffed seven and gave up one free pass in going the distance. The Reds collected seven hits off loser Marty Hufty and reliever Rick Eyre as Ken Umbarger led the way with a double and single.


(June 29)  The Selkirk Senior Babe Ruth Selects overcame an early 4 – 0 deficit and went on to down the Rossland Capilanos, runaway champions of the Kootenay Major Baseball League last season, 11 to 6 in an exhibition tilt staged at Trail’s Butler Park. Rossland opened the scoring in the first inning as Joe Zanussi was sent home on Al Roemer’s single. Art Field put the Capilanos in front 4 – 0 in the top-of-the-third session with a three-run homer. Selkirk’s Mike Mukanik tied the game with a grand-slam four-ply clout in the bottom-half of the frame. Selkirk took the lead for good in the fourth when three singles, a sacrifice bunt and two Rossland errors produced a pair of runs. Marty Hufty gave up four walks in the fifth to give the Caps their fifth counter. The Selects replied with a brace in the fifth and three more in the sixth for a commanding 11 – 4 lead. The senior-level players from the Golden City managed a final tally in the seventh off Russ Lafreniere. Selkirk used four chuckers with Mike Mondin on the knoll for the first two frames, Pat McLaughlin the next two, Hufty the fifth and sixth and Lafreniere finishing up. For the Capilanos, Al DeCecco toed the rubber for the first three rounds while Barry Seal relieved in the fourth and completed the game on the hill. 

FINALS  East Trail Reds vs Beaver Valley  (best-of-three series)

(July 1)  The Beaver Valley Beavers moved to within one game of capturing the Selkirk Senior Babe Ruth Baseball League championship when they hammered the East Trail Reds 12 to 1 at Fruitvale. Russ Lafreniere tamed East Trail on four hits to pick up his third straight playoff win after finishing the regular season with a perfect 8 – 0 won-loss mark. The Beavers rocked Reds’ starter Ken Umbarger for eight runs in the third inning highlighted by two-run doubles from Ed Wilcox and Len Gordon. Lafreniere was in command throughout the contest, striking out eight and walking one.

(July 2)  Beaver Valley edged East Trail 3 to 2 to claim the Selkirk Senior Babe Ruth League crown. Gerry Hollett pitched a three-hitter and breezed seven in going the route for the knoll triumph. Losing heaver Pat McLaughlin allowed five hits and swished ten. The Beavers went ahead 1 – 0 in the second inning when Mike Mukanik walked, stole second and scored on Randy Huston’s double. Russ Lafreniere singled home Len Gordon with the winners’ second tally in the third round. They added their final counter in the fifth on an RBI-single by Hollett. The Reds came back with a brace of markers in their half of the fifth when Hollett loaded the bases on three walks before Pat Healey singled to drive in Pat and Barry Zanier.

(July 4-7)  1974 third annual Trail international baseball tournament