Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bremerton Bluejackets 1948 Preview

Bluejackets Line-Up New
BREMERTON, Wash., April 12—Rebuilding with youth and speed, the Bremerton Bluejackets are new this year all down the line but Manager Alan Strange believes he has another winning club.
The Jackets were in the title race last year right down to the wire, finishing third after spending more time in front than any other Western International League baseball team. Vancouver and Spokane edged them out in the stretch race, they'll be out for early revenge this season, meeting the Canadians here Friday in the season opener.
Missing from the team this year are such Willy league warhorses as Pitcher Hub Kittle, Catcher Frank Volpi, Shortstop Joe Gedzius and Outfielders Hooks DeVaurs and Bill Barisoff. Gedzius was sold to Salem and the others are on the voluntary retirement list. Almost the whole 1947 outfit has scattered.
Starts With Pair
Strange started the rebuilding job with Pitcher John Marshall, a 16-game winner, and Catcher Al Ronning, formerly Volpi's understudy. First Baseman Allan Maul dropped in after completing the basketball season with Bellingham's Fircrests.
Right now hurling and catching are the main worries, but seven players are to be sent the team by Oakland before the opener and there may be battery help in the group. Early optionees from the Oaks were John Conant and Gene Chelli, the former a 19-game winner from Phoenix last year and Chelli doing the same for Stockton, Calif., Don Ward, 19, tall righthander from Port Orchard, Wash., has been the leading prospect among the rookies. Pitching six innings in two practice games, he gave up one hit and struck out 10 men.
Maul Has Understudy
Vearl Moore, signed off the North Idaho College of Education team, is working at second base and Jimmy Brown, an Oak chattel, is at short. Roy Bishop of Seattle has been understudying Maul.
The outfield has gigantic Ken McInnes in center, Dale Markert in left and Jay Ragni in right. Markert clouted .355 with Idaho Falls n the Pioneer loop last year and Ragni had a .311 season with Stockton.
Strange has hopes that Ed Murphy will return from Oakland for more seasoning. He also has his eyes on Billy Martin, a .393 hitter with Stockton, and Ed Samcoff, standout second baseman. Both are in the Oak camp. There is a chance, too, that Kittle and Volpi will return to the fold at the last minute.
Trainer Wayne Anderson has returned after one season with Sacramento. He has opened his own business in Bremerton but will be the team trainer.

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