Club Loaded With Hitters
VICTORIA, B. C., April 11—Manager Ted Norbert, who used to be a handy man with a slab of ash, evidently has asked his 1948 baseball prospects just one question: "Can you hit?"
Information seeping north from the California training camp of the Victoria Western International League entry indicates the club will be loaded with heavy stickers. If it isn't an overload of pre-season enthusiasm, Norbert can point in any direction with his eyes closed and say “that guy is a .300 hitter.”
Take a peek at the outfield: Lou Kubiak clouted .335 last season with the rival Salem Senators; Archie Wilson rapped .338 for the Ventura, Calif., club; Charlie Balassi hit .340 with Twin Falls, Idaho and pilfered 38 bases. Frank Cirimele will be back with Norbert’s Athletics in an outfield utility role.
The infield? Mike Dalton, playing last year with Salt Lake City, slammed a solid .300. Bob Koraleski, third basing for Twin Falls, was in the .330 class. Wayne Petterson was at Bisbee, Ariz., in 1947—hitting .374. Rounding out the infield staff are Paul Jones, a Bakersfield, Calif., product and Duane Crawford, once with Salem and last season with Denver.
Len Kasparovitch, the Hawaiian-born righthander, is back to head the mound corps. A regular starter, Len posted 14 wins and 11 losses as Victoria wound up fifth in the 1947 standings. Joe Blankenship, reliefer last season, is another returee, but most of the mound corps is in the rookie class. One—Del Owens—is an off-season football player with the New York Yanks.
Dick Walkingshaw won 17 and lost nine in his first crack at organized ball last year with Twin Falls. Al Logue comes from the same club with an 18-11 record. Lefthander James Probst won 15 and lost six with Bisbee.
Back of the bat Norbert will have Sal Recca, who was Kasparovitch’s battery mate in the Hawaiian winter league, and Dan Danielson.
The Athletics hit the long trail against Yakima in the apple city April 18 and play their home opener April 26 against Spokane.