Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wenatchee Chiefs 1948 Preview

Chiefs Strong On Pitching
WENATCHEE, Wash., April 8 — The Wenatchee Chiefs, who were out of the Western International League cellar only the last five days of the 1947 season, may or may not finish in the upper division this year.
But one thing is certain — they have the material to improve on their start last season, when they lost 12 of their first 14 games.
Club President Joe Brownlow classifies the team as "a great deal stronger than the one that opened for us last year. We have the best infield we've had in post-war play, and a dependable pitching staff."
But, unless they add a long-ball hitter in the outfield and one or two left handed pitchers, the Chiefs will be the underdog when they open the season against ex-Wenatchee Manager Buddy Ryan's Spokane Indians here April 16.
Ryan resigned in mid-season last year in protest against "failure of Sacramento to send us needed players". He was replaced by Pitcher Chuck Cronin, under whose managership the Chiefs would have played exactly .500 ball if they had won one more game. Ryan later teamed with J. Larnar Butler and purchased the Indians.
Cronin starts this season as chief pilot, and the slight right hander lists himself as a starting pitcher, ready to take his turn every four days.
The Chiefs stack up now with eight regulars back from last year, five of them pitchers. Here's a pre-season size-up of the team:
Catchers Les Dalrymple, hit .309 for Chiefs last year; and George Bandy, hit over .300 for
Boise in Pioneer league.
Infield — First base, Steve Andrade, hit .305 for Chiefs last year, on option from Sacramento; second base — Gene Gaviglio, hit .306 for Anaheim in Calif. State league last year; third base — Ray McNulty hit .286 for Anaheim; shortstop — Jess McWilliams, played for Ogden in 1946.
Outfield— Lou Estes, hit .285 for Vancouver-Wenatchee last year, in right; Nick Palica, hit .287 for Anaheim, in center; Tommy Warner, was hitting .304 for Chiefs early last season when sent down to Anaheim, where he hit .337, in left.
Pitching— Cronin, Lou McCollum, Tom Rose, and Everett Stenman the starters, with Bill Osborn, Bob Condon, Jim Mann, Leroy Stevens, and Don Tisnerat scheduled to come north for the opening. McCollum, who had a 13-13 record for Wenatchee last year, is expected to be the mainstay. Only Stevens is a left hander.
Summary — Outfield good defensively, but needs a home-run hitter. All outfielders should hit over .300, but mostly singles and doubles. But Wenatchee's park, always a paradise for home run hitters with the short 320 foot fences, will not be easy this year, with 15-foot wire netting erected above the 14-foot wooden fences.
The team is strong behind the plate, but has only one left-handed batter. Pitching appears to be the best feature.

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