Wenatchee to Seek Franchise of Bremerton
TACOMA, Sept. 20—The Tri-City area of Pasco, Kennewick and Richland, will have a baseball team in the Western International League next year if it can show within 30 days it can construct a suitable ball park, league president Robert Abel said today.
Abel also announced the formal withdrawl of Bremerton from the league with Eugene, Ore., and Wenatchee immediately seeking the franchise.
Present Wenatchee operators would run the Tri-City team. The application for the franchise was presented to WIL directors by Mayor U.L. Koelker of Kennewick.
A Wenatchee group, including Mayor Arthur Pohlman, former team president Joe Brownlow, and William B. Bell, opposed shifting the team and immediately applied for the Bremerton franchise. Also seeking the Bremerton club is Frank Burrell, Jr., San Jose, Calif., who would shift it to Eugene, Ore., where he has made tentative arrangements for a stadium.
Abel told Burrell his proposal would have to be sanctioned by six of the eight board members. A decision will be reached at a later date.
The Portland Pacific Coast League club informed directors it intended to maintain a team in the league next year. The Beavers have placed the Salem Senators on the selling block. Formal notice of the "For Sale" sign on the Tacoma club was given.
The directors met in closed session here.
Baseball Field is Underway
Les Babcock, president of the Tri-City Athletic association, now building a baseball park for the Wenatchee Chiefs answered the Western International League baseball president this morning by stating that "part of the evidence of our 'good faith' is now underway directly north of the Playland ballroom." (The WIL league prexy, in Tacoma, said yesterday that the Tri-Cities must show substantially good faith before the Wenatchee Chiefs franchise can be transfered here.)
"It appears to me this is just another move on the part of certain interests that do not want to see us get organized baseball here. There is only one answer to such a move. That is whole-hearted cooperation in pushing this thing as rapidly as possible during the next 30 days so that we can remove any doubts that anyone may have concerning the ability of this area not only to support and enjoy baseball, but also to prove to the doubting Thomases that the Tri-Cities is one of the best sports centers in the country."
Public sale of stock in the athletic association will be announced either today or tomorrow, the association said. Plans now call for each of the three cities to get an equal share of thc total block of the stock so that uniform representation will be made.
Babcock also said that the organizations by laws, now being drawn up, will require that at least one member of the board of officers must be from Richland and one must be from Pasco. "This doesn't set a maximum and will give us complete area representation," he said.
"I deplore this attempt to belittle our efforts to date," Babcock continued, "but from the reports we have received of the great amount of interest in baseball from Kennewick and Pasco, this may prove to be a great thing. Now we will have an opportunity to demonstrate forcefully just how great our interest is. My feeling is that the league will some day wonder why they ever thought they needed a demonstration of 'good faith'."
- Tri-City Herald, September 20, 1949