Tacoma Team In WIL Wear Pin Stripes
BY DEWAYNE B. JOHNSON
TACOMA, Wn., Apr. 16 (UP) —About the only thing local baseball fans know for certain about the 1949 Tacoma entry in the Western International League is that the team will be attired in uniforms with sharp black pin stripes down the sides, a la the New York Yankees.
“But that is where the resemblance ends,” said Manager Bob Johnson at Ontario, Calif, where the Tigers are in spring training.
“We're short on heavy hitters and need pitching help,” Johnson said. “I couldn't say right now just what our starting lineup will be when we open against Salem April 22.”
Johnson, a home town product who rose to fame as a slugger with Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics, is in his first managerial job.
He is withholding final decision of his starters because he expects more help from the parent San Diego club of the Pacific Coast League. Just how much help will come, Johnson doesn't know.
Two outfield and two infield jobs appear cinched, however.
Hold over Glen Stetter and Simon Koerner will open in the outfield with heavy hitting Hank Vallee slated for the other berth—if he reports. So far he hasn’t, but business manager Enoch Alexson said he still is counting on him. The reserve
garden sorts are wide open. Hopes of getting slugger Dick Greco back from San Diego faded when the Padres optioned him to Oklahoma City.
Joe Kaney, who played for Vancouver last year, has the call at short, and Morley Bockman, a newcomer, will open at third base. Hank Bartolomei and Frank Bowa are battling for second base with Jerry Ballard having the edge over Bill Jackson at first.
Bill Chambers and Jeep Holmes, both newcomers, have been sharing catching duties. Two veterans, Vince Lazor and Jim Gleason, head the mound corps. Others pitchers on hand include Vic Martineau, Gene Lan Franco, Nello Saggrini, Othman Henderson and southpaw George Shell. The Tigers hope to land southpaw Cece Walden from San Diego. Walden won 19 games for Tacoma in 1947.
Tacoma breaks camp Monday to head north. Johnson makes no predictions about his team, but says it will be young and hustling.
Tacoma’s pennant chances, however, appear to depend upon on how generous its parent San Diego club is with player help.