PCL Redux

Update: 6/21/1937


San Francisco (35-22) won seven straight before falling to Portland (29-28) 5-1 on Sunday. The Seals have been almost unbeatable in June—15 wins in 19 games—and have opened up a four-game lead over second-place Oakland (31-26). Los Angeles (30-27) is floundering; the Angels are now in third place, five games back. In fourth are the Beavers, six games back, followed by Sacramento (28-28), six and a half games back, and Mission (28-29), seven games back. San Diego (25-32) and Seattle (21-35) are both in need of a major turnaround.

Solons catcher Josh Gibson missed over a month with a leg injury earlier this season, but he’s back with a vengeance. Last week he hit a sizzling .625 with six home runs, 12 runs batted in, and 12 runs scored. Now hitting .424 with 11 HR, Gibson was the obvious choice for Player of the Week.

Update: 6/14/1937


The outstanding individual performance this week arrived courtesy of Seattle shortstop Willie Wells, who hit .458 with three home runs, seven runs batted in, and seven runs scored. Wells, who is hitting .269 with 6 HR and 32 RBI so far this season, helped the Rainiers (20-29) win four of their six games. It wasn’t quite enough to get them out of the cellar, but they are now only a half-game out of seventh and a still-manageable 8 1/2 out of first.

Appropriately enough, the Portland Beavers (26-25) were the busiest team this week, with eight games on their docket, and also the winningest, victorious in six of the eight. Portland is in fourth place, just 3 1/2 games out of first.

First place is now held by San Francisco (29-21), who leads Los Angeles (28-22) by a game and Oakland (28-23) by one and a half. In fourth place is Sacramento (24-25), 4 1/2 games out, and right behind the Solons is Mission (24-26), five games back. It’s anybody’s race to win.

Update: 6/7/1937

Mission’s Ox Eckhart has been named Player of the Week for the second time this season—this time on the strength of a .545 average, eight runs batted in, and six runs scored—but the bigger focus is on Eckhardt’s cumulative stats. He’s hitting .444 for the year. The P.C.L. hasn’t had a .400 hitter since Harry Heilmann hit .408 in 1927; Heilmann’s mark is the league’s single-season record. Still a lot of baseball to be played, but the Bells’ 35-year-old first baseman is on pace to get his name into the record books.

San Francisco (25-19) won five of six to surge into a second-place tie with Oakland (also 25-19), who lost four of six. Los Angeles (27-17) played .500 ball, which was good enough to keep two games’ worth of distance between themselves and the Oaks and Seals. The Bells (22-21) won three of five, edging over .500 for the year and getting within 4 1/2 games of the Halos. Sacramento (21-22) is 5 1/2 back, Portland (20-23) is 6 1/2 back, San Diego (18-26) is 9 back, and Seattle (16-27) is 10 1/2 back.

Update: 5/31/1937


San Francisco’s Arky Vaughan had a banner week, hitting .483 and driving in five runs while scoring eleven. Vaughan’s .362 average has him in third place behind Mission’s Ox Eckhardt (.423) and Los Angeles’ Wally Berger (.383).

Vaughan’s Seals (20-18) are also in third place after a 3-4 week, four games behind the Angels (24-14), who competed a perfect 6-0 week by sweeping a five-game set with Seattle (14-24). The Halos slipped by Oakland (23-15), whose 5-2 ledger this week wasn’t good enough to keep them in first place. Los Angeles leads the Oaks by a game.

Mission and Portland (both 19-19) are five games out of first, Sacramento (17-21) is seven back, San Diego (16-22) is eight back, and Seattle trails by ten.

Update: 5/24/1937


Oakland (18-13) remained in first place and Los Angeles (18-14) remained in second, but it was anything but a banner week for the two front runners. The Oaks saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end on Monday and won only one game all week, while the Angels were crushed in five of their six games, the only exception being a 10-0 victory over Portland on Friday.

San Francisco (17-14), who began the week with an eight-game losing streak still intact, finished the week unscathed, winners of six straight. This put the Seals in a flat-footed tie with Mission (also 17-14) for third place, just a game behind the Acorns. San Diego and Portland (both 15-17) also picked up ground on the leaders, as did Sacramento (13-18) and Seattle (13-19). Only five and a half games separate the first-place Oaks from the eighth-place Rainiers.

Portland first baseman Bill Sweeney is the Player of the Week, hitting .517 with a home run and nine runs batted in to lead the Beavers to four wins in six games. The 33-year-old Sweeney, who spent most of his career moving up and down in the Detroit system, hit .333 for the Beavers last year and is at .341 thus far this season, good for fifth best in the league.

Update: 5/17/1937


Gene Lillard of Los Angeles (17-9) picked up the Player of the Week award on the strength of a .450 average, four home runs and ten runs batted in. The 23-year-old third baseman raised his season average to .301 while improving his home run tally to seven and his RBI count to 20.

However, the Angels were just a .500 team this week, and that wasn’t good enough to allow them to hold onto first place. Oakland (17-8) is surging—nine wins in nine games dating back to the Thursday before last—and the Oaks have replaced the Halos atop the standings. The Acorns’ winning streak includes a win over San Diego (12-14) and two over Mission (14-11), but the brunt of their onslaught was borne by San Francisco (11-14), who they swept in a six-game set. The Seals have lost eight straight and have fallen from second place to fifth, tied with Sacramento (also 11-14). The Oaks lead the Angels by a half-game, the Bells by three, the Padres by five and a half, the Solons and Seals by six, the Beavers by six and a half, and Seattle (9-17) by eight and a half.

Update: 5/10/1937


Mission’s Lou Tost won both of his starts this week, yielding just one run in a 4-1 complete game victory over Portland on Monday, and then shutting out his former team, Sacramento, 4-0 on Sunday. Tost was named the Player of the Week and might well be considered the Pitcher of the Year so far, sporting a 4-0 record and a league-leading 1.25 ERA. The Bells (11-8) were perfect this week, winning all six of their games and surging into a tie for second place with Oakland and San Francisco (also 11-8). Los Angeles (14-6) remains in first place, two and a half games ahead of the three clubs that comprise the remainder of the first division. Sacramento (8-11) is in fifth place, five and a half games out, Portland and San Diego (both 8-12) are six games back and tied for sixth place, and Seattle (7-13) is in the cellar, seven games behind the Angels.

Update: 5/3/1937


Mission’s Ox Eckhard isn’t getting any younger. The 35-year-old has finished in the top five in batting each of the last five seasons, but he’s never actually won the batting title. The way he’s hitting this season would indicate a realization that he may be running out of chances left to take home the trophy. This past week Eckhardt hit a blistering .609 (14-for-23) to raise his season’s average to .545.

Eckhardt’s teammate Cool Papa Bell entered Thursday afternoon’s contest at Seattle with four stolen bases on the year—and 997 in his career. He swiped #998 in the third inning, and with the Bells comfortably ahead 6-2 in the ninth, he singled to lead off the frame, stole second for #999, and then stole third for 1000.

The Bells (5-8) were only able to ride Eckhardt’s and Bell’s accomplishments to three wins in seven games this week, so they find themselves five games out of first place, tied for sixth with Sacramento (also 5-8). Los Angeles (10-3) kept rolling, winning five of seven, and the Halos lead second-place San Francisco (9-4) by a game. Portland (7-6) is three games back, Oakland and Seattle (both 6-7) trail by four, and San Diego (4-9) brings up the rear, six games behind the Angels.

Update: 4/24/1937


Bob Johnson, Portland’s veteran left fielder, kicked off the new season in style, hitting safely in all six games of the Beavers’ opening series with Seattle, collecting five home runs and twelve runs batted in along the way. Those are both league-leading totals, and Johnson’s .565 average is good for second place behind Los Angeles’ Wally Berger (.593). Johnson is the Player of the Week, the fourth time in his career he has been so honored.

The Beavers, who won four of six, are tied for second place with Oakland and San Francisco. Los Angeles took five of six, so the Angels are at the top of the standings one week in. Mission, Sacramento, and Seattle are 2-4, and San Diego is 1-5.

1936-1937 Off-Season

The Seattle Rainiers have been discussing plans for a new, permanent stadium ever since being forced to move to dusty Civic Field in the wake of the fire that destroyed Dugdale Park in 1932. Various locations have been considered but the most likely site seems to be the same plot of land where Dugdale Park once stood. Plans have not been finalized and ground has not been broken so it appears likely that the Rainiers will play another season in the dirt of Civic, but a new ballpark may be in place before Opening Day 1938.

The Mission Bells are restless as well. The Bells have never drawn particularly well in San Francisco and rumors suggesting relocation to various exotic locales surface every so often. For now, though, the Bells remain in the City by the Bay, calling Seals Stadium home.