PCL Redux

Update: 9/30/1935

Mission entered the final week of the regular season needing four wins to clinch at least a tie for second place; they earned all four in their first four games against San Francisco, and since all three teams that had been pursuing them took at least one loss during that span, the Bells had wrapped a postseason berth by Friday afternoon. Seattle (94-60) will host Mission (81-73) in Game One of the Nyquist Trophy Series this Tuesday. The rest of the ’35 Coast League marathon played out as follows: Los Angeles and San Francisco (both 78-76) tied for third, Portland (77-77) finished fifth, Hollywood (70-84) finished sixth, and Oakland and Sacramento (69-85) tied for seventh.

Josh Gibson of Sacramento won the batting title with a .378 mark; Turkey Stearnes of Los Angeles was second at .370 and Ox Eckhardt of Mission was third at .367. Stearnes led the league in home runs with 37 and runs batted in with 134. The Angels’ Wally Berger was second in homers with 34 and Bob Johnson of the Beavers was third with 31. The Seals’ Joe DiMaggio finished second in RBI with 130, followed by Johnson’s 127.

Satchel Paige of Los Angeles led the loop in ERA at 2.04 and strikeouts with 253. Ray Brown of Seattle was second in ERA with a 3.12 mark and the Angels’ Ralph Buxton was third at 3.15. Oakland’s Luis Tiant was second in strikeouts with 186 and the Seals’ Lefty Gomez was third with 154. Brown paced the circuit in victories with 24, followed by the Beavers’ Ted Trent, who posted 22, and Gomez and Paige, who both won 21.


Update: 9/23/1935






DiMaggio

Los Angeles and Portland (both 75-73) desperately needed to come up big when they played Mission (77-71) and San Francisco (76-72), respectively. The Angels took four of six from the Bells and the Beavers did the same against the Seals, but that may not have been enough. The Bells remain in second place, a game ahead of the Seals and two over the Angels and Beavers.

With a week to play, three of the final four match-ups have playoff ramifications. Oakland (64-84) will take on Sacramento (68-80) with nothing but pride on the line for either team, but the Bells and Seals will square off with both teams’ fate in their own hands, the Angels will alternate three “home” and three “road” games with their park-mates, Hollywood (67-81), and the Beavers will take on Seattle (90-58) with hopes of meeting them again a week later in the Governor’s Cup Series.

The Seals have had a terrible September but if they can take four of six from Mission and the Angels and Beavers each lose at least twice, San Francisco will be in the playoffs. They have at least one hot hitter, center fielder Joe DiMaggio. The twenty-year-old sensation from Martinez, California hit .480 this week with three home runs and twelve runs batted in. He’s hitting .362 for the season, with 18 homers (fourth in the league) and 128 RBI (tied for the league lead).


Update: 9/16/1935





Berger

Seattle (87-55) clinched a postseason berth, fittingly enough, by playing seven games against the two teams that are closes to them in the standings—and winning all seven. The Rainiers will be making their first postseason appearance since 1927. Player of the Week Fred Berger was instrumental in Seattle’s dominant streak, hitting .458 with four home runs, twelve runs batted in, and eight runs scored. Berger is hitting .283 with 23 home runs and 98 RBI.

Outside of Seattle the playoff picture looks murky. Mission (75-66) lost their final regular season meeting with the Rainiers but then bounced back to win five straight against Hollywood (63-78). The Bells had started the week three games behind San Francisco (74-68) but are now in second place, a game and a half in front of the Seals. The Seals are enduring a nightmare September; they beat Portland last Monday but then were swept by Seattle. Still in the picture are Los Angeles (71-70) and Portland (71-71), both of whom are still withing striking distance of second place. The Angels get to take on the Bells beginning Tuesday while the Beavers tackle the Seals. Four teams vying for one playoff berth—it will be an exciting final two weeks.


Update: 9/9/1935

Seattle (80-55) managed to win just half of its games this week, but a postseason appearance for the Rainiers this year now looks all but inevitable. Their lead over second-place San Francisco (73-62) has swelled to seven games. Even if the Seals are able make up all that ground, there are still ten games separating the Rainiers and third-place Mission (70-65). It would take two very strong finishes by both San Francisco teams—who still must play each other six times—coupled with an epic collapse by Seattle to make Rainiers miss the postseason.

At this point the Seals are probably more concerned with just holding onto second place, especially after this week’s disastrous 2-6 showing. The Bells weren’t much better, going 3-5. The teams who fared the best this week are the two who are tied for fourth place, Los Angeles and Portland (both 67-68). The Beavers went head-to-head with both the Seals and Bells and came out with a winning (5-3) record, while the Angels took four straight from the Seals before winning three of four at home against last-place Oakland (58-77). Time is getting short for either of these two teams to make a run at the Seals, who they trail by six games, but if either of them have another week like this one they could make things interesting.

Turkey Stearnes of Los Angeles is the Player of the Week. The 34-year-old right fielder hit .594 with three home runs and twelve runs batted in. Stearnes leads the loop in homers with 32 and is second in batting at .378 and third in RBI with 109. He remains a viable candidate for a Triple Crown.


Update: 9/2/1935






Gyselman

Seattle (76-51) is the league’s hottest team, and the Rainiers are heading into the stretch drive with a five-game lead over San Francisco (71-56). A busy week concluded with a 9-2 triumph over Sacramento (59-68), the Rainiers’ fifth win in seven games, and with third baseman Dick Gyselman’s selection as the Coast League Player of the Week. Gyselman hit .632, homered once, and drove in eight runs in five games. The 27-year-old is a .294 hitter for the season.

The Seals were unexpectedly swept by Hollywood (59-68) but took their next two games against crumbling Los Angeles (60-67) and still lead third-place Mission (67-60) by four games. The Stars have now won seven straight and are no longer in the cellar; in fact, they are just three games out of fourth place. But barring an incredible run by them or somebody else, all eyes will be on Seattle, San Francisco, and Mission in September, as those three currently appear to the only teams with a realistic chance to grab the two postseason spots.


Update: 8/26/1935





Bell

With five weeks remaining in the regular season, Seattle (71-49), a team which has never finished first, has a two-game lead over second-place San Francisco (69-52). The Rainiers last finished over .500 in 1930, but this year’s .592 winning percentage will be the best in their history if they can maintain it.

Mission (65-55) has been an interesting story this season but if the Bells wish to remain in contention they will have to get hot; they have fallen to six games behind the Rainiers and 3 1/2 behind the Seals.

This week they managed just two wins in four games against fourth-place Portland (59-61) in spite of the stellar play of center fielder Cool Papa Bell. Bell hit .522, raising his season average to .309.


Update: 8/19/1935

Seattle (67-47)—perfect this week and winners of seven straight—moved ahead of San Francisco (66-48), as the Seals picked the wrong week to only win five out of six. The first-place Rainiers lead the Seals by one and Mission (63-51) by four. The Bells were 4-2 this week but lost ground to both of the teams they are trailing.

The Bells, though, are still within striking distance, which is not something any of league’s the other five teams can say; they all trail by double-digit margins. Portland (55-59) is 12 games back, Los Angeles (54-60) is 13 games back, Sacramento (53-61) is 14 games back, and Hollywood and Oakland (both 49-65) are 18 back.

In spite of the Angels’ floundering, they have the Player of the Week in infielder George Scales. The Halos’ captain hit .538 this week with a home run, five runs batted in, and seven runs scored, lifting his season average to .298. Scales has hit below .300 only one time in his career, and seems determined not to do it again. His career average is .316.


Update: 8/12/1935

Seattle (61-47) won five of six—including four out of five against San Francisco (also 61-47)—and as a result the Rainiers have pulled even with the Seals at the top of the standings board. Mission (59-49) is two games back. Those three are the only teams in the league over .500, and for now they appear to the be only teams left who are in serious contention for postseason berths. Los Angeles and Portland (both 52-56) are nine games out of first, Sacramento (50-58) trails by eleven games, Oakland (49-59) twelve, and Hollywood (48-60) by thirteen.

Solons catcher Josh Gibson had a phenomenal week, hitting .550 with two home runs, nine runs batted in, and eight runs scored. Gibson (.378) is currently edging Mission’s Ox Eckhardt (.377) for the batting championship. The 23-year-old slugger also has hit 15 home runs and driven in 66.


Update: 8/5/1935






Allen

San Francisco’s (59-43) lead over second-place Seattle (56-46) is up by a half-game after the Seals’ 4-2 ledger this week; the Rainiers went 3-2. Mission (also 56-46) kept pace with the Seals so the Bells are now tied with Seattle for second, three games back. Los Angeles (51-51) is fading; the Angels are now eight games out of first, just a half-game ahead of fifth-place Portland (51-52).

The Seals’ Newt Allen hit a blistering .640 this week to raise his season’s average to .308. The 34-year-old keystone-sacker is the Player of the Week. The Seals have scored the most runs in the league (583, 22 more than Seattle), and are hitting .308 as a team (fifteen points higher than Portland). With solid pitching and a stingy defense, it’s no surprise that San Francisco is showing signs of pulling away from the rest of the league in the standings.


Update: 7/29/1935

San Francisco (55-41) added a game to their lead over second-place Seattle (53-44); the Seals won four of six while the Rainiers split, so San Francisco is up by two and a half games. Mission (52-44) also split and lost a game in the standings to the Seals, while Los Angeles (50-47) kept pace by winning four of six. The Bells are three back and the Angels are five and a half back. Portland (46-51) has fallen to nine and a half games out of the lead.

The Beavers dropped four of six in spite of the slugging of left fielder Smead Jolley, who took home Player of the Week honors for the second time this season, hitting .462 with three home runs and twelve runs batted in. Jolley is hitting .323 with 12 HR and 70 RBI.


Update: 7/22/1935





Salkeld

It will be no easy road to the postseason for San Francisco (51-39)—or anybody else—if recent weeks are any indication. The Seals remain in first place but a four-game lead has shrunk to a game and a half after a tough week in which they dropped four straight to Oakland (39-51) and Sacramento (42-48) before securing wins in their last two games against the Solons. Capitalizing on the Seals’ struggles were Seattle (50-41) and Mission (49-41), who both won five games this week and now sit a game and a half and two games out of first respectively. Going in the other direction is Los Angeles (46-45), who lost seven straight before snapping the skid in the nightcap of Sunday’s doubleheader with Seattle. The Angels are five and a half games out of first. Portland (44-47), winners of four of seven this week, trail by seven and a half.

As the backup to star catcher Josh Gibson, Sacramento’s Bill Salkeld doesn’t play a lot, so he has to make the most of his opportunities. He did exactly that this week, earning Player of the Week honors with a .591 (13-for-22) performance. Salkeld has been filling in a bit at first place recently and that may be his best bet to emerge from bench warmer status. The 18-year-old is hitting .370 in 81 at-bats.


Update: 7/15/1935

With as many as five teams running nearly neck and neck for the top spot since the season began, Coast League observers have been wondering if one team would emerge from the pack and create some distance between themselves and their challengers. This week the San Francisco Seals (49-35) did exactly that. While the most of the other teams were treading water, the Seals put together a 6-1 week (including four wins in five games against previously red-hot Mission). San Francisco now leads Los Angeles and Seattle (both 45-39) by four games, Mission (44-40) by five, Portland and Sacramento (both 40-44) by nine, Hollywood (37-47) by twelve, and Oakland (36-48) by thirteen.

The Angels’ slugging left fielder Wally Berger failed to hit a home run this week, but he batted .464 and drove in eight runs, and that was enough to convince voters he deserved the Player of the Week award for the second time this season. Berger is hitting .307 with 15 home runs and 54 RBI this year.


Update: 7/8/1935






West

The 1935 Coast League season is now into its second half. San Francisco (43-34) remains in first place. Mission (42-35) trails the Seals by a game and Los Angeles (42-36) is just a half-game behind the Bells. Seattle (41-37) is a game behind the Angels.

In the second division Portland (37-41) is 6 1/2 games out of first, Sacramento (36-41), is 7 games back, Hollywood (35-43) is 8 1/2 back and Oakland (34-43) is nine out.

The Rainiers’ Max West is just 18 years old, but the precocious left fielder is the the Player of the Week after hitting .371 with four home runs, seven runs batted in, and seven runs scored. West is hitting .284 with 12 homers and 41 RBI. In just 65 games the patient youngster has also drawn 45 bases on balls, just two fewer than league leader Eddie Joost of Mission.


Update: 7/1/1935





Scales

With the Coast League’s annual Rivalry Week on the horizon, Mission (39-31) has caught fire again, winning five of six, and the Bells are now tied for second place with Los Angeles (also 39-31), just a half-game behind first-place San Francisco (40-31). The Bells and Seals begin a ten-game set with a Fourth of July doubleheader on Thursday. Fourth-place Seattle (35-35), losers of seven straight, will try to change course when they face fifth-place Portland (35-36) for ten games. Hollywood, Oakland, and Sacramento are all 31-19; the Oaks and Solons will square off this week while the Stars take on the Angels.

Los Angeles’ George Scales took home Player of the Week honors. The popular 34-year-old infielder, who has been alternating between second and third base this season, hit .517 with three home runs and 13 runs batted in. Scales is hitting .282 for the season, with 12 homers and 38 RBI.


Update: 6/23/1935






Leonard

Los Angeles (36-27) slowed down the runaway Mission train this week and the Angels have taken over first place. The Halos took the middle three games of their five-game set with the Bells. The race for the top remains very tight, with Los Angeles leading San Francisco (35-28) by a game, Seattle (35-39) by a game and a half, Mission (34-30) by two and a half, and Portland (32-32) by four and a half.

Buck Leonard, last season’s rookie sensation, is avoiding the sophomore slump and has just been named Player of the Week after a .409, four homer, 12-RBI performance. Leonard’s 12 home runs (he hit three in the same game against Sacramento last Tuesday) are fourth in the league, and his 54 RBI are second. He’s hitting .329.


Update: 6/17/1935





Jolley

Smead Jolley of Portland (28-28) was off to a so-so start by his standards this season, hitting .273 through the Beavers’ first 51 games. Then came this week. In a five-game set against Oakland (26-31), Jolley hit .519 to lift his season average to .303 as the Beavers went 4-1 to even their record. Portland is just three and a half games out of a postseason spot.

Mission (31-26) didn’t go undefeated again, but they did the next best thing, winning five and losing just one, so the Bells are now just a game and a half out of first and a game out of second. The top spot was taken over by San Francisco (32-24); the Seals hold a half-game edge over Los Angeles (32-25). Seattle (30-27) dropped all the way down to fourth place, but the Rainiers are just two and a half games behind the first-place Seals. Four games separate the top five teams in the league.


Update: 6/10/1935

The Mission Bells are red-hot. On May 19 they dropped the second game of a doubleheader at Oakland to fall to 8-24, eleven games behind the then-first-place San Francisco Seals. Since that time they have gone 18-1, twice sweeping the defending league champion Sacramento Solons. The Bells now sit in fourth place at 26-25, just three games out of first.

Seattle and Los Angeles (both 29-22) surely must be feeling the heat, but for now they share the top spot in the league, with San Francisco (28-23) just a game back. The Rainiers fought to a 3-3 standstill this week against seventh-place Hollywood (23-28) while the Angels took five of six from Portland (24-27). The Beavers are tied with Oakland (also 24-27) for fifth place. Sacramento (21-30) has dropped into the cellar.

At 34, the Angels’ Turkey Stearnes is playing like a man still in his prime. The slugging right fielder hit .440 this week, clubbing four home runs (three during a 9-2 victory over Portland on Wednesday) and driving in ten. Stearnes is currently second in the loop at batting at .382 and leads the league in both home runs (14) and RBI (48).


Update: 6/3/1935

Mission’s (20-25) winning streak reached 11 before the Bells bowed on Saturday. Their magnificent two-week run was just enough to get them into a tie for seventh place with Hollywood (also 20-25), but far more importantly, they have gone from eleven games out of first to just six games back.

Seattle (26-19) returned to the top of the standings, dropping Los Angeles (24-21) into third place by beating the Angels four times in six tries. San Francisco (25-20) fared even better, winning five of seven and taking over second place. Portland (23-22) had the best week of all, winning five and losing just one. The Beavers are in fourth place, just three games back. Sacramento and Oakland (both 21-24) are tied for fifth place.

The Solons struggled this week but catcher Josh Gibson continued his assault on opposing pitching, hitting a blistering .650 and knocking in seven runs. Gibson is the league’s first repeat Player of the Week this season. His .397 average leads the league.


Update: 5/27/1935






Donovan

Like a good horse race, the Coast League pennant chase this season has been marked by numerous lead changes and very little separation between most of the entrants. The one exception to the latter has been Mission (14-24), who stumbled out of the gate and was sixteen games under .500 after the first 32 games. The Bells went 6-0 this week. They’re still ten games below the .500 mark, still a substantial 7 1/2 games out of first; but with 116 games left to be played, they’re in the race.

Seattle (22-17) returned to the top of the standings but they now have company; Los Angeles (also 22-17) is running neck and neck with the Rainiers. The two front-runners lead Oakland and San Francisco (both 20-18) by a game and a half, Sacramento (19-19) by two and a half, Hollywood (19-20) by three, and Portland (18-21) by four.

The Player of the Week is Seattle’s Jerry Donovan, who hit an eye-popping .611 with a homer, six runs batted in, and seven runs scored. The 29-year-old first baseman is hitting .351 with six home runs and 23 RBI.


Update: 5/20/1935





Berger

Seattle’s stay at the top was short-lived; the Rainiers dropped five of seven games and allowed the Solons and Seals to slip past them. San Francisco (19-13) won just half of their games this week, but it was enough to get them back into first place. The Seals are one game in front of Sacramento (18-14) and a game and a half in front of Los Angeles and Seattle (both 18-15). Hollywood (17-16) is just two and a half back, Oakland (16-16) just three back, and Portland (16-17) just three and a half back. Mission (8-24) is the odd team out, eleven games out of first.

The Player of the Week is Los Angeles’ Wally Berger, who hit .417, launched three home runs, drove in five, and scored seven this week. Berger is hitting .322 for the season with seven home runs and 21 RBI.


Update: 5/13/1935






Cronin

Seattle (16-10) has roared into first place, a half-game ahead of San Francisco (16-11). The Rainiers came close to sweeping last-place Mission (7-19), losing just the final game of their six-game tilt, and followed that up by taking two of the first three against Sacramento (14-12). Los Angeles (15-12) has climbed into third place after winning six of eight this week. The Angels are a game and a half behind Seattle and one game behind the Seals. Sacramento is in fourth place, Hollywood (14-13) is in fifth, Portland (12-14) is in sixth, and Oakland (12-15) is in seventh. The Oaks are just four and a half games from the top spot. 

Sacramento’s Joe Cronin is the Player of the Week, having hit a sizzling .516 with two home runs, seven runs batted in, and ten runs scored. The shortstop is hitting .387 for the season.


Update: 5/6/1935





Gibson

San Francisco (12-7) still retains the top spot in the league, but the Seals played sub-.500 ball this week (2-4) and now have several teams breathing down their necks. Hollywood, Sacramento, and Seattle are all a game back at 11-8. Los Angeles and Oakland are under .500 at 9-10, but just three games out of first. Portland (8-11) and Mission (5-14) have their work cut out for them.

The Player of the Week is Sacramento catcher Josh Gibson. The big 23-year-old slugger ripped opposing pitchers for a .571 average, homering once and driving in six. Gibson has take over the league batting lead with a blistering .422 clip.

Another Angels’ player hit a milestone this week, as center fielder Jigger Statz collected his 2000th hit on Sunday. Statz is 10th on the all-time list. John Beckwith of Hollywood is the leader with 2781. Los Angeles’ Turkey Stearnes is right behind him at 2776.


Update: 4/29/1935






Stearnes

Los Angeles’ Turkey Stearnes is no spring chicken, and the 33-year-old outfielder says he’s been playing with a strained hamstring for at least a week. Opposing pitchers aren’t so sure, as Stearnes lit them up for a .448 average this week, tacking on three home runs and driving in nine to earn Player of the Week honors. Stearnes is tops in the league in round-trippers with five and is in the top three in batting and RBI as well. A teammate, left fielder Wally Berger, also made headlines this week, blasting his 300th career home run. Berger, now with 301, is third on the all-time list among P.C.L. sluggers behind Stearnes (430) and Portland’s Tony Lazzeri (361). 

All these fireworks have done little for the Angels’ positioning in standings, as the team has struggled out of the gate and currently sports a 5-8 record, tied for sixth place with Portland. San Francisco continued its hot start this season and remains atop the standings at 10-3, two games ahead of Sacramento (8-5), and three ahead of Hollywood, Oakland, and Seattle (all 7-6). Mission (3-10) remains in the cellar.


Opening Week 1935





Durst

San Francisco is off the best start in the league this season, winning five of six games against their in-city rival Mission. Each of the four opening series ended decisively, with Hollywood besting Los Angeles four out of six times, and Sacramento and Seattle doing the same to Oakland and Portland.

Hollywood’s 39-year-old left fielder, Cedric Durst, had the most productive week of anyone in the loop, hitting .435 with three home runs and eight runs batted in. Another Star, catcher Johnny Bassler, is hitting .500 to lead the league.

Portland’s Tony Lazzeri collected his 2500th hit this week. Lazzeri is fourth on the all-time list behind John Beckwith (2769), Turkey Stearnes (2760), and Oscar Charleston (2590).


1934