PCL Redux

Update: 5/30/1932


In one week Mission (30-14) has gone from a game and a half behind Los Angeles (27-18) to three and a half games in front of them. The Bells took advantage of Sacramento’s (23-22) defeat of the Angels in four of the clubs’ five meetings by likewise taking four of five themselves against Hollywood (19-26). Mission then took the first two games of a six-game set with the Halos on Saturday and Sunday. The top two clubs in the league play a Memorial Day doubleheader today and then meet on Tuesday and Wednesday to conclude the series. San Francisco (24-20) trails the second-place Angels by two and a half games and the Solons are four behind Los Angeles.

The Player of the Week is Oakland’s Irvin Hufft. While the Oaks (18-26) themselves struggled against Seattle (17-28) and Portland (20-24), losing five of seven, the left fielder fought the good fight with a .536 average, two home runs, and seven runs driven in and ten runs scored. Hufft’s .385 average this season is third in the league.

Update: 5/23/1932


Los Angeles (26-12), with five wins in six games this week, continues to roll, and the Angels have increased their lead over second-place Mission (24-13) to a game and a half. The Bells won four and lost one before getting rained out yesterday. San Francisco (21-17) is five games back and Sacramento (19-19) is seven games off the pace.

Last year’s runners-up, Hollywood (16-22), are not off to a great start but second baseman Tony Lazzeri is. Lazzeri earned Player of the Week accolades by hitting .500 with a home run, six runs batted in, and ten runs scored. His season average is now at .357. He also picked up his 2000th career hit this week. With 2005 by the week’s end, Lazzeri ranks fourth on the P.C.L.’s all-time hit list. He’s second in home runs with 317, and second in RBI with 1166. Lazzeri is the loop’s career leader in bases on balls with 872.

Update: 5/16/1932

Los Angeles (21-11) is off to a red-hot start, and left fielder Wally Berger is a key reason for their success. Berger is the Player of the Week for the second consecutive week. This time the 26-year-old slugger hit .458 with two home runs and four runs batted in, giving him a .352/8 HR/21 RBI line for the season thus far. The Angels rode Berger’s hot streak to victories in their first five games this week before dropping the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader to Portland.

The Halos have taken a one-game lead over Mission (20-12), who went 4-2. San Francisco (18-14) is in third place, three games behind Los Angeles, and Sacramento (16-16) is in fourth place, five games off the pace. Oakland and Portland (both 15-17) have fallen below the .500 mark. To make matters worse for the Beavers, doctors who examined Oscar Charleston’s elbow have confirmed it is broken, and the injury is expected to sideline the Portland captain for the remainder of the season.

Update: 5/9/1932


Los Angeles (16-10) soared into a first-place tie with Mission (16-10) with a 5-1 week. Also moving up in the world is San Francisco (15-11), who won four out of six to climb within a game of the top spot. The pennant chase remains as tight as a drum with the next three teams—Oakland, Portland, and Sacramento—all at 13-13, just three games behind the leaders. Only Hollywood (11-15) and Seattle (7-19) carry sub-.500 records.

Angels left fielder Wally Berger led the Halos’ charge, hitting .458 with two home runs, five runs batted in, and seven runs scored. It was the 12th Player of the Week Award for Berger, who’s hitting .327 with 6 HR and 17 RBI this season.

Another Berger, Fred, is making the most of his first regular assignment. Starting in left field in all 26 of Portland’s games, he’s hitting .391 (fourth in the league) with 4 HR, 24 RBI, and 27 runs scored (second in the league). Brothers Wally (26) and Fred (23) are making sure the Berger name is displayed prominently in the league’s leader boards.

Update: 5/2/1932

It was another big week for the ageless Oscar Charleston of Portland, who captured his second consecutive Player of the Week trophy on the strength of a .400 average, five home runs and eleven runs batted in. Charleston now leads the league in all three Triple Crown categories with a .481 average, seven home runs, and 24 RBI. Naturally, such production would tend to have an effect on a team’s won/lost record, and indeed, the Beavers are in the thick of the pennant hunt with an 11-9 record, in a four-way tie for second place with Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Francisco.

Mission (13-7) is the team everyone is looking up at. This week the Bells surged into first place by winning six out of seven games, dropping only a 5-1 decision to the Angels and then responding by winning three straight at Sacramento (10-10). In atypical Bells fashion, they’ve been doing it with pitching and defense; they have the league’s best ERA and best fielding percentage.

Update: 4/25/1932


35-year-old Oscar Charleston, whose eleven previous seasons in a Portland uniform make him the hands-down clear-cut choice as the greatest Beaver ever, is living in the present rather than looking wistfully at the past. The legendary center fielder took Player of the Week honors this week (for a remarkable 17th time), hitting .560 with a homer and seven runs batted in. He leads the P.C.L. in hitting after two weeks with a sizzling .519 average.

The Beavers are off to a decent start, a game over .500 at 7-6. That puts them just a game out of first place, behind two 8-5 clubs, Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s a logjam at the top here in the early going, with three other clubs (Sacramento, Mission and Oakland) also at 7-6. Hollywood (5-8) and Seattle (3-10) are the only two team below .500.

Opening Week 1932


After a week’s play, everyone’s either in first place or last; there were no splits in the opening series. Los Angeles beat Hollywood four out of six games, Mission did the same to San Francisco, Portland did the same to Seattle, and defending champions Sacramento followed suit against Oakland.

A couple of rookies made their presence known: on Friday, the Angels’ Gene Lillard hit three home runs against Hollywood in the third game of his career, while Portland’s Pinky Higgins wore out Seattle pitchers all week with a .536 average, two home runs, and twelve runs batted in. Higgins was the obvious choice for Player of the Week in his very first week in the league.

1931-1932 Off-Season

Civic Field

Where’s the rain in Seattle when you really need it? Fire has claimed Dugdale Park, the Rainiers’ home since 1913. The club will play its home games this season at Civic Field, a grassless, 15,000-seat facility originally built for football but now more suited to circuses and rodeos. Obviously, the some-days-dusty, some-days-muddy solution is a temporary one. The Rainiers are committed to building a steel-and-concrete stadium on the charred site of Dugdale Park sometime in the near future. In the meantime, they’ll be playing an interesting, if unorthodox, brand of baseball in the King City.