PCL Redux

Update: 7/10/1933


It’s Rivalry Week in the Pacific Coast League, as teams square off against foes that are in some cases, their park mates, and in others, their closest neighbors. With the traditional July 4 doubleheader, the teams all played eight games in seven days this week. The ten-game tourney continues with games on Monday and Tuesday, and then the same match ups will not recur until the final week of the regular season.

The Player of the Week is 40-year-old Earl Sheely of Portland. The veteran first baseman led the Beavers (46-33) to six wins in eight games against Seattle by hitting a cool .500 with three home runs and thirteen runs batted in. Portland was unable to gain ground on from-running Los Angeles (51-38) but the Beavers now hold a six-game lead over their closest followers, Mission (40-39). The third-place Bells are two games ahead of Hollywood (38-41). Oakland and San Francisco (both 37-42) are tied for fifth, Sacramento (36-43) is in seventh and Seattle (31-48) is in eighth.

Update: 7/3/1933


Los Angeles (45-26) dropped their last two games—both 6-5 losses to Oakland—but the Angels had won four straight prior to that, and now lead Portland (40-31) by five games and third-place Hollywood (36-35) by nine. The Beavers lost four of six this week and the Stars split their six games. Hollywood is facing a make-or-break opportunity to tighten the race, as they play their next ten games against the front-running Halos.

The Stars’ Earl Averill was having a relatively pedestrian campaign, at least relative to his own very high standards, but the 31-year-old center fielder caught fire this week, hitting .481 with two home runs and seven runs batted in. Averill is hitting “just” .316 this year, with “just” 11 home runs, but he’s on the tails of the RBI leaders; with 58, he trails only Mission’s Rap Dixon (63) and Los Angeles’ Wally Berger (62).

Mission (35-36) is in fourth place, ten games behind Los Angeles, San Francisco (34-37) is a game behind the Bells, Sacramento (33-38) is a game behind the Seals, Oakland (32-39) is a game behind the Solons, and Seattle (29-42) is three games behind the Oaks.

Update: 6/26/1933

Mission’s Rap Dixon has been a solid performer over the years, but the 30-year-old right fielder seems to be coming into his own this season. This week Dixon hit .476 with three home runs and ten runs batted in to earn the Player of the Week award as the Bells (33-32) picked up a game on league-leading Los Angeles (41-24). Dixon tops the trio of Bells who are currently 1-2-3 in the league in batting: Dixon, .390, Cool Papa Bell, .367, Ox Eckhardt, .356. Dixon also tops the loop in RBI (59) and total bases (162).

Portland (38-27) also gained a game on the Angels and trail the leaders by three. The Bells and Hollywood (33-32) are tied for third, eight games back, and Sacramento (30-35) and San Francisco (30-35) are tied for fifth, eleven games out of first and eight out of a postseason berth.

Update: 6/19/1933


The heavy hitting of Wally Berger lifted Los Angeles (39-20) to four wins in six games. Berger hit safely in half of his at-bats this week (11-for-22), adding two home runs and driving in nine. The 27-year-old left fielder raised his average to .325. His 13 home runs pace the circuit and his 48 runs batted in are one off the league lead. The Angels hold a four-game lead over second-place Portland (35-24).

Elsewhere, Hollywood’s four wins in six tries allowed the Stars (31-28) to pass Mission (30-29) in the standings and move into third place, picking up a game on the Beavers in the process. Portland leads Hollywood by four and Mission by five. Oakland, Sacramento, and San Francisco are all tied for fifth at 26-33, nine games out of second and 13 games out of first. Seattle (23-36) is 12 games out of a postseason berth.

Update: 6/12/1933


The voters of the P.C.L. Player of the Week Award usually focus on the outstanding performances of every day players, but from time to time a pitcher will grab their attention. This is one of those times, as Sacramento’s Bobby Hurst was honored. Hurst threw a five-hit shutout against Mission on Tuesday, then made two relief appearances later in the week against Seattle and picked up another win. For the week he was 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA, allowing just seven hits and one run in ten innings of work.

Portland (32-21) picked up a game on league-leading Los Angeles (35-18); the Beavers trail the Angels by three. Mission (27-26) fell to eight games off the pace, while Hollywood (also 27-26) gained ground on the Halos and are now tied with the Bells for third.

Update: 6/5/1933

All P.C.L. pitchers seem to have one thing in common: none of them can figure out how to get Cool Papa Bell out.

The Mission center fielder is the Player of the Week for the second time in a row and third time in the last four weeks. This time he earned it by hitting .538 and driving in six runs. Bell is now hitting a league-leading .409 and is also leading in runs scored with 42 and stolen bases with 29; the latter figure is more than any four players in the league combined.

The Bells (25-22) are keeping their heads above water and picked up a half-game on second-place Portland (28-19), but have fallen seven games behind Los Angeles (32-15). The Angels are hot right now, having won six of seven this week. San Francisco (22-25) also had a good week, winning five of six.

Update: 5/29/1933

It was another productive week for Cool Papa Bell of Mission, who hit .500 (11-for-22) with four runs batted in and four runs scored. Bell leads the loop in hitting (.390) and currently has a 19-game hitting streak. Mission (22-19), meanwhile, still trails Los Angeles (26-14) by four and a half games and Portland (22-15) by three and a half, but the Bells are keeping the pressure on the front-runners. The Angels, Beavers and Bells all won three of five games this week, as did Sacramento and San Francisco (both 17-24), who are tied for sixth place. Hollywood (20-20) remains in fourth place, Oakland (19-22) is in fifth, and Seattle (16-24) is back in the cellar.

Update: 5/22/1933


Rap Dixon of Mission (19-17) surged into the league lead in batting this week, hitting .545 with a home run and eight runs batted in. Dixon’s .379 edges his teammate Cool Papa Bell’s .373. The Bells, who got off to a slow start (7-10 in April) have been playing winning ball of late and are now in third place, four and a half games behind Los Angeles (23-12) and three and a half behind Portland (22-13).

Another Bell, pitcher Frank Shellenback, hit a milestone this week, winning his 200th Coast League game. Actually, he did even better that that; he also won his 201st, the latter in relief. Shellenback, 201-164 in his P.C.L. career, has more victories in this league than any other pitcher. He’s also the loop’s all-time leader in games, games started, innings pitched, and hits allowed. He’s 3-5 with a 4.09 ERA so far this year.

Update: 5/15/1933


Mission’s Cool Papa Bell was a frequent (six-time) winner of the Player of the Week award during the 1920’s but the honor had eluded him this decade until now. The man for whom many believe the Bells were named hit .448 with five runs scored and four runs batted in, leading Mission (15-15) to five wins in seven games, sufficient to even their record and vault them into third place. Still just 29, the eleven-year veteran is hitting .364 so far this year.

Los Angeles (21-9) has lost their last two games but the Angels won four straight from Sacramento (13-17) prior to that and sit atop the league standings board with a two and a half game lead over Portland (18-11). The Beavers struggled a bit this week, losing three of five, but remain in second place, three and a half games over third place Mission. Hollywood (14-15) is a half-game behind the Bells while Oakland, Sacramento, and Seattle (all 13-17) are in a three-way tie for fifth. San Francisco (12-18) is a game behind them, in last place but just six and a half games out of second.

Update: 5/8/1933

Oakland’s George Kelly is certainly enjoying his second tour of the Coast League. The 37-year-old San Francisco native has only been back for four weeks and he’s been Player of the Week for half that time. He earned the honor this week by hitting .476 with four home runs and seven runs batted in.

The race tightened up a bit, as both of the top two teams in the league played less than .500 ball this week. Los Angeles (17-7) has sole possession of first place, but the Angels have lost three in a row and went 3-4 overall. Portland (16-8) fared even worse, winning two and losing five, so the Beavers have dropped a game behind the Halos. Sacramento (11-13) and Seattle (10-14) both went 5-2 and are riding three and five-game winning streaks, respectively; the Solons have moved into a fourth-place tie with Oakland (also 11-13), a half-game behind third-place Hollywood (11-12) and six games out of first, while the Rainiers have climbed out of the cellar, and are seven games out of first. Mission is 10-13 and San Francisco is 9-15.

Update: 5/1/1933


The City of Angels fields two teams in the P.C.L., Los Angeles and Hollywood, who between them have made one postseason appearance (a loss) since 1928. So there’s been a bit of a drought in the Southland, but if this week is any indication, the drought may be coming to an end; the Angels and Stars both went 6-0. The Angels (14-3) swept San Francisco (5-12) and have caught Portland (14-3) for first place in spite of a 5-1 week for the Beavers. The Stars (9-8) swept Oakland (8-9), and edged past the Oaks into third place.

The Halos’ Turkey Stearnes was awarded both the Player of the Week Award and the Batter of the Month Award. For the week he hit .462 with two home runs and six runs batted in; at the end of April he is hitting .342 and leading the league in both home runs (6) and RBI (19).

Update: 4/24/1933


Last season Oscar Charleston, the Portland Beavers’ longtime star and captain, was injured early in the season, and the Beavers dropped out of the race not long afterwards. This season has started out slightly differently. Charleston has gone on the disabled list again, but is expected to return much sooner—and the Beavers (9-2) are winning regardless. They’ve just taken four of the first five games of a six-game series with defending champions Sacramento (3-8) and sit atop the standings board with a one-game lead over Los Angeles (8-3). Charleston, nursing a severely strained hamstring, is due back in about a week, and will be returning to what appears to be a highly-competitive team.

San Francisco (5-6) recovered from a rough opening week, winning four of six this week, largely due to the efforts of the ageless Lefty O’Doul. O’Doul, 36, hit .520 with a home run and four runs batted in, raising his season average to .400 and his lifetime mark to .344.

Opening Week 1933


Los Angeles, Mission, and Portland are tied for first place after a week’s play. The Angels and Bells took four of five from their park-mates, Hollywood and San Francisco, respectively, while the Beavers did the same to their Northern neighbors, Seattle.

37-year-old George Kelly of Oakland is the Player of the Week. The longtime Seattle Rainier is back in the Coast League after stints with Cincinnati and Boston. “High Pockets” went 10-for-21 (.476) with two home runs and seven runs batted in to lead the Oaks to two wins in five games against the defending champion Sacramento Solons.

Other standout performers from Opening Week include the Oaks’ Buzz Arlett, who hit .529; the Angels’ Turkey Stearnes, who hit three home runs; and the Beavers’ Bob Johnson, who drove in nine runs.