1930 World Series
Game One: Portland 8, Philadelphia 6 at Portland, Sat., Oct. 11, 1930
Triple Crown winner Lefty Grove (30-8, 2.23) was treated most rudely by the home team in this historic first championship series game between the East and the West. Portland's first five hitters in the second inning all reached base, building a three-run lead before Hale's RBI-single made it 4-0. The A's chipped away at Beavers' starter Bowman but were only able to close it to 4-3 before another 4-run Portland deluge, this one coming in the fifth inning and highlighted by Rheil's bases-clearing triple. Philadelphia was able to close the gap to 8-6 against Bowman and reliever French before they ran out of outs, yielding the first set advantage to an exuberant and confident group of Beavers.
Game Two: Portland 5, Philadelphia 4 at Portland, Sun., Oct. 12, 1930
The crowd was treated to an exciting see-saw battle in Game Two. Charleston's third inning RBI-single off George Earnshaw (17-14, 4.13) drew first blood but the A's pulled even in the fourth on first baseman Jimmie Foxx's solo homer off Trent and took the lead four batters later on right fielder Dick Porter's RBI-double. Johnson's two-run blast in the bottom of the frame restored the lead but Philadelphia tied the score again in the fifth on left fielder Al Simmons' run-scoring double. The A's re-took the lead in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Dib Williams, but their advantage would soon disappear, as left fielder Ox Eckhardt's two-run homer in the bottom of the frame would give Trent and the Beavers a 5-4 victory.
Game Three: Portland 7, Philadelphia 1 at Portland, Mon., Oct. 13, 1930
Knowing it would be their final home date of the season win or lose, the Beavers put on a show for their fans with a pyrotechnic six-run outburst in the eighth inning that broke a 1-1 tie. Portland sent ten men to the plate in the frame, the biggest blow being catcher Joe Palmisano's two-run triple. Posedel worked a strong seven but it was French who earned the victory with two scoreless frames, sending the Beavers on their long train ride to the East Coast with an imposing 3-0 series lead among their possessions.
Game Four: Portland 7, Philadelphia 3 at Philadelphia, Sat., Oct. 18, 1930
Grove was commissioned to stave off the invaders, and for the first seven innings he looked up to the task as the A's crafted a 3-2 lead over Trent. Then, a near-repeat of the Portland half of the eighth inning in Game Three occurred; second baseman Frank Sigafoos' one-out RBI-double tied the score, an error by third baseman Jimmy Dykes on Bartell's grounder allowed two more runs to score, and Johnson's double plated two more to give the Beavers a 7-3 cushion. Trent ran into little trouble after that, fanning former Beaver backstop Mickey Cochrane to finish off the A's in the ninth and give Portland, and the P.C.L., a World Series title on the first attempt.
1930 Nyquist Trophy Series
Game One: Sacramento 7, Portland 3 at Portland, Tue., Sept. 30, 1930
22-year-old Larry French (18-10, 3.55) took the mound for the Beavers, while Willie Foster (25-9, 3.32), an old hand at postseason starts at age 26, worked for Sacramento. Solons left fielder Frank Demaree singled home a run in the first for the visitors; the Beavers countered on center fielder Oscar Charleston's RBI-single in the bottom of the frame. The teams traded runs again in the fourth, but when Solons' right fielder Charlie Smith doubled home first baseman Dolph Camilli in the fifth, Sacramento had the lead for good. Smith ripped another run-scoring double in the seventh, and the Solons plated three in the seventh to break it open. Foster went the distance to earn his fourth career postseason victory and put Sacramento up in the series.
Game Two: Portland 9, Sacramento 8 at Portland, Wed., Oct. 1, 1930
The Beavers built an 8-0 lead in the first two innings but had to go to extras to get the win. Shortstop Dick Bartell's two-run single off Fay Thomas (15-10, 3.63) highlighted a 4-run first, and three run-scoring singles and a fielder's choice produced four second inning runs to give Bill Posedel (16-10, 4.27) as much breathing room as he could have asked for, but the Solons began chipping away almost immediately. After his teammates plated two in the third, Thomas' two-run fourth inning homer cut Portland's original lead in half. Thomas and relievers Al Gould and Lefty Vinci silenced the home team's bats over seven innings and the Solons pulled even in the eighth on shortstop Joe Cronin's sacrifice fly, but it was all for naught as Portland pinch-hitter Homer Summa singled home the game winner off Don Osborn in the bottom of the tenth.
Game Three: Portland 4, Sacramento 0 at Sacramento, Fri., Oct. 3, 1930
Portland was able to save their ace, Ted Trent (23-10, 3.13), for Game Three, and his shutout victory set the tone for the remainder of the series. The Beavers scored single runs off Howard Craghead (12-6, 3.43) in the second, sixth, seventh, and eighth, while Trent scattered six hits and only once allowed a runner to get as far as third base.
Game Four: Sacramento 4, Portland 3 at Sacramento, Sat., Oct. 4, 1930
The Solons evened the series behind Tony Freitas (16-11, 4.42), who went eight innings to best Hank McDonald (9-7, 4.62). Smith's 2-run third inning double and Frietas' two-run fourth inning triple built a 4-0 lead, and Freitas and Don Osborn, who worked a scoreless ninth, made it hold up.
Game Five: Portland 8, Sacramento 5 at Sacramento, Sun., Oct. 5, 1930
Joe Bowman (8-6. 5.24) was the fifth pitcher to start a game for Portland in the first five games of the series, while Sacramento went back to their ace, Foster, to try to regain the series lead. Both pitchers ran into trouble in the first, with Bartell lining a two-run single off Foster in the top of the frame and Demaree launching a three-run blast off McDonald in the home half. The Beavers pulled even in the third and grabbed the advantage in the eighth on right fielder Eddie Rose's RBI-single, but were unable to make the lead stand up as Cronin's ninth inning RBI-double tied it. That set the stage for Roses' bases-clearing double off Gould in the tenth, which gave the Beavers a 8-5 victory and brought them to the doorstep of the World Series.
Game Six: Portland 3, Sacramento 2 at Portland, Tue., Oct. 7, 1930
The series concluded with a pitchers' duel, as Trent and Thomas gave up just enough to trade the lead back and forth a few times before the former slammed the door shut. Bartell's second inning homer got the Beavers on the board first, a lead that lasted until Cronin's fourth inning RBI-double got the Solons even. They took the lead on catcher Frank Duncan's fifth inning solo home run, but it only lasted until the sixth, when right fielder Billy Rhiel singled home Charleston. First basemen Bob Johnson's bases-empty home run in the eighth gave the Beavers the final lead of the series, and Trent escaped a ninth-inning jam by retiring second basemen John Monroe on strikes to set the Beavers on the path their historic destiny.
Portland (94-60) beat out Sacramento (93-61) for home field advantage in the upcoming Nyquist Trophy Series, which will for the first time determine the Coast League’s representative in the revamped World Series. The National League’s New York Giants and American League’s Philadelphia Athletics will battle it out to earn the right to represent the eastern major leagues.
Hollywood (89-65) finished five games back, and for the fourth consecutive season, in third place. Los Angeles (81-73) finished fourth and Seattle (79-75) came in fifth. Only three teams finished with sub-.500 records: Mission (62-92), Oakland (61-93), and San Francisco (57-97).
Earlier in the season Oscar Charleston collected his 2000th P.C.L. hit; Charleston was the first man to do so. On Saturday, Turkey Stearnes of Los Angeles and John Beckwith of Hollywood also accomplished the feat—in the same game. Charleston has 2093 hits in the league. Beckwith and Stearnes both have 2003.
Stearnes is also the league’s batting champion and home run champion for 1930. He hit .362 to edge Hollywood’s Earl Averill (.357) and Sacramento’s Cristobal Torriente (.355). His 50 home runs also put him ahead of Averill (49), teammate Wally Berger (39), and the Stars’ Tony Lazzeri (39). Averill took home the RBI crown with 163, ahead of Beckwith (160) and Berger (144).
The Angels’ Satchel Paige won the ERA title at 2.88, followed by Ted Trent of Portland (3.13) and Willie Foster of Sacramento (3.32). Foster led the loop in wins with 25, while Trent won 23 and Paige won 22. The same three pitchers also made up the top three in strikeouts: Paige fanned 200, Foster 166, and Trent 157.
Sacramento (91-57) has taken a half-game lead over Portland (90-57); due to Friday’s contest against Mission being rained out, the Beavers have played one fewer game than the Solons. That game has been re-scheduled for this morning to allow the Bells to get back to San Francisco in time for the first game of their season-ending series with the Seals.
For all practical purposes Hollywood (86-62) is just about finished. It was a rough week for the Stars, losing four of seven to the bottom two teams in the league. Hollywood is five games behind Sacramento and four and a half behind Portland. Even if the Stars are able to sweep Los Angeles (78-72) their prospects of supplanting the Solons or Beavers are extremely slim.
Aside from the race to see which team will host the first two games of the league championship series, the most interesting contest is the batting and slugging competition between Los Angeles’ Turkey Stearnes and Hollywood’s Earl Averill; Stearnes leads the league in both batting (.364) and home runs (49), but Averill is right behind him at .363 and 48, respectively.
Lefty O’Doul of San Francisco is the Player of the Week, hitting .500 with two home runs and ten runs batted in. O’Doul is hitting .367 but does not have enough times at bat to qualify for the batting title.
Portland (89-52) was not a preseason favorite for most observers, but after dispatching Sacramento (87-54) in three out of four meetings and winning five of six overall this week, the Beavers find themselves atop the standings with 13 games remaining on their schedule. They lead the Solons by two and Hollywood (83-58) by six. Portland and Sacramento’s final regular season meeting is today.
The Stars had a productive week at the expense of woeful Oakland (53-88) and San Francisco (50-91), winning five of six, and thus gaining four games on the suddenly-struggling Solons. The Stars don’t have much room for error at this stage, but if they stay hot they can make things interesting.
Seattle (72-69) hasn’t been a factor in this year’s pennant chase but the Rainiers might have been the best team in the league for the past month and a half, going 17-12 in August and 12-2 so far this month. They’re currently on a five-game winning streak which has put them over .500 for the first time since May, and they’re now just two games behind Los Angeles (74-67) in their quest to finish in the first division. This week they were led by catcher Biz Mackey, who hit .500 with two home runs, eleven runs batted in, and eight runs scored. For the season, Mackey is hitting .333 with 10 homers and 71 RBI.
Sacramento (85-49) took three of their final four meetings with third-place Hollywood (78-57), and with second-place Portland (84-51) on a six-game winning streak, the Stars are beginning to look more like a long shot than a contender. The Solons lead the Beavers by two and the Stars by eight; more significant, at this point, is Portland’s six-game lead over Hollywood in the race for the second postseason slot. Both the Beavers and Stars have 19 games left, none against each other.
The Beavers and Solons do play each other again, and their final regular season series starts this Thursday, so Portland still has a reasonable shot at upending Sacramento and finishing in first place.
To do so, they will look for more heroics from their best player, center fielder Oscar Charleston. Charleston certainly did his part this past week, hitting .553 with four home runs, twelve runs batted in, and fourteen runs scored. His 133 runs scored ties him for second in the league. He’s hitting .347 with 23 homers for the year.
Sacramento (80-47) played just .500 ball this week, but the wins came against the right team, as far as they’re concerned. After losing three of the first four games they played this week to Los Angeles (67-60), the Solons took the first two contests of their final regular season series against Hollywood (74-53). The Stars also went 3-3, so they didn’t lose ground to Sacramento, but they did lose some to Portland (78-49) who won four of six and picked up a game on the Solons. Sacramento leads the Beavers by two and the Stars by six.
Tony Lazzeri of Hollywood is the Player of the Week. Lazzeri hit .480 with four home runs and six runs batted in. It’s been a banner year for Tony, his best since coming to Hollywood. His .361 average is third in the league and his 31 home runs are fourth. He’s also driven in over a hundred runs for the sixth time in his career.
A curious trend this season has been the tendency of players to capture the Player of the Week award two weeks running. Turkey Stearnes of the Angels has been a repeat winner on two separate occasions this year and Earl Averill of the Stars was honored in consecutive weeks earlier this month. Add to the list the name of Los Angeles’ Wally Berger, who followed up his stellar performance two weeks ago with a .364 average, six home runs, and eleven runs batted in. Berger is now third in the league in home runs with 32 and fourth in the league in runs batted in with 113.
The big showdown between Sacramento (77-44) and Hollywood (71-50) decisively went the Solons’ way, as they took four of the five meetings from the Stars. With Portland (74-47) going an even 3-3 this week, the Solons have increased their lead to three games over the Beavers and six games over the Stars.
Sacramento (73-42) remains the hottest team in the league with five wins in seven games this week. The Solons have increased their lead by two games over second-place Portland (71-44) and maintain a four-game lead over third-place Hollywood (69-46). The Stars were within three games of the top spot before Sunday's 13-10 loss to the Solons, the first of a five-game set. The two clubs will play the next four days at Hollywood, then meet again at Sacramento for a six-game set on August 30.
Left fielder Wally Berger of Los Angeles had a phenomenal week, hitting .654 with seven home runs and eleven runs batted in. Berger is hitting .345 this season, with 26 home runs and 102 RBI.
The Angels’ Turkey Stearnes hit his 300th career home run on Sunday. Stearnes is the P.C.L.’s all-time leader, and among major leaguers, only Babe Ruth has hit more home runs than Turkey.
Remember April, when Sacramento (68-40) went 4-12? Since then the Solons are 64-28, including an 8-1 record in August. The Solons have finally captured first place, having taken four of the first five meetings of a six-game series at Portland (67-41). It was a rare bad week for the Beavers, but it came at the worst possible time, especially with third-place Hollywood (64-44) also playing well. The Stars took their final regular season meeting from the Beavers last Monday and then won three of five against San Francisco (39-69). Sacramento leads Portland by a game and Hollywood by four.
Hollywood’s Earl Averill is a repeat Player of the Week award winner, hitting .417 with six home runs and 13 runs batted in. Averill now leads the league in RBI with 116. He’s also in a four-way tie for the lead in runs scored, with 109.
Sacramento’s (63-39) hot streak continued; the Solons won all six of their games and have moved to within three games of league-leading Portland (66-36). Hollywood (60-42) picked up a game on the Beavers but the Stars are now three behind Sacramento. The Beavers and Stars have split the first four games of their five game set at Portland. Their final regular season meeting takes place today.
Hollywood needs a big push to stay in the playoff hunt, and left fielder Earl Averill is providing one. The 26-year-old Snohomish, Washington native ripped opposing pitchers for a .520 average this week, adding three home runs and 12 runs batted in. Averill is second in the league in home runs with 30 and third in RBI with 103. He’s hitting a crisp .351, just out of the top five in the loop in batting.
Hollywood (56-40) has won four in a row but the Stars are suddenly looking up at two teams. Sacramento (57-39) has stormed into second place by winning nine in a row before falling to Mission on Sunday. Portland (63-33) leads the Solons by six games and Hollywood by seven. The rest of the league is all under .500, so with the trade deadline approaching, it’s clear which teams will be looking to strengthen their ranks for a stretch run and which teams are looking towards building for the future.
The Solons’ Charlie “Chino” Smith is the Player of the Week after a dominating performance at the plate. Smith hit .420 with two home runs and twelve runs batted in. He’s hitting .337 for the season, with ten homers and 61 RBI, statistics that are even more impressive when you consider he’s only been healthy enough to play in 74 of the Solons’ 96 games.
Sacramento (52-38) picked up a game on both Portland (59-31) and Hollywood (52-38), so the Solons have caught the Stars but remain seven games behind the Beavers. Since it looks like a race for second at this point it was a good week for the Solons.
Portland’s Dick Bartell is the Player of the Week. The 23-year-old shortstop hit a sizzling .609 with a home run and six runs batted in. Bartell, a native of Chicago who grew up in the Oakland area, joined the Beavers this year after a breakthrough season in Pittsburgh. He’s hitting .341 with 7 HR and 67 RBI. He’s also leading the league’s shortstops in putouts, assists, and double plays.
Los Angeles’ Turkey Stearnes is having a season for the ages; he hit .500 with four home runs and eight runs batted in this week, taking home the Player of the Week award for an unprecedented sixth time this year. To say that Stearnes has been the dominant player in the league is to understate the case considerably. He has 35 home runs, 11 more than any other player; 17 triples, five more than any other player; 94 runs batted in, five more than any other player; and 90 runs scored, six more than any other player.
Despite Stearnes’ heroics, the Angels (42-42), are struggling to stay above .500. The Halos ran into red-hot Portland (56-28) this week, and the Beavers won all three meetings. The Beavers also took the final three games of their series with Seattle (38-46); their 6-0 perfect week has distanced them from second-place Hollywood (49-35) by seven games and third-place Sacramento (48-36) by eight games. Although there is still plenty of time for teams to heat up or cool down, right now it looks like the only race in question is the one for second place.
It was a busy week, as each team played at least seven games, some playing as many as eight. Portland (50-28) now leads second-place Hollywood (47-31) by three games, as the Beavers won five of their eight contests while the Stars won only three of theirs. Also faring particularly well over the last seven labor-intensive days was Sacramento (43-34); the third-place Solons were victorious in five of seven games and thus gained ground on both of the top two teams; they're within three and a half games of Hollywood.
The Solons’ veteran center fielder, Cristobal Torriente, is having the best season of his career at the ripe old age of 36. Torriente has always been productive when healthy but has missed considerable playing time over the years to various injuries. Injury-free thus far this season, he's leading the league in hitting at .393, adding 14 home runs and 60 runs batted in to his impressive ledger. He”s also been named Player of the Week twice this season, most recently as a result of a .444/2 HR/12 RBI performance.
After taking the first two games of their series last week, Sacramento (38-32) completed a sweep of Hollywood (44-26), briefly bring the Solons to within four games of the second-place Stars, but the Stars rebounded by taking three of their next four games against Oakland (32-38) while the Solons were losing three of four to Los Angeles (36-34). Meanwhile Portland (45-25) has claimed the top spot by winning four and losing three this week. The Beavers lead Hollywood by a game, Sacramento by seven, and Los Angeles by nine.
The Angels’ Turkey Stearnes has caught fire again, winning his fifth Player of the Week award this year by hitting .464 with five home runs, eleven runs batted in, and eleven runs scored. Stearnes is fifth in the league in hitting at .362 but leads the league in runs (75), triples (16), home runs (29), and runs batted in (79).
Portland (41-22) continued to roll, winning five and losing two, and as a result the Beavers have caught Hollywood (41-22) in the standings. The two clubs sit tied for first place, seven games better than their closest competition. The Beavers have been somewhat of a surprise to some this season, particularly considering they last finished above .500 in 1926. But the club is pitching well and hitting well, and that’s a combination that’s hard to beat.
One of the key performers has been first baseman Bob Johnson, who collected at least two hits in five consecutive games this week. The 24-year-old was named Player of the Week thanks to a .481 average, four home runs, and 14 runs batted in. On the year he’s hitting .342 with 12 HR and 58 RBI. Only in his second season, the Oklahoma native appears to be one of the league’s rising stars.
Sacramento (34-39) won six and lost just one this week, taking over third place and even gaining ground on Portland and Hollywood. San Francisco (21-42) also had a good week, winning five and losing two. It’s been a terrible start for the last-place Seals, but they will look to build on their recent success.
Portland (36-20) picked up a game on Hollywood (37-19) so the Stars’ lead over the Beavers is down to one game. With no other team within fewer than eight games of either of them, the two front-runners are looking like the class of the league.
It’s a shame there’s no prize for coming in third place in the Coast League; this year’s race for third would be fascinating if it was worth anything. Los Angeles, Oakland, and Sacramento are in a dead heat at 28-28, with Seattle just two games behind them at 26-30 and Mission a game behind the Rainiers at 25-31. If those don’t sound like the records of postseason-bound teams, it’s because none of these teams are currently strong candidates for the postseason.
Don’t blame Solons shortstop Joe Cronin. The 24-year-old star hit .520 en route to the Player of the Week award. Cronin is hitting .325 with 6 home runs, 44 runs scored, and 39 runs batted in.
The race for the postseason had tightened over the preceding couple of weeks, but with 5-1 records this week for both Hollywood (34-15) and Portland (32-17), the only race that appears in question right now is the one for for first place. The Stars maintained their two-game edge over the Beavers, who beat Los Angeles (25-24) five times in a row to drop the Angels nine games out of first and seven games out of second. There’s still plenty of time for the rest of the pack to make a run, but right now the top two clubs look dominant.
Portland’s George Quellich earned Player of the Week honors, hitting .522 with three home runs and 14 runs batted in. He more than doubled his RBI output for the season, while upping his batting average to a crisp .355. It’s the second Player of the Week award for Quellich, who also took one home in August of 1924.
Cristobal Torriente hit .536 with two home runs and twelve runs batted in to earn Player of the Week honors. The Sacramento center fielder led the Solons (22-22) to a 6-1 week, evening their record and bringing them within seven and a half games of league-leading Hollywood (29-14) and within five and a half games of second-place Portland. Torriente is off to an excellent start, hitting .393 (good for second in the league) with 8 HR and 31 RBI.
The Stars won four and lost two this week, wrestling the top spot from the Beavers, who won two and lost four. Los Angeles (24-19), also went 2-4 and are now five games behind Hollywood.
It’s hard to imagine a more productive streak than the one Los Angeles’ Turkey Stearnes is on. The 29-year-old outfielder has been named the Player of the Week for the third time in a row and the fourth time this season. Stearnes hit four home runs, drove in ten, and scored ten; he already led the league in all three categories, and his leads are growing. He also leads the league in batting, and although he hit .379 this week, his batting average went down. With a .401 average, 19 home runs, 49 runs scored and 54 runs batted in, Stearnes has numbers that would look outstanding with half a season in the books—and the calendar hasn’t even hit June yet.
The Angels (22-15) have inched to within three games of first place, which is now shared by Hollywood and Portland (both 25-12). With all other teams at least three games below the .500 mark, it’s currently looking like a three-team race. But with Memorial Day still in the future, nobody’s panicking yet.
Turkey Stearnes of Los Angeles (18-13) has done it again; the Halos’ star right fielder has been named the Player of the Week for the second week in a row and the third time this season. Stearnes hit .455 with four home runs and eight runs batted in, and now is now tops in all three Triple Crown categories: .407 batting average, 15 home runs, 44 RBI.
Unsurprisingly, his team is on a good run too, winning their last four after dropping two to start the week. The Angels gained ground on both Portland (23-9) and Hollywood (22-10), as both of the top two clubs went 4-3. The Beavers and Stars have split the first four games of a five-game series in Portland; the finale is today. Portland leads Hollywood by a game and Los Angeles by four and a half.
Among the other five clubs in the loop only Seattle (15-16) is currently showing much fight; the Rainiers went 3-3 this week. Mission and Oakland (both 13-18) are already nine and a half games out of first, while Sacramento (12-19) and San Francisco (9-22) trail the Beavers by ten and a half and thirteen and a half games respectively.
Hollywood (18-7) cooled off just enough to surrender their lead to Portland (19-6); the Stars split their six games this week, while the Beavers won five of their six. Portland’s five-game sweep of defending champion Oakland (10-15) may be symbolic of a shift in the balance of power in the league; or it may just be a case of one team riding a hot streak while another endures a cold one.
Third-place Los Angeles (14-11) is on a bit of a streak of their own, winners of their last four contests. Playing no small part in that run is right fielder Turkey Stearnes, now a two-time Player of the Week honoree this season. Stearnes hit a clean .500 (12 for 24) with two home runs and 10 runs batted in. He’s second in the league in the former category (.396, behind Portland’s Frank Sigafoos at .416) and tops in the latter two, with 11 homers and 36 RBI respectively.
The Beavers lead the Stars by a game and the Angels by five. Seattle (12-13) is seven games back, Mission (11-14) trails by eight, Oakland trails by nine, Sacramento (9-16) trails by ten and San Francisco (7-18) trails by twelve.
Two teams are threatening to run off and leave the rest of the pack in their dust. Hollywood (15-4) won five of six this week while Portland (14-5) did them one better, winning six of seven. The Stars and Beavers are the only two teams in the league over .500.
It’s a welcome development for both clubs. The Stars have been oh-so-close to postseason paydirt the last three seasons, ultimately finishing third each time, while the Beavers have finished below .500 all three years. They are indeed two hungry franchises.
Oscar Charleston, the Beavers’ veteran center fielder, has made a habit of collecting Player of the Week awards during his tenure in Portland. He’s just done it again, winning the honor for the 15th time since his Coast League debut in 1921. Charleston’s work this week included a .536 batting average and five runs batted in. He’s hitting .388 for the season, with two home runs and eleven RBI's.
Los Angeles’ Turkey Stearnes has been one of the top players in the league since he first donned an Angels’ uniform in 1921. He entered this season as the circuit’s all-time leader in home runs and runs batted in, and has wasted no time in adding to his impressive totals, with five home runs and twelve RBI this week, and 9 homers and 23 RBI overall, both league-leading totals. He also hit .480 this week to capture Player of the Week honors.
His team had a pretty good week as well, winning five out of seven, but they still lost ground to their intercity rivals, Hollywood. The Stars (10-3) won six and lost just one and now lead second-place Portland (8-4) by a game and a half and the third-place Angels (7-6) by three. Seattle checks in at 6-6, three and a half behind Hollywood. Oakland (6-7), Mission (5-7), Sacramento (4-8) and San Francisco (4-9) are all off to sub-.500 starts on the young season.
Opening Week 1930
The defending league champion Oakland Oaks wasted no time in establishing themselves as the front-runners, stunning last years runners-up Sacramento with with five wins in six games. The Oaks, at 5-1, hold a one-game edge over Hollywood, who bested Los Angeles in four out of six, and Mission, who did the same to San Francisco. Portland and Seattle split their six-game series and are thus tied for fourth place, two games behind Oakland.
Seattle shortstop Willie Wells has had a fine start to his career, hitting over .300 in each of his first five seasons. He’s started this season in spectacular fashion, hitting .480 with a home run and six runs batted in against arch-rival Portland. This is the third time the 24-year-old Wells has been named Player of the Week, an honor that will likely bear his name multiple times in the future.
The wait is over. Since 1921, the Pacific Coast League has petitioned Major League Baseball for recognition as the third major league and a place in baseball’s annual championship post season. Beginning this season, the dreams of West Coast officials, players, and fans have been realized: the Coast League is now officially “major”!
“The quality of play out West has reached a point where it can no longer be considered sub-par”, admitted one Eastern owner. “We’ll see how good they are come October,” offered another. “If they’re a major league they know what they’ll have to do to prove it,” implying nothing less than a championship would validate the Coast League’s new status. The subtly dismissive nature of these comments suggests a less-than-hearty endorsement, and indeed one owner refused to sugarcoat his position: “I still think it’s a bush league. But I was outvoted.”
How, then, did the surprising development come about? Many observers believe it was all about the bottom line. “The Eastern owners eventually realized that a postseason series with Babe Ruth or Lefty Grove or Mel Ott or Lou Gehrig opposing Satchel Paige or Earl Averill or Wally Berger or Martin Dihigo is gong to sell out every game,” said a P.C.L. executive who preferred to remain anonymous. “It took them nine years, but they eventually saw the light. Maybe they just started listening to their accountants. Greed won out over arrogance.”
Arrogance may indeed have been a factor, but others believe the Eastern owners’ reluctance to roll out the welcome mat had a less savory origin. “It was racism, pure and simple,” said another anonymous P.C.L. exec. “Once they consent to play officially against a racially-integrated league, they know the pressure to integrate themselves is going to increase. Some of them have no intention to yield to that pressure, and would just as soon see it go away.” While no word has come from any of the A.L. or N.L. clubs either officially authorizing or prohibiting black players, the Major Leagues’ recognition of the P.C.L.—which has been integrated since 1921—appears to be a significant step for the Coast League, for black ballplayers, and for professional baseball.