1946 SPORTSMAN CLUB TEAM

Front row l. to r.: Frak Hansler, Don Hansler, Ray Spaulding (deceased), Don Semmern, and Bill Kropf.                                                                                    Middle row l. to r.: Rod Miller, Cliff Simpson (deceased), Jack McStott (deceased), Hank Semmern, and Jack Harrington.                                                                            Back row l. to r.: Mr. Kropf, Stan Naccarato, Jim Pirie, George Hupe, Mr. Semmern, George Wise, Paul Names, Wells Anderson (deceased), Frank Harting, and Art Hansen (owner of the Sportsman Club).

 

In the summer of 1946, George Wise and Enoch Alexson organized a team made up of current and past high school players from LIncoln, Stadium, Bellarmine, Clover Park, and Puyallup. Alexson, a member of the Tacoma Sportsman Club was president of the team and he convinced the club he belonged to that they should sponsor the team. He then hired George Wise, a local product as well as a former Pacific Coast League player with the Portland Beavers, to serve as coach and manager.

The main reason the team was organizaed was due to the fact that Seattle had organized a similar team called  "Sick's High Stars". Sponsored by Emil Sick, owner of Rainier Beer and the Seattle Rainiers Baseball Club, this team was tauted as the best group of high school players in the State of Washington according to the Seattle Sports Writers. That was true until the Sportsman Club beat them 11-8 behind the tough pitching of Jim Neeley and Harry Nygard. Tubby Graves, veteran University of Washington mentor, coached the Queen City youngsters which included K Chorlton who would later play for both the Tacoma Tigers of the Western International League and the Seattle Rainiers of the PCL.

The team went on to play other clubs in the area which were comprised mainly of adult players, yet they continued to win. They even took on a Ft. Lewis team that included several professional players and though they lost, they accounted for themselves quite well with relief pitcher Stan Naccarato striking out nine batters in 4 1/2 innings of work.

Because many of the players subsequently moved on to play college or professional baseball, it was difficult to keep the team togehter so the following year the team was dissolved.