Hal Schimling

 

Olde Pilsner & Player-Manager Hal Schimling

 

As some of the K Street/Edgewood players decided to call baseball "a day", another team emerged in the Tacoma City League, Olde Pilsner.

Les Herzog, who later would assemble Portland Avenue teams in the same circuit put together a title-contender with Hal Schimling, Pete Sabutis, Fred Rickert, Hank Semmern and Cliff Scheisz as his nucleus.

Dale Bloom, Tom Absher, PLC stars Ron Billings, Gerry Hefty, and Frank Karwoski, along with Eddie Wheeler, Jim Stanton and Bob Jamison all joined the team plus Bob Johnson, veteran major-league standout and ex-Tacoma Tiger manager.

Their 1952 season was one of the most con­tested in league history because Fort Lewis entered the ranks with a team of players who had much professional experience. Ken Lehman, a Brooklyn Dodger farmhand and AM pitching star, was the ace of a strong mound staff.

Fort Lewis won the first-half of the city chase with a 7-0 record but Olde Pilsner came back to claim the second-half title in a lengthier schedule with a 13-1 record. The playoff series was a dandy

Olde Pilsner won the opening game, part of opening ceremonies for the new-acquired Cheney Field (formerly Tiger Park), by a 4-3 margin. Doubles by Dale Bloom and Fred Rickert sparked one rally

Bob Jamison, who was 2-for-2, singled and stole second late in the game to set the stage for Hal Schimling. The playing-manager came through with the game winning base blow.

Bloom was the winning pitcher. After allow­ing a first-inning run he pitched seven scoreless innings before tiring in the final frame. He carried a five-hitter to the 9th but yielded four safeties and two runs before getting an infield grounder for the final out.

The second game was even closer, a 6-6 tie played at Fort Lewis Stadium where a midnight curfew at the base halted the contest after 11 innings. A scheduled replay then was rained out.

The second replay was all Olde Pilsner with Pete Sabutis on the mound. His one-hit performance resulted in an 8-1 victory and the coveted city crown. The crafty left-hander struckout 10 and lost his no-hit game in the 9th on a bloop single with two out.

Leadoff batter Frank Karwoski scored four runs for the champs and Rickert provided much of the offense with three solid base-hits. It was a glorious win for the City Leaguers because of the strength of that Fort Lewis team.

         In those days the Tacoma News Tribune had a policy that no sponsor would benefit from attaching a business name to a team, so Olde Pilsner, realized little in way of recognition for the se­ries. The "Brewers" were credited with the wins in the TNT, but the Olde Pilsner name became quite an overnight sensation among area baseball fans.