become beset by apathy.In many ways, what Hutchinsonaccomplished with the 1955 Rainiersis more remarkable than his dazzlingdisplay in 1938.Hutchinson frst had to gut Seattle’s1954 roster (the club had staggeredin fth) and rebuild it virtually romscratch. With Soriano’s assistance,Hutchinson ocused on acquiringas many ormer Major Leaguersas possible – players, defned byHutchinson, “who understood how togive me nine good innings every day.”Former MLB notables imported byHutchinson and Soriano included 1BBill Glynn (Indians); RHP Lou Kretlow(Orioles); RHP Elmer Singleton(Cubs); RHP Larry Jansen, who in1951 had been the winning pitcher orthe Giants when Bobby Thomson hitthe “Shot Heard Round the World;”RHP Ewell Blackwell (Reds), who in1947 had nearly duplicated JohnnyVander Meer’s back-to-back no-no’s;and INF Vern Stephens (Browns, RedSox), an eight-time MLB All-Star.To these, Hutchinson added thelikes o OF Bobby Balcena, the frstnative o the Philippines to play proes-sionally in the United States. Blendinghis imports with such holdoversas catcher Ray Orteig, Hutchinsoncobbled together a roster that included42 players and 22 pitchers, 64 Rainiersin all. He even used local ast pitchsotball phenom Bobby Fesler in threegames.The ’55 Rainiers had no superstars,no 20-game winners and no .300hitters. But Hutchinson helped turn hisroster, many o them late-season acqui-sitions, into an outstanding team.Although Singleton led the sta with a 19-win eort that includeda no-hitter (July 24), the key to theRainiers season became Hutchinson’smid-season acquisition o Kretlow,who went 14-3 in the second hal.
Clockwise from top left:
Bobby Balcena, the rst nativeo the Philippines to play proessionally in the U.S., crosseshome plate ater hitting a home run at Sicks’ Stadium.Balcena is congratulated by Ray Orteig (10) and VernStephens.Rainiers owner Emil Sick (let) presents general managerDewey Soriano with
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“Minor LeagueExecutive o the Year” award or the 1955 season.Lou Kretlow, who had pitched or nine years in the Majors, joined the Rainiers midway through the 1955 season andposted a 14-3 second-hal record.With Seattle manager Fred Hutchinson (ar let) watching,Angels slugger Steve Bilko is presented with the TonyLazzeri Trophy, awarded annually to the PCL’s home runchampion.The Rainiers congratulate rst baseman Bill Glynn, or-merly o the Cleveland Indians, on his return to the dugoutater a home run.
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