The Solons PCL Championship
Entering the final series in 1942, the Sacramento Solons trailed the
Los Angeles Angels by two games. The “Seraphs” promptly won the first game,
defeating the Solons top pitcher, Tony Freitas 5-0. The following day, Los
Angeles extended its lead to our games with another win. With five games left in
the season, and the Angels’ lead at 4, the southern Californians needed just one
win to secure the Pacific Coast League crown.
On Thursday, Sacramento was losing 5-4 and won the contest in the
ninth inning. The next night, Freitas redeemed himself, coasting to a 10-2
victory, cutting the margin to two games with three to
Saturday’s game provided plenty of tension as the game went into extra
innings. In the bottom of the 11th, Sacramento trailed Los Angeles
5-4, but a pinch-hit home run won the contest 6-5.
From this point, we’ll let John E. Spalding describe the action from
his book—Sacramento Senators & Solons: Baseball in
California’s Capital, 1886 to 1976.
Sunday’s doubleheader was the kind of climax that every pennant race
deserves with the first and second place teams, locked in to head-to-head
competition before an overflow crowd of 11,600 fans.
Trailing 5-3 in the eighth, the Solons took the lead with a four-run
outburst that featured a dramatic two-run homer by (Ray) Mueller…who was later
named the PCL’s most valuable player, edging Seattle’s popular pitcher, Kewpie
Dick Barrett, by one vote in The Sporting
News’ writers’ poll.
Freitas, who had rallied from his poor start to win 23 games, entered
the game in the ninth and retired three in a row to preserve the win for Beers
and knot the standings at 104-73.
Freitas had only one day’s rest since his Friday victory, but he told
(Manager Pepper) Martin he was warmed up and ready to go in the seventh-inning
season finale. It was no contest, as the Portuguese portsider pitched four-hit
ball to beat the Angels 5-1.
The win secured the Solons’ sole PCL
To listen to Tony Freitas’ memory of that weekend, play the audio file
of my interview with him in 1992, just 16 months before his passing. Freitas
ended his career as the winningest left-handed pitcher in minor league baseball
history, having spent most of it with the Sacramento
Note: The interview has been edited and the audio file lasts