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1942

 

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 play. 

 

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 Championship. 

 

 

 

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 Solons. 

 

Note: The interview has been edited and the audio file lasts 3:54.

 

 All contents © Rick Cabral, 2010 

 

 

 

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