Home > Jack Gordon's Navy Service > Swabbin' the Deck Columns > July 6, 1943





John Bittner Sinks Army All-Stars, 3-1

Vanni Stars As Flyers Cop N. W. Baseball Crown

By Jack Gordon


(Jack's pre-game article on this classic from the June 29 issue of The Sky-Writer.)

SEATTLE, July 5 (Special)—It may have been the Fourth of July for the Army All-Stars but it was more like Navy Day for the Pasco Flyers who sank the Army 3-1, in the Independence Day classic in Sick's Seattle Stadium before 10,000 howling fans.

Edo Vanni, 1943

Home-Town Star

Lindsay Brown scored the Flyer's second run in the seventh, singling, advancing on Steve Ananicz's sacrifice, and crossing home plate on Edo Vanni's screaming liner at the center fielder.

Johnny Bittner, never better, hurled the Navy win, alloting seven scattered hits to the Soldiers and getting in hot water only once on the nine-inning route.

It was evident what was in store for the Soldiers from the first inning when Edo Vanni, performing before an appreciative home crowd, singled, reached second on a catcher's overthrow and crossed the plate on White and Escobar's out­field flies.

Nursing the one run lead, Bittner's marksmanship handcuffed the Army, the Soldiers reaching him for only two hits in six innings.

Both sailor tallies were unearned off Sgt. Jack Knott, Camp Adair's ace moundsman, who retired in the eighth for Bob Henrikson.

Heart-stopping moment of the game for the Navy fans came in the seventh when Earl Torgeson singled and Morrie Arnovich, who went hitless, blasted a long fly out to left field. Danny Amaral and Don White started in on the catch and crashed into each other. But Amaral held onto the ball, killing the Army threat.

The Army fans had cause for some anxious moments in the third stanza when the Navy loaded the bases off Knott. With two men out, Bob Kahle cracked a Texas Leaguer right at the Second Base­man Andy Anderson. That nipped the Flyer rally.

Bill Beard, taking over the catching chores in the eighth gave the Army it's [sic] lone tally of the game when he doubled and scored off Jim Robinson's single.

The Flyers only earned run came across in the eighth, Danny Amaral doubling and scoring on Marty Martinez' single.

Army came back with their last bit of fireworks in the ninth when Torgeson doubled, but Bittner settled down to pour cold water on any more army antics.





Although Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox was unable to attend, high-ranking dignitaries from the Navy and Army staffs, jammed the stadium along with soldiers, sailors, marines and civilian baseball fans to view the Fourth of July epic.

Comdr. B. B. Smith, Commander of the Pasco NAS and many NAS officers were in the stands as well as Navy Captains Berry, Carey, Sprague, Thomas and Bemis who cheered for the bluejackets. The Army's General Devins, Col. Lyons, Col. Bronson and Col. Glass were there.

The game was made colorful with a Navy Band from Sand Point and the Army Band from Fort Lawton together with a Ma­rine Color Guard. A contingent of WAACS drilling highlighted the pre-game program.


[Editor's Note: I believe that when Jack went home to Seattle to report on this game, he also stopped in at the Catholic Progress office in the Chancery. In an undated (but from the Summer of 1943) diary entry Roberta Walsh mentions seeing a young sailor in the Progress who was identified to her as Jack Gordon.]




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