Bakers Raise the Game

1953 – Around the World and Close to Home

Dwight Eisenhower is inaugurated as the 34th President of the United States, several weeks later Soviet leader Joseph Stalin dies and by year’s end the Korean conflict hostilities cease with an armistice agreement. Mount Everest is summitted, DNA discovered and the first open-heart surgery performed. At home, Eastside community of Bellevue, population about 10,000, is incorporated and in Seattle the Alaskan Way Viaduct opens for traffic. In American sports, the Yankees win the World Series over the Brooklyn Dodgers in six games of a Subway Series and the Minneapolis Lakers repeat as NBA champions and the single U.S. National Team soccer match is a friendly versus England before less than 8,000 in Yankee Stadium.

Bakers Raise the Game

When Eddie Craggs sought a sponsor for his fledgling soccer club, he did not stray far from his Ballard base, nor was it necessary. Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood was home to one of the region’s foremost bread-makers, as well as title sponsor to a rising amateur basketball power. Craggs convinced George Buchan, a Scotsman and founder of the Buchan Baking Co., that local soccer was fast growing in popularity and the nearby Fremont Boys Club team was worthy of backing.

At the time of his pitch, Fremont ruled the senior youth ranks, and Craggs wanted these growing boys to new play amongst the men of the State Senior First Division. Buchan’s basketball team had grown into a state AAU champion in its first five years. It took Craggs just three seasons to groom their soccer namesakes into a champion in their own right. In 1953, Buchan Bakers upset Norselander Vikings in the playoff for the league championship and the first of the Dough Boys’ five straight titles.

Buchan began the campaign in unspectacular fashion, finishing fifth in the first half. Yet they bolt out of gates in the New Year, winning four in a row, highlighted by a 4-3 rain-soaked win over the first-half winner Vikings. Five weeks later, the Bakers again found the odd goal versus the Vikings, in extra time, to claim their first league prize.

Buchan later consolidates its position as the best in the Northwest by reclaiming the Northwest championship from Portland’s Clan McCleay and taking the five-a-side tournament. Green Lake Bowl, third during the second half, proves master of tournament play. First, they deny Buchan the double by rallying from two goals down in the George Washington Cup final, then lifting the knockout cup in April.

Northwest Champion
Buchan Bakers 3:1 Clan McCleay
State Men's Champion
Buchan Bakers 3:2 Norselander Vikings (aet)
State Knockout Cup
Green Lake Bowl 3:2 Buchan Bakers

1953: Bakers Raise the Game

The recipe for repeated state league success involves mixing together a collection of largely Brits to form the legendary Buchan Bakers.

Fit to Be Tied After 150 Minutes
March 1, 1953

Wickman’s Pies and Tacoma play 150 minutes without settling matters in George Washington Cup first-round match at Seattle’s Georgetown playfield. The teams are tied 2-2 after regulation, 3-3 after 30 minutes of extra time and 4-4 following another period. Players from both teams are exhausted and unable to play on.

CYO Holds Year-End Party
December 6, 1953

The Catholic Youth Organization holds a season-ending party for the players and volunteer coaches. St. John’s and coach Sam Donohoe were presented the Bantam League trophy, and St. Mary’s and Nick Galando took home the Teen-Age League trophy.

Buchan Denied the Double
March 22, 1953

Green Lake Bowl denies Buchan Bakers a double by coming from 2-nil down to score three second-half goals to win the George Washington Knockout Cup, 3-2, at Catholic Memorial Stadium.

Joe Lane, Bakers Win 5-a-Side
April 26, 1953

Buchan closes out the campaign by winning 10th annual five-a-side tournament, beating Vancouver juniors Norburn Legion, 3-1. Joe Lane scores four goals in five games and the Bakers finish with a goal-difference of 14-4.

The Foot of Thor Scores 8
December 27, 1953

Thor Aanes explodes for eight goals as Tacoma AC crushes Harvey’s, 9-4, at Jefferson Park. In Seattle, George Craggs scores for Buchans in a 1-1 draw with Scotty’s.

Man United's Busby Visits
June 15, 1953

Matt Busby, Manchester United manager, conducts a coaching clinic on behalf of USSF at Seattle auditorium (5th & Wall). The Busby Babes had won the 1952 English first division and Busby had managed the 1948 Great Britain team to the semifinals of the Olympic Games.

Bakers Cook in Second Half
February 8, 1953

Buchan Bakers clinches the state league second-half championship, defeating Green Lake Bowl, 1-0, to finish 5-1-0.

Cup Stays on Shelf
December 6, 1953

The George Washington Cup final fails to produce a winner as Norselander Vikings and E&E Meats draw, 1-1, at Lower Woodland Park.

Green Lake Wins 2nd Tourney
April 12, 1953

Green Lake Bowl collects its second tournament championship in three weeks, beating E&E Meats in the State Knockout Cup, 4-2, at Catholic Memorial. Gordon Martin, Gordon Roberts, Le DelSanto and Pete Wells tally for the victors.

Ortiz Hat Trick Clinches NW Title
April 19, 1953

Manual Ortiz fires home all three goals as Buchan Baking Company reclaims Northwest bragging rights for Washington with a 3-1 defeat of Portland’s Clan McCleay at Catholic Memorial Stadium. In the first half of the doubleheader, Norselander Vikings shell the Portland Vikings, 9-1, to retain the Sandy Bergman trophy.

Bakers Rally For 1st Title
February 22, 1953

Buchan Bakers win their first state league championship with a 3-2 extra time victory over Norselander Vikings at Lower Woodland Park. Jim McGilloway gets the winner. Twice the Bakers were forced to pull a goal back. Hewitt McCloskey canceled out Tommy Grieve’s opener and Bill Phillips sent the game into extra time after Erling Hansen put the Vikings in front again.

Canadian Kids Rule Cascadia
December 13, 1953

North Shore All-Stars of Vancouver defeat Seattle's St. John’s, 3-2 on aggregate after extra time, to claim the J.R. Oldershaw Trophy at Catholic Memorial Stadium. The first leg ended scoreless.

Vikings Finish First Half Unblemished
October 18, 1953

Vikings claim state league first-half title, finishing 5-0-0 following a 4-1 win over Scotty’s on goals by Thor Ronning, Oke Forsman, Thor Tagman and Larry Peterson.

On this Day in History
November 23, 2002
Kennedy becomes the first Washington high school to win five championships at the 3A/4A levels by overpowering Bellingham in the second half to triumph, 4-0, at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood. Junior Vicky Rodriguez kick-starts the Lancers (17-3-2) by breaking the 0-0 deadlock in the 51st minute, and two minutes later. Krystle Jalalian capped the Lancers' dominant state performance with goals in the 68th and 70th minutes. Kennedy last won the crown in 1994. Coach Doug Stamnes, who also led the Lancers' boys teams to championships in 1997 and 2000, runs his total to seven.
More from 2002 ›
May 16, 1997
Seattle Pacific and Seattle Parks break ground on $3.3 million, 900-seat Interbay Stadium. SPU pays for the construction and annual maintenance for 25 years and receives priority in scheduling games and training. The playing surface is a hybrid SportGrass.
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April 10, 1955
Norselander Vikings deny Buchan a third major prize by beating the Bakers, 3-1, for the Pacific Coast Coal Trophy, emblematic of state soccer championship. Joe Njoku-Obi scores twice in the first half. The game, played before a ‘fine crowd’ at Olympic Stadium in Hoquiam, raises $500 for Grays Harbor Society of Crippled Children.
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December 2, 2010
Fans and organizers collectively gasp when FIFA announces that the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will be played in Russia and Qatar. Hundreds gather with local organizers and officials at F.X. McRory’s in Seattle's Pioneer Square to hear the 7 a.m. PST announcement. Across the state and the nation similar parties are stunned by Qatar prevailing in the fourth round of voting, 14-8 over the United States. The U.S. had been considered a frontrunner and Seattle a top candidate to host several matches at CenturyLink Field. More than 46,000 had signed an online petition supporting Seattle, one of 17 cities in the U.S. bid.
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