Bakers Raise the Game

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

On this Day in History