Longtime Spokane Indians owner Bill Cutler died March 24 in Mesa, Ariz. He was 92.
Cutler owned and operated the Indians for five years after moving the Portland Beavers’ franchise to Spokane following the 1972 season.
Spokane won the Pacific Coast League twice in Cutler’s first three years as owner and general manger.
Following the 1978 season, Cutler sold the franchise to a Spokane-based group led by Gonzaga baseball coach Larry Koentopp. Cutler then served as president of the PCL until 1997.
During his tenure as president of the PCL, Cutler oversaw the expansion of the league to 10 teams, including three in Canada.
Under his leadership, new ballparks were built in Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, Colo., Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Edmonton, Alberta.
Cutler was elected to the PCL Hall of Fame in 2005.
Cutler, who served during World War II, was hired to work in Major League Baseball’s American League office six months after completing his military service.
In the following years, Cutler worked in the Oakland Athletics’ front office and as a scout for the Montreal Expos before buying the Beavers in 1970.
Cutler and his wife, Delores, were the parents of 12 children – nine girls and three boys. Two of their grandsons – Brett Bordes and Jimmy Patterson – had professional playing careers.
Cutler’s death came two weeks after the death of Elten Schiller, who served as the Indians’ general manager from 1967-1971.