Art Walther began his first year as Lewis and Clark’s baseball coach in 1931 with a 12-1 victory over a team from Whitworth. It was the beginning of a 21-year run as head coach for the young man from Arkansas, who also taught English and mathematics at the school.
Taking over from former coach Neil McKain, Walther led LC to Spokane City League titles in his first five years at the helm.
During his tenure at Lewis and Clark, the Tigers won or shared 12 championships as he made the school on the south hill the dominant force in Spokane high school baseball.
In his last years of coaching the school he won three straight titles before stepping down. His last championship, in 1951, was probably the best season of his long run as coach.
The team finished the year undefeated in league play at 9-0. It was the first City League team to go undefeated in baseball since Rogers ran the table in 1943.
That year, the Tigers were led by the batting of catcher Bill Farr and first baseman,Ed Bouchee and the pitching of Jack Spring. Both Bouchee and Spring would continue on to play major league ball. On their way up the professional ranks, they both played for the Spokane Indians. Spring later would go on to coach the only Spokane area high school team, West Valley, to win a state baseball championship.
Walther’s mantra was “A job worth doing is worth doing well.” It was said his teams played the game the way it should be played and always showed the class associated with good coaching. He was a tough coach, but fair.
Walther finished with an overall league record of 128-53. He passed away in 1965, but there are still men who remember him as “coach” from their long-ago spring afternoons playing on the diamond at LC.