John Barnes, a Midwestern amateur athletic star and sports promoter, arrived in the Northwest to develop the Pacific Northwest League in 1890. He operated the Spokane franchise, which won the first pennant with a team featuring minor-league legends Piggy Ward, Abner Powell and George Borchers.
The onset of another season of Spokane Indians baseball reminds us of some of the highest highs and lowest lows in Northwest League history.
What if Spokane hadn’t lost its Triple-A team? Maybe the timeline would have looked something like this:
Although Larry “Moose” Stubing almost came away emptyhanded from his stays in baseball’s major leagues, he will be remembered for more than his one season as the last Triple-A manager of the Spokane Indians.
Clarence “Chuck” Churn, a tall righthander who earned almost a quarter of his career pitching victories during two Pacific Coast League seasons with the Spokane Indians, has died at the age of 87.
George Brett loves his adopted hometown of Kansas City, but it’s exactly those sort of painfully hot August days that make him crave visiting Spokane this time of year. He loves it so much that when you hear him talk about it, you wonder if he could be the new “Visit Spokane” spokesperson.
A Spokane Indians jersey is now in Cooperstown. And not just temporarily there. It’s a permanent part of the baseball hall of fame’s storied collection of artifacts celebrating the National Pastime.