The West Valley community came out in full force Friday to officially christen Jack Spring Field in recognition of the Eagles’ former longtime baseball coach and athletic director.
Spring, 81, who pitched in the major leagues and is a lifetime Spokane resident, has battled an aggressive form of Parkinson’s Disease for five years and is confined to a wheelchair. But he was there with his family to bask in the accolades and reunite with scores of former players.
His baseball teams were annual playoff contenders, and in 1978 he coached the Eagles to a the Spokane area’s only state title in what is now considered the 3A classification.
“I’m pretty sure no one expected that team to finish with a state championship under their belt,” said Ron Soss, speaking on behalf of the team. “I really think a great part of that team’s success was due to Jack Spring.”
Jack’s son, Chris, who followed in his father’s footsteps as baseball coach and is now athletic director at Medical Lake, spoke on behalf of his dad, whose speech has been ravaged by the disease.
“It’s hard to believe that I would be remembered this way since I retired from West Valley 20 years ago,” Chris read. “I always love surprises.”
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