MEL STOTTLEMYRE – Baseball
Mel Stottlemyre pitched 11 seasons for the Yankees between their 1950s/60s dominance and their return to prominence late in the 1970s. From 1964 to 1974, Stottlemyre won 164 games, was a five-time American League All-Star and four times received votes for A.L. MVP. In his rookie season, 1964, he started three games for the Yankees in the World Series, which they lost to St. Louis. That was the last Yankees playoff series until 1976.
Stottlemyre pitched 152 complete games, leading the American League twice. His career earned-run average was 2.97. From 1965 through 1973, only Bob Gibson pitched more shutouts than Stottlemyre (43 to 38).
A torn rotator cuff ended Stottlemyre’s career prematurely at age 32. While he didn’t win a World Series as a player, he was a long-time pitching coach whose teams won five World Series (1986 Mets, 1996, 1998-2000 Yankees). He wrapped up 50 years in baseball in 2008 as a coach with the Mariners, which brought him back to Washington.
Stottlemyre went 13-0 as a senior at Mabton High in the Yakima Valley. After a season at Yakima Valley JC, playing for soon-to-be WSU coach and state Hall of Fame inductee Bobo Brayton, Stottlemyre signed with the Yankees in 1961. He did not start the 1964 season with the Yankees but was needed for a spot start on Memorial Day. It was the first of 10 consecutive winning decisions and a trip to the All-Star Game.
More details are available in this Society of American Baseball Research bio.
WOODY JENSEN – Baseball
Playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1931 to 1939, Woody Jensen had 774 hits, batting .285. The Bremerton native who went to Chehalis High School and Western Washington University (then called New Whatcom Normal School) was primarily an outfielder. His 1936 total of 696 at-bats was a record until Matty Alou broke it in 1969.
GAIL COGDILL – Football
A premier Washington State University pass receiver who was named the 1960 Sporting News Rookie of the Year in the National Football League. In an 11-year pro career with the Detroit Lions, Baltimore Colts and Atlanta Falcons, he had 356 pass receptions for 5,696 yards and 34 touchdowns. He was an All-Pro selection three times.
Cogdill graduated from Lewis & Clark High in Spokane before heading to WSU from 1957-59. Against Northwestern in 1958, he set an all-time, single-game record by gaining 252 receiving yards on seven receptions. After his senior year, he was selected second-team on the 1959 All-Pacific Coast football team. He was also selected to play in the 1960 East–West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl, and Chicago College All-Star Game. He also competed in track at Washington State and won a Pacific Coast Conference hurdles championship
JIM OWENS – Coach (Football)
One of the University of Washington’s most popular football coaches. His teams won 92 games during his 17 years as head coach. He is best remembered for his Rose Bowl victories in 1959 and 1960. Both teams finished 10-1. Prior to his coaching career he was an outstanding All-America player at Oklahoma. He also served as UW athletic director.
TORCHY TORRANCE – Administrator
Long identified as one of the prime movers in the development of both pro and amateur athletics in the state, Roscoe “Torchy” Torrance was a strong booster of University of Washington athletics. He played baseball at Washington in the 1920s after graduating from Spokane’s Lewis and Clark High School. He played a prominent role in the success of Seattle’s Pacific Coast League teams of the 1930s and 1940s. He was also involved in founding the Washington Athletic Club, Longacres Race Track, Seafair and more Seattle events.
MILT WOODARD – Media
A former College of Puget Sound baseball star who had a distinguished career as a sportswriter for the Tacoma News Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. He was in charge of the Western Open golf tournament for 10 years. He also served as Commissioner of the AFL pro football league.
Ed Brandt – Baseball
Playing for a mediocre Boston Braves team, Ed Brandt was an elite left-handed pitcher who won 64 games over four seasons from 1931-34. He played 11 Major League seasons, mostly for second-division teams, earning 121 wins.
Legend has it, Brandt stuck out 21 batters three times as a high schooler for Spokane’s Lewis and Clark. He dropped out of high school to play ball and joined the Seattle Indians of the Pacific Coast League as a 17-year-old. Homesick, he returned to Spokane playing city league ball before returning to the Seattle Indians. He went back and forth from pro ball to home until he won 19 games for the 1927 Seattle Indians and the Boston Braves paid $20,000 to the Indians to sign him.
More details are available in his Society of American Baseball Research bio.