Ryne Sandberg – Baseball
From 1984 through 1993, Ryne Sandberg was among the best players in Major League Baseball. He was an All-Star every season for the Chicago Cubs. Sandberg was the 1984 National League MVP when he led the Cubs to the playoffs by batting .314 with a league-high 114 runs, 19 triples and 32 steals. Sandberg won the N.L. Gold Glove at second base for nine consecutive seasons. He led the National League in homers once (40 in 1990) and runs three times. He finished with 2,386 hits. Sandberg was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005. The product of Spokane’s North Central High School was later a Major League manager from 2013-2015 for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Sandberg earned Parade magazine All-America honors in football at North Central. He was a prominent national football recruit who signed with Washington State before the baseball draft shifted his professional focus. Sandberg held the Greater Spokane League record for passing yardage until it was broken by future Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien three years later. Sandberg also received second-team GSL honors in basketball as a junior and senior.
More extensive coverage of Sandberg’s life and career is available in his Society of American Baseball Research bio.
Hub Kittle – Baseball
Hub Kittle pitched in the minor leagues for 20 years — later made a comeback for an inning at age 63, retiring the side on 11 pitches — and was a long-time manager, pitching coach, and general manager among other roles for Major League clubs and in the minors. Late in his career, he was a special assignment pitching instructor for the Seattle Mariners. In 1939, Kittle won 20 of 30 decisions pitching for the Yakima Pippins of the Class B Western International League. He returned to Yakima and died there at age 86.
Ira Flagstead – Baseball
From 1924 through 1928, Flagstead was an important contributor to the Boston Red Sox lineup, earning MVP votes in all five seasons. Flagstead was known for his defense in center field. In 1923, he led all American League outfielders with 31 assists and eight double plays turned. He also set an American League record by starting three double plays as an outfielder in a single game, including two runners thrown out at home plate. He hit .290 with 1,202 hits over 13 seasons in the Majors. His professional career started with the Tacoma Tigers of the Class B Northwestern League in 1917 when he batted .376 in 205 at-bats. Flagstead played semipro ball for the Olympia Senators from 1913 to 1916 when he was working in the area as a steam fitter.