By KAYLEE BREWSTER
Lewiston historian and sports fan Dick Riggs is pitching a new book for baseball enthusiasts called “Lewiston-Clarkston Baseball in Small-Town America Lewiston, Idaho.”
Through photos and stories, the book explores the history of baseball in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley. Here’s a preview from its pages with some valley baseball history you maybe didn’t know.
- On July 16, 1939, Damon Hayes of Clarkston, a player for the Lewiston Indians of the Pioneer League, married Sarah Jane Parks of Lewiston at home plate on Bengal Field, where the team played. The ceremony was before a game against the Ogden (Utah) Reds. Many fans left wedding gifts at the concession stand, and the newlyweds departed the field under the raised bats of the players.
- The Seattle Mariners have some Lewiston connections, including former Lewis-Clark State College players like Brendan Ryan (LCSC: 2001-03; Mariners: 2011-13), Bucky Jacobsen (LCSC: 1996-97; Mariners: 2004) and Jason Ellison (LCSC: 1999-2000; Mariners: 2007). Mel Stottlemyre Jr. of Lewiston is the current pitching coach for Seattle. He started his career there in 2016.
- Vean Gregg of Clarkston was a left-handed pitcher who went on to play for the Cleveland Indians from 1911-13. In 1914, he was traded to the Red Sox, joining a player named Babe Ruth.
- Lewiston’s professional team, the Lewis-Clark Broncs from 1952-1974, of the class A Northwest League, had a few noteworthy players. Rick Monday played the 1965 season and is now a radio/TV announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 1966, Reginald M. Jackson was drafted for the Broncs and later was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Levi McCormack was a member of the Nez Perce Tribe born and raised in Lapwai. In 1934, while playing for a semi-pro league in Lewiston, National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander pitched to McCormack, who hit it out of the park for a home run. McCormack later helped take the 1941 Spokane team to a Western International League championship, leading the league with 191 hits and 42 doubles.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Avista-NAIA World Series
WHEN/WHERE: Games start Friday at Lewis-Clark State College’s Harris Field in Lewiston
“Lewiston-Clarkston Baseball in Small-Town America Lewiston, Idaho” is for sale at And Books Too in Clarkston and the Nez Perce County Historical Museum in Lewiston for $22.