Only two Washington natives have earned Hall of Fame plaques, 70 years after the first induction ceremonies were held in charming little Cooperstown, N.Y.
Spokane’s Ryne Sandberg, the former Chicago Cubs second baseman, and Snohomish native Earl Averill, once a slugging center fielder with the Cleveland Indians, are Washington’s lone representatives in the Hall of Fame.
The latest class of Hall of Fame inductees will be honored on Sunday in Cooperstown. Just for fun, we’ve come up with an unofficial Washington Baseball Hall of Fame.
Sammy White, Seattle (Lincoln High School) — Former UW baseball and basketball star hit .262 with 66 home runs in 11 seasons, mostly with the Boston Red Sox.
Backup: Mike Redmond, Spokane (Gonzaga Prep) – Redmond doesn’t get a lot of playing time behind Minnesota Twins star Joe Mauer, but his career batting average is hanging around the .290 mark after 12 years in the majors.
John Olerud, Bellevue (Interlake HS) — Olerud became the only Washington native to win a batting title when he hit .363 for Toronto in 1993. Olerud later enjoyed a pair of .300 seasons with Seattle. He retired with a .295 batting average, 255 home runs and three Gold Gloves.
Backup: Jack Fournier, Aberdeen (Aberdeen HS) — From 1923-25, Fournier hit .351, .334 and .350 and averaged 24 home runs with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He finished with a .313 career average and 136 home runs in 15 seasons.
Ryne Sandberg, Spokane (North Central HS) — He was the National League MVP in 1984. An 11-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glover, Sandberg’s career average was .285. He hit 282 home runs and stole 344 bases in 16 seasons.
Backup: Bump Wills, Spokane Valley (Central Valley HS) — Maury Wills’ son played only six seasons in the big leagues before Sandberg replaced him on the Cubs in 1983.
Ron Santo, Seattle (Franklin HS) — He hit .277 with 342 home runs in 15 seasons, mostly with Cubs.
Backup: Ron Cey, Tacoma (Mount Tahoma HS) — Hit .261 with 316 home runs in 17 seasons, mostly with Dodgers.
Kevin Stocker, Spokane Valley (Central Valley HS) — Stocker was called up to the majors midway through the 1993 season and hit a career-high .324 in 70 games to help Philadelphia reach the World Series.
Backup: Willie Bloomquist, Port Orchard (South Kitsap HS) – Has blossomed in Kansas City this year.
Bob Johnson, Tacoma — Johnson quietly put up big numbers on horrible Philadelphia Athletics teams in the 1930s. In 13 seasons, Johnson hit .296 with 288 home runs.
Backup: Woody Jensen, Aberdeen (Aberdeen HS) — Pesky singles hitter batted .285 over nine seasons in Pittsburgh.
Earl Averill, Snohomish (Snohomish HS) — Averill packed 172 pounds on his 5-foot-91/2-inch frame, but he hit .318 with 238 homers in 13 seasons, mostly with the Indians.
Backup: Grady Sizemore, Mill Creek (Cascade HS) — Young Cleveland star has career highs of 33 home runs, 90 RBI and 38 stolen bases.
Jeff Heath, Seattle (Garfield HS) — Mainly a left fielder, Heath hit .293 with 194 home runs in 14 seasons, mostly with Cleveland. In 1941, Heath became the first American League player to hit 20 homers, triples and doubles in one season.
Backup: Roy Johnson, Tacoma — Johnson matched the .296 career batting average of younger brother Bob. He led the American League with 45 doubles as a rookie with Detroit in 1929, and he led the AL in triples with 19 in 1931.
Earl Sheely, Spokane (North Central HS) — Sheely posted a .300 average in nine seasons, primarily spent with the White Sox in the 1920s.
Backup: Richie Sexson, Brush Prairie (Prairie HS) — He twice hit 45 home runs in a season for Milwaukee Brewers.
RIGHT-HANDED STARTING PITCHER
Mel Stottlemyre, Mabton (Mabton HS) — Played for the Yankees during some lean times (1964-74), but he compiled a 164-139 record and a 2.97 ERA in 11 seasons.
Backup: Jason Schmidt, Kelso (Kelso HS) -- The three-time All-Star compiled a 71-36 record with San Francisco from 2002 to 2006. Now with Dodgers.
LEFT-HANDED STARTING PITCHER
Vean Gregg, Chehalis-Clarkston (Clarkston HS) — Gregg posted a 92-63 record with a 2.70 ERA and won 20 or more games in each of his first three seasons in the majors from 1911 to 1913 with Cleveland.
Backup: Lefty Brandt, Spokane (Lewis and Clark HS) — Brandt won 16 to 18 games (1931 to 1934) with the Boston Braves. His 11-year mark was 121-146 with a 3.86 ERA.
Randy Myers, Vancouver (Evergreen HS) — Myers ranks ninth all-time with 347 saves, made four All-Star teams and played in four World Series. He set the National League saves record (since broken) of 53 with the Chicago Cubs in 1993. He finished his 14-year career with a 44-63 record, 3.19 ERA and 884 strikeouts in 8842/3 innings.
Backup: Gerry Staley, Brush Prairie (Battle Ground HS) — Three-time All-Star compiled a 134-111 record, 3.70 ERA and 61 saves in 15 seasons.