Friday, May 26, 2017

Len Yandle

Leonard Hoyt Yandle

February 6, 1911
Tigris, MO

January 16, 2001
Mesa, AZ

1928-29 Molalla High School - Oregon (High School)
1929-30 Molalla High School - Oregon (High School)
1932-33 Southern Oregon Normal (College)
1934-35 Gonzaga University (College)
1935-36 Gonzaga University (College)
1943-44 Fees Music Makers (Independent)  Head coach / player
1946-47 Salem Trailblazers (PCBL) Head coach / player
1946-47 Seattle University (College) Head coach
1947-48 Seattle University (College) Head coach
1955-56 College of Idaho (College)

One of seven children born to John and Minnie Yandle, He served in the U.S. Navy during World War 2. He returned from the war to coach basketball and baseball at Seattle University, as well as being named player / coach for the Salem Trailblazers. He resigned from the school in August of 1948 and moved east to go into business. He returned years later to coach at Idaho

Medford Mail Tribune, August 6, 1948

Frankie Watson

Frank John Watson

September 1, 1918
Seattle, WA

July 3, 2007
Seattle, WA

1936-37 O'Dea High School - Seattle (High School)
1938-39 Gonzaga University (College)
1939-40 Gonzaga University (College)
1940-41 Gonzaga University (College) 
1946-47 Seattle Blue Devils (PCBL)
1947-48 Seattle Athletics (PCBL)

A three-sport star at Gonzaga (football, baseball and basketball), Watson entered the USMC after graduating and served in the South Pacific during World War 2. After a couple years of professional basketball, he owned and opearted a business that sold athletic equipment to high schools around the state of Washington. He retired in 1980 and moved to Florida, but returned to Seattle in his later years, where he passed away in 2007.

He married Helen Sullivan in 1946 and they had three sons and a daughter.

Obituary, Seattle Times, July 7, 2007
Seattle PI Obituary

Roy Wark

Roy Larson Wark

July 10, 1922
Harrison, ID

June 6, 2005
Bellingham, WA

1944-45 Western Washington (College)
1946-47 Bellingham Fircrests (PCBL)
1947-48 Bellingham Fircrests (PCBL)

Roy married Gertrude Starkenburg in 1953


Jim Vernon

James D. Vernon

May 5, 1921
Hill City, MN

October 9, 2000
Reno, NV

1945-46 Central Washington College (College)
1946-47 Yakima Ramblers (PCBL)
1947-48 Astoria Royal Chinooks (PCBL) 

Born in Minnesota to Steven and Anna Vernon, the family moved to Ellensburg, Washington, before Jim's 10th birthday. After playing basketball at CW, he played two seasons in the Pacific Coast Basketball League. He moved to Medford, and in 1957 moved to Reno, Nevada. He served as a councilman for Sparks City, Nevada, from 1967 to 1975.


Jack Vaughn

John Franklin "Jack" Vaughn

July 5, 1923
Portland, OR

June 25, 2000
Portland, OR

1939-40 Bend High School - Portland (High School)
Grant High School - Portland, Oregon (High School)
1942-43 Williamette College - Oregon (College)
1946-47 Salem Trailblazers (PCBL)
1947-48 Vancouver Hornets (PCBL)

A native of Portland, Vaughan played at Williamette before entering the USMC. After the war, he played pro basketball with Salem and Vancouver.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sid Van Sinderen

Sidney Van Sinderen, Jr.

July 26, 1923
Big Lake, WA

February 12, 2017
Bellingham, WA

Bellingham High School - Washington (High School)
Western Washington College (College)
1946-47 Bellingham Fircrests (PCBL)

Born in Big Lake, Washington, Sidney's family moved to Bellingham in 1926. He entered the USMC after high school, and after the war entered Western Washington. He played basketball professionally for the Fircrests in 1946 after playing pro baseball for the Vancouver Capilanos of the Western International League. He would later work for many years as a teacher and an immigration officer.

Sidney married Jettie McClane in 1946 and they had a son and two daughters.

Minor League Baseball Stats:

Bellingham Herald Obituary, February 17, 2017

Earl Torgeson

Clifford Earl Torgeson

January 1, 1924
Snohomish, WA

November 8, 1990
Everett, WA

1946-47 Bellingham Fircrests (PCBL)

Born to Melvin and Helen Torgeson, Earl Torgeson was a baseball star around Snohimish. He signed with the Seattle Raniers in 1941. With unusually good speed for a guy his size, Torgeson played well for the Raniers before entering the U.S. Army after the 1942 season. After the war, where he received a Purple Heart in the Battle of the Bulge, Torgeson returned to the Raniers in 1946, and after a soild season was sold to the Boston Braves of the National League. In that off-season, he signed with the Bellingham Fircrests of the Pacific Coast Basketball League, but was released around December 20, 1946.
Off to Boston in 1947, Torgeson began what would be a 15-year career as a Major League first baseman, with stops in Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York after Boston. Earl was a tough ballplayer with no fear of throwing a punch. He worked in the front office of the Seattle Pilots in 1969, and in 1972, was elected Snohomish County Commissioner. He was charged with defrauding the county, but was found not guilty. Unable to get re-elected, he later worked as the county's director of emergency management. He was 66 when he died from leukemia in 1990.

He and his wife, Molly, had three sons and a daughter.

Major League Baseball Stats

SABR Biography
Seattle Times Obituary
Chicago Tirbune, November 11, 1990