Class of 2000
Frederick Charles "Bobo" Brayton - Coach
Bobo Brayton was born in Vancouver, Washington in 1925. He graduated from Hamilton High School in 1943 and went on to star in baseball at Washington State University, where he was the Cougars' first All-America recipient. Immediately after college, he took over the baseball program at Yakima Valley College. He served as YVC's head baseball coach for 11 years, winning 10 league titles while compiling a 251-68 record. Bobo also coached football for six seasons, posting a 24-18-6 mark. After his stint at YVC, he returned to WSU, this time as a coach, where he compiled a 1,162-523-8 record, completing his career as the fourth winningest baseball coach in NCAA Division I history.
"I have a few little tidbits I coach by," Brayton said when announcing his retirement from WSU in 1994. "One of them is commitment counts, excellence shows and quality wins. I've always wanted to win because it takes more to win...."
Brayton has received the NCAA's Distinguished Service Award, the Lefty Gomez Award (college baseball's most prestigious award) and the American Association of College Baseball Coaches (AACBC) Honors Plaque. He is a member of the AACBC, WSU Athletic and Inland Empire Halls of Fame. He is also the only inductee into the Washington High School Coaches Hall of Fame who was not a high school coach. He chaired the College World Series committee in 1975, when the NCAA adopted the "Brayton Plan" for a 32-team regional playoff format. He now resides in Pullman, Washington.
Eddie Feigner - Fastpitch softball
Eddie Feigner grew up in Walla Walla and, as a fastpitch softball pitcher; he was one of the best in the world. Feigner led the J.A. Terteling Construction team of Richland to consecutive state championships in 1948 and 1949. However, it was as the "King and His Court" that Feigner became famous around the world.
Feigner, whose fastball was once clocked at 114 mph, began the King and His Court in 1946 on a dare during a softball game in Pendleton, Oregon, after his regular softball team beat its opponent. The losing team was razzing Feigner afterwards when he stated "I would play you with only my catcher, but you would walk us both." That is when the opposing team allowed him a shortstop and first baseman and the King and His Court was born.
In 1950, Feigner and his squad embarked on their first international tour - a tour that would last over 50 years. By the time Feigner retires, he will have pitched in over 10,000 games. Of those games, he has tossed 238 perfect games, has 930 no-hitters and 1,916 shutouts. He has struck out 132,070 batters and the King and His Court have traveled 3.5 million miles. One of Feigner's most legendary accomplishments came when he struck out six major-league all-stars consecutively in an exhibition. Of those six, five were eventual Hall-of-Famers: Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Brooks Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and Roberto Clemente. In 1999, Sports Illustrated magazine named the King and His Court as its eighth favorite all-time sports team.
Eddie was voted into the Hall of Fame even though he is still active in his sport. The selection committee wanted to honor him for a career which spans more than 50 years. At this rate, he may never retire.
Michael Jackson - Football
His personal sports resume is several pages long and his bio with the Seattle Seahawks is even longer, yet Michael Anthony Jackson has never truly gained the fame he deserves. A 1975 graduate of Pasco High School, no other Bulldog has ever enjoyed the success or accumulated the career achievements that Jackson has. A three-year/three-sport letterman, he was the team captain in both football and baseball while garnering All-State honors and receiving the Denning Award for Outstanding Athlete by the Pasco Jaycees as a senior.
At the University of Washington, Jackson earned four varsity letters and was named to their All-Centennial Football Team. He was also selected as the Inland Empire Amateur Athlete of the Year in 1977, a season in which he helped lead the Huskies to the Rose Bowl. The eyes of the nation were on him during that game as he made a vital end zone interception that helped seal Washington 's victory over Michigan.
Jackson still holds several defensive school records for the Huskies, including single season (210) and career (569) tackles. Among the several honors he received for UW include Sports Illustrated Player of the Week (11-12-77), Husky Team Captain (1978), All Pac-8 & Pac-10 Linebacker (1977-78) and several All-American selections.
In 1979, he was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round of the NFL Draft, where he began an eight-year career as a starting linebacker. One of the team's all-time defensive greats, he led the Seahawks in tackles for a number of seasons and is among the career leaders in that category. He also earned 21 game balls for his outstanding play and has received numerous other awards including team MVP, Most Improved Player and the Seattle P.I.'sSports Star of the Year.
Jackson is also very active off the field with several charities including the March of Dimes, Special Olympics and the United Way. He has also acted in 14 movie and television roles and was voted into the Pasco High School Hall of Fame in 1996.
Dean Nicholson - Coach
Dean Nicholson truly was the "dean" of Central Washington coaches, compiling a 609-219 record in 26 years (1964-90) as head basketball coach at Central Washington University. His Wildcat teams qualified for the NAIA national tournament a record 22 times and won a tournament-record 38 games. They reached the final four six times, finishing second in 1970, third in 1967, 1969, 1987 and 1989, and fourth in 1985. He was named NAIA national Coach of the Year in 1970, when his team finished 31-2. His 1987 team set a school record for wins with a 32-9 record. He and his father, Leo, coached Central basketball for 60 years and won 1,114 games (Leo was 505-281 in 1930-64).
As a basketball player, Nicholson was an all-conference guard all four years he attended Central Washington State College (1946-50), finishing with a career total of 1,377 points. He led Central to its first NAIA tournament in 1950. He also was a standout baseball player for the Wildcats, leading the Evergreen Conference in hitting in 1950.
Nicholson grew up in Ellensburg and graduated from Ellensburg High School. He was a highly successful high school coach at Puyallup for 14 years before succeeding his father at Central. Dean coached the Yakima Sun Kings, a CBA team, for two seasons (1990-91) and came out of retirement in 1995 to coach at Yakima Valley Community College, where his teams won 74 games in three years. He and his wife Charlene now live near their children and grandchildren in Concord, California.
Pete Rademacher - Boxing
Tieton native Pete Rademacher claimed Olympic gold in 1956 when he won the heavyweight boxing championship in the Melbourne Games. Three straight knockouts carried Rademacher to the title, including a first-round KO of Russia's Lev Moukhine in the championship match. Then, a year later, Rademacher made boxing history by fighting for the heavyweight championship in his first professional bout against Floyd Patterson in Seattle's Sick's Stadium in 1957. He knocked Patterson down in the second round, but the champion recovered to win by technical knockout in the sixth. Rademacher went on to a 17-6 professional record before leaving the ring to become a successful businessman in Ohio. He was a standout athlete at both Yakima Junior College, earning two letters each in football and baseball (1948-50), and Washington State College, lettering twice in football (1950-51).
Rademacher graduated from WSC in 1953 with a degree in animal husbandry. A Golden Gloves boxer in high school and college, he was a lieutenant in the Army when he won the Olympic gold medal. Now, retired at age 71 from a career as an executive with the Kiefer-McNeil Corp. in Ohio, he has yet another career; he is in his 12th year of directing golf tournaments for the state of Ohio.
Mel Stottlemyre, Sr. - Baseball
Mel Stottlemyre grew up in Mabton, graduating from Mabton High School and pitched one year at Yakima Valley College before signing with the Yankees. Stottlemyre was the New York Yankees best pitcher for a decade (1964-74), winning 164 games (against 139 losses) and compiling a career earned run average of 2.97. He won 20 games three times (20-9 in 1965, 21-12 in 1968 and 20-14 in 1969) and 15 or more in seven of his 11 major league seasons. He started 356 games and completed 152 of them with 40 career shutouts. In his only World Series, as a rookie called up at mid-season in 1964, he became the Yankees top starter after an injury to Whitey Ford. He started three games against the St. Louis Cardinals, including a Game 7 loss after just two days rest, and finished with a 1-1 Series record and a 3.15 ERA.
He will eventually be a strong Central Washington Sports Hall of Fame candidate as a coach, too. He was pitching coach for 10 years (1984-93) with the New York Mets, winning a World Series championship in 1986, two years with the Houston Astros (1994-95) and is currently in his fifth year with Yankee teams that have won world championships three of the last four years. Both of his sons, Mel Jr. and Todd, have pitched in the major leagues and Todd is currently a starter for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Mel Sr. is now battling cancer while continuing as Yankee pitching coach. He and his wife Jean, who made their home in Yakima for many years, recently moved to Issaquah.
Special Contributor's Award: Gary Staggers - Announcer
One of the true broadcast icons of this century is Gary Staggers. No person has labored as hard or shown more passion than Gary when it comes to covering high school athletics.
He began his radio broadcasting career in 1956 after attending the Northwest Radio & TV School in Portland, Oregon. After working in Oregon for several years and serving in the armed forces, he began a lengthy stay at KREW Radio in Sunnyside, which lasted into the 1990's. He later moved to K101.7-FM in Prosser where he retired after the 2000 2A state basketball tournament.
The official 'voice of the Mid-Valley League,' Gary also worked as a sports journalist for publications like the Tri-City Herald, Yakima Herald-Republic and All-Star Sports, in addition to writing columns for the state coaches magazine.
Staggers spent over forty years covering high school sports, 36 of them in the Central Washington area. He has broadcast more than 2,270 games of football, boy's and girl's basketball, slow-pitch, baseball and wrestling, a sport for which he pioneered radio coverage. The first radio person to receive the 'Silver Helmet' award from the State Football Coaches Association, he also was given the 'Media Person of the Year' award from the Washington State Wrestling Coaches Association.
Staggers also covered the State High School All-Star football game for 10 years and did a show called the 'Coaches Corner,' a program in which he interviewed a coach or athlete from a different school every day.
Gary now resides in Arkansas, where he is beginning to enjoy his retirement. His voice will certainly be missed when prep coverage picks up again in the fall.
Because of the passion he invested in his broadcasts and the many years he spent covering sports in our local area, we are pleased to honor his life's work with the "Special Contributor's Award."