Spokane Indians Rim of Honor
The Spokane Indians introduced the Rim of Honor in 2007 to give thanks and celebrate individuals who have contributed to the organization through their excellence on and off the field during the team's history. There are four permanent members, which are all former Spokane Indians players or managers. In addition, there are two spots on the Rim of Honor that are awarded annually to individuals who have contributed greatly to the success of the franchise.
Dwight Aden played centerfield for the Indians from 1938 to 1942 and helped lead the Indians to the 1941 championship. An All-Star, Aden notched a .330 batting average while in Spokane and was considered to be one fo the best defensive players in the league at the time, famously committing just one error during his time with the Indians. Along with Levi McCormack, the Indians had one of the quickest and most reliable outfields in the Western International League. Aden served in the Navy during WWII, primarily as a flight instructor, which cut short his playing career at the age of 27.
Aden went on to become the business manager of the Spokane Indians in the mid-1940s. Aden continued to live in Spokane and threw out the first pitch to celebrate the Spokane Indians' 100th anniversary in 2003. He passed away in 2008 at the age of 93.
Levi McCormack played outfield for the Spokane Indians for 1939 to 1947, and was a starter on the 1941 championship team along with Dwight Aden. McCormack, the son of a Nez Perce chief, was a Western International League All-Star in 1941 when he lead the league with 191 hits. He spent the next four years serving in the Navy during WWII before returning to the team in 1946. McCormack is still considered on the most beloved Spokane Indians players of all time.
McCormack survived the team's bus accident in 1946 that claimed the lives of nine teammates, although he was forced to miss the rest of the season due to a head injury. He served as a mailman for the city of Spokane following his retirement from baseball.
Maury Wills was an infielder for the Spokane Indians from 1958 to 1959. The slick-fielding shortstop made an immediate impact, scoring the first run at the newly built Avista Stadium in 1958. Maury went on to a 14-year MLB career that included two Gold Gloves, seven All-Star games, four World Series appearances and an NL MVP Award in 1962 when he lead the league and set a new major-league record with 104 stolen bases.
When he retired his 586 steals were #10 on the all-time list, the most by anyone since 1929. So big an impact did Wills have on the game the otherwise modestly skilled five-time All-Star got as high as 40% of the BBWAA vote for the Hall of Fame during his years of eligibility. After his playing days Wills became a baserunning guru, working for a number of teams, and managed in the winter leagues. He became just the third African-American to manage in the big leagues when he took the helm for the Seattle Mariners in 1980.
Tommy Lasorda managed the Spokane Indians from 1969 to 1971, leading the 1970 club to a Pacific Coast League Championship. That team finished the year 94-52 and swept Hawaii in the playoffs to win the championship. A colorful character, Lasorda was beloved by Spokane fans and his success with the Indians eventually led to a storied 20-year run as the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Lasorda, who managed the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1976-1996, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997 by the Veterans Committee following a career where he won 1,599 games, two World Series and two more National League pennants - all with the Dodgers.
2007: Peter O'Malley and Don Schofield
2008: Norm Thue & Normalu Cooper and W.O. Bill Allen
2009: Jim Price and Barbara Klante
2010: The Lawton Family and Paul Merkel
2011: Ron Jackson and Spokane County
2012: Jack Spring and Elten Schiller
2013: Marshall Farnell and Bruce Davis
2014: Ruben Marcilla and Ken Merkel
2015: Jack Billingsley and Bob Richmond
2016: Regina Lillie and Top Flite Quartet
2017: The Spokesman-Review and Tim Hulett
2018: Carlos Beltran and Gus Johnson