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Spokane Indians Pack a Punch with 'King Carl Campaign'

New Identity Honors Local Civil Rights Leader Carl Maxey
February 29, 2024

The Spokane Indians Baseball Team, in collaboration with the Carl Maxey Center, The Black Lens, and Spokane NAACP, announced today the launch of a new alternate identity and community effort called the ‘King Carl Campaign’, named in honor of local civil rights activist and champion boxer Carl Maxey. Originally co-conceived

The Spokane Indians Baseball Team, in collaboration with the Carl Maxey Center, The Black Lens, and Spokane NAACP, announced today the launch of a new alternate identity and community effort called the ‘King Carl Campaign’, named in honor of local civil rights activist and champion boxer Carl Maxey. Originally co-conceived by the late Sandy Williams—founder of the Carl Maxey Center and The Black Lens—the King Carl Campaign serves as a vibrant celebration of our region’s Black community and the team’s ongoing commitment to supporting communities of color.

“We are thrilled to introduce the King Carl Campaign as a tribute to a true Spokane icon and advocate for equality,” said Spokane Indians Senior Vice President Otto Klein. "This campaign is not only a celebration of Carl Maxey's contributions to Spokane, but also a call to action for our community to come together and foster a more inclusive and equitable future."

Adopted by a Spokane family shortly after his birth in 1924, Maxey moved to the Spokane Children’s Home after the loss of his adoptive parents. At the age of 12, he was forced into the Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center when the Home’s board decided it would no longer care for African American children. Maxey never forgot his tumultuous upbringing, using these early challenges and injustices as motivation to become a champion for the underdog.

A WWII medic and NCAA boxing champion, Maxey made history in 1951 as the first African American to graduate from Gonzaga Law School and to practice law in Spokane. Maxey helped aid the integration of the Spokane School District, earning the nickname ‘King Carl’ for his practice's countless contributions to the civil rights movement. Renowned as a brilliant legal mind and a persuasive orator, Maxey tackled controversial cases, represented conscientious objectors, and championed social justice until his passing in 1997.

“Carl's tireless efforts in advancing civil rights left an indelible mark on the Spokane community,” said Morgan Maxey, grandson of Carl. “The Maxey family is excited to work with the Spokane Indians on this new campaign to honor his legacy, and are reminded that the fight for equality never ends.”

The King Carl logo, created in conjunction with the team’s branding partner Brandiose, features nods to the life and work of Carl Maxey and the colors of Black History Month. The logo and uniform will be unveiled exclusively in The Black Lens on Sunday, March 3rd. The uniforms will make their on-field debut at Avista Stadium on Friday, April 19th, in conjunction with Jackie Robinson’s birthday, and will also be worn on Wednesday, June 19th, in celebration of Juneteenth.

King Carl shirts will be available online in the Spokane Indians Team Store starting Sunday, March 3rd, with a portion of each sale donated to the Sandy Williams Fund for the Carl Maxey Center. Fans can also donate directly to the campaign through the Innovia Foundation.

The baseball team’s new campaign has received strong endorsement from local leaders in the Black community including Natasha Hill, editor of The Black Lens, Spokane NAACP President Lisa Gardner, and City Council President Betsy Wilkerson.

“The ‘King Carl’ logo is amazing as it symbolizes everything that Carl Maxey was to our community," said Gardner. "An activist until the end, Carl Maxey fought for social justice and civil rights and was unmoved in his dedication to the community, all of the attributes of a king. NAACP is proud to support this campaign to honor a community legend.”

“Carl’s legacy lives on in his family, the community, and the people he fought for,” said Wilkerson. “Spokane has been forever changed because of this giant of a man and we are excited to partner with the Indians to further Carl's mission.”

The King Carl Campaign aligns with Minor League Baseball's recently launched initiative, "The Nine" – named in honor of the number Jackie Robinson wore during his lone season in MiLB – which seeks to celebrate the rich history and culture of the diverse communities represented by minor league teams.

The Spokane Indians open their 2024 season at Avista Stadium on Friday, April 5th, against the defending Northwest League champion Vancouver Canadians. Tickets are available now for all 66 home games, including the team's 'King Carl' games on Friday, April 19th and Wednesday, June 19th.


The Carl Maxey Center (CMC) is a Black-led and Black-centered non-profit, 501c3 organization, based in the East Central neighborhood of Spokane, Washington. CMC is both a neighborhood cultural center and gathering place, as well as a community-based organization that provides programs and services focused on addressing the needs of Spokane's African American/Black community.


The NAACP Spokane Branch has been protecting and expanding the rights of historically underrepresented communities for over 100 years. Our committees prioritize education, criminal justice needs, civil engagement, healthcare, environmental justice, legal redress, and more. We're proud to be a part of the national organization and particularly proud of our work in Spokane. For more information, follow us on [email protected] or visit our website


The Black Lens is an independent community publication, based in Spokane, Washington, focused on the news, events, people, issues, and information of importance to our Black community. The Black Lens follows what’s happening in the Black community in Spokane and writes about issues and stories that impact the Black community locally and beyond.


The Spokane Indians are the High-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies located in Spokane Valley, Washington, and play at historic Avista Stadium, home of the MultiCare Kids Bench Seat. The Indians were recognized with the 2023 CommUNITY Champion Award by MiLB. Parking at all Spokane Indians games is FREE. The Indians open the 2024 Northwest League season against the Vancouver Canadians at Avista Stadium on Friday, April 5th. Ticket packages are available now at or by calling (509) 343-OTTO (6886). The Spokane Indians Office is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The Spokane Indians Team Store is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m