Sanders Field, circa 1953 (Courtesy of the Eastern Benton County Historical Society)

Sanders-Jacobs Field (Kennewick, WA)

This article was written by Larry DeFillipo

As a kid growing up in Pasco across the river, being able to stand on the mound at Sanders Field was as big for me as going to Yankee Stadium. Bruce Kison1

Sanders Field, circa 1953 (Courtesy of the Eastern Benton County Historical Society)

Sanders Field, circa 1953 (Photos courtesy of the Eastern Benton County Historical Society)


Sanders-Jacobs Memorial Field, originally known as Sanders Field, was a minor-league ballpark in Kennewick, Washington, which together with neighboring Pasco and Richland form the Tri-Cities. Between 1950 and 1974, Sanders Field was home to the Tri-City franchise of the Class-B Western International League (WIL) and later Class-A Northwest League (NWL). Ballpark and ballclub teetered on the brink of oblivion throughout their time together, the problems of one an existential threat for the other. Each had a dizzying array of owners – individuals and associations, locals and out-of-towners – who often lacked resources, patience, or both.

Doubling for many years as the baseball home of a nearby junior college, Sanders Field also hosted dozens of semipro, high school, and juniors’ baseball contests, plus a few notable exhibitions.2 One of the region’s few outdoor entertainment venues, Sanders Field accommodated circuses, roller derbies,3 boxing matches,4 wrestling bouts,5 fashion shows,6 beauty contests,7 religious services, and an occasional concert.8

Roughly 75 major-leaguers wore a Tri-Cities jersey at Sanders Field, with well over 300 visiting in other colors. Local standouts Bruce Kison and Ray Washburn pitched there in high school and college, respectively. Cy Young Award winner Randy Jones made his first professional start at Sanders Field, and World Series legend Bill Bevens his last.9  Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider managed there and Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda pitched there.10  Bob Feller “pitched” there well after his Cooperstown induction, and the young son of the man who skippered Tri-City to its first pennant “played” there long before his Hall of Fame career began: five-year-old Cal Ripken, Jr.11

Situated just west of the confluence of the Columbia and Snake Rivers, the Tri Cities first fielded town baseball teams not long after each was incorporated. Pasco, the oldest of the three, had a team in 1905, Kennewick in 1906, and Richland in 1909.12 Up through the mid-1930s, teams representing one or more of the cities were members of various Eastern Washington leagues.

The WIL’s Vancouver Maple Leafs spent time in Kennewick before the 1938 season but organized baseball was nonexistent in the area during World War II and immediately after.13 When the Triple-A Seattle Rainiers announced plans for their Great Falls (Montana) affiliate to hold spring drills in Pasco in 1948, the idea of a Tri-Cities minor-league team took root. An editorial in the local Tri-City Herald offered that the placement of a WIL team in the area “would be a logical development,” and that such a team would do well.14

Sleepy farming communities before World War II, the Tri-Cities experienced tremendous growth in the 1940s thanks to the Hanford Site, a sprawling government facility established by the Manhattan Project to process plutonium. Between 1940 and 1950, the combined population of the Tri-Cities more than tripled, from under 19,000 to nearly 65,000.15

Rumors in 1949 that the Wenatchee (Washington) WIL franchise might move to Tri-Cities triggered a group of residents to form the Tri-City Athletic Association (TCAA), “for the purpose of building a baseball park to be used next season by the Wenatchee Chiefs.”16 Led by former state legislator Les Babcock, the Association purchased a 10-acre site for the ballpark on Clearwater Avenue in a lightly populated area west of downtown Kennewick, known as the Highlands.17 In the fall of 1949, the TCAA raised $90,000 selling common stock to buy the Wenatchee franchise and begin site preparations.18 The franchise went to a group of seven TCAA investors, who incorporated as the Tri State Baseball Club, and signed a lease with the TCAA for use of the ballpark.

By that time, the ballpark had a name: Sanders Field, after W. H. (Henry) Sanders, a retired farmer from nearby Connell, Washington who donated $10,000 towards the purchase of land for the ballpark.19 Plans for Sanders Field were drafted by Dick Rector, Kennewick’s city superintendent and the engineer credited with redesigning the city of Richland as a bedroom community for Hanford workers. A $29,900 contract for building the facility’s structures was let in March 1950 to the Frank C. Dunham Construction Co., which finished the job in six weeks.20

Sanders Field provided uncovered seating for about 4,000 on wooden bleachers and folding chairs in a single-tier grandstand that extended just past first and third base. Supposedly intended to be oriented so that the prevailing (southwesterly) winds would blow in from the outfield, somebody got it backwards, and instead the grandstand faced to the northeast.21 The diamond boasted major-league dimensions: 340 feet down each line and 400 feet to straightaway center field.22 The outfield fences, about nine feet tall, were covered with advertisements. Chicken wire protected fans behind home plate from stray baseballs. Excited to have a minor-league team, crowds often gathered to see the ballpark built.23

Dubbed the Braves in a nod to its Wenatchee predecessor, Tri-City inaugurated Sanders Field with a night game on April 18, 1950, losing to the Vancouver (British Columbia) Capilanos in front of 3,684 spectators.24 Parades ran through each of the Tri-Cities beforehand, giving fans a chance to see their new team up close: a tradition repeated before several home openers.25 Pregame festivities also included a ceremonial first pitch delivered by Sanders. In later years, Opening Day first pitches often involved an official from one of the Tri-Cities throwing a ball to another who was catching, while the third city’s representative attempted to hit it.26

From the outset, the most prominent feature of Sanders Field was its light towers – eight pairs of 110-foot-long wooden poles, collectively topped with 200 floodlights, making it “one of the best lighted stadiums in the Northwest.”27 Not everyone was pleased. A month after the ballpark opened, a nearby drive-in theater sued over the lights’ glare. Temporary shields placed over some bulbs helped, but they dimmed the field enough to affect play.28 Only by the TCAA agreeing to pay most of the cost for a 30-foot-high fence adjoining the movie screen was a settlement reached.29

The Braves went 83-66 in their first season, with more fans passing through the turnstiles at Sanders Field than in any other Tri-City season (91,853). Nonetheless, the TCAA lost $10,000.30 Two events that kept them from losing even more money were a May appearance by the “Clown Prince of Baseball,” Max Patkin,31 and a late-July exhibition between the House of David and the Kansas City Monarchs.32 In August 1954, the Harlem Globetrotters faced the bearded Michiganders at Sanders Field, with Satchel Paige hurling two frames in front of 3,600, the largest crowd in the ballpark’s history to that point.33

In August 1951, ownership of the Braves changed hands for the first time. Dick Richards, the Braves’ first general manager, and local radio station manager Arnie Sanborn bought out their Tri State Baseball Club partners, then brought on a few new minority owners. Falling attendance in 1952 prompted Richards and company to sell the franchise to the TCAA, along with $7,000 of debt.34 This put the TCAA in a hole from which it spent the next seven seasons trying to dig out.

One source of revenue for the TCAA was high school baseball. The Kennewick school district paid $500 per year for five years for local schools to play at Sanders Field, though not without protest.35 The Richland High Bombers, whose logo was and still is, as of 2024,  a mushroom cloud, played there, as did the Bulldogs of Pasco High.36 A pair of pitchers with Yankee Stadium connections competed at Sanders Field while they were in high school. In 1959, Mel Stottlemyre appeared in both ends of an all-star game doubleheader there. A year earlier, Rich Beck, who briefly joined Stottlemyre in the 1965 Yankees rotation, starred in a similar showcase.

Financial struggles throughout the WIL drove the league to disband after the 1954 season. Several franchise owners, including the TCAA, formed a new seven-team circuit, the Northwest League, with fewer teams and a smaller geographic footprint.37 The TCAA’s struggles meeting payroll while debt repayments loomed pushed it to the brink three years later. Only when radio station KORD bought all the seats for a July 1957 home game were there sufficient funds to send the team on its next road trip.38 Despite operating costs that were among the lowest in the minor leagues, the TCAA was in the red nearly $23,000 at season’s end.

Beginning in 1957, Pasco’s Columbia Basin College began using Sanders Field as its baseball team’s home diamond, up through 1971, when budget cuts eliminated the team. In 1958, Ray Washburn, a transfer from Spokane’s Whitworth College, fanned 13 in a dominating performance there.39 University of Idaho Vandals hurler Bill Stoneman two-hit the CBC Hawks in Kennewick two months before he was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 1966 amateur draft.40 Washington State University infielder Ron Cey battled CBC at Sanders Field, then returned in a Tri-City uniform after the 1968 draft.41

A week into the 1959 season, the TCAA faced a financial crisis it didn’t survive. Bonds issued for the ballpark’s construction had matured in 1953 but were never repaid, and only a portion of the interest due to bondholders had been distributed. A bondholder had the National Bank of Commerce served with an order for payment of principal and outstanding interest, an action equivalent to foreclosure.42 With the prospect of the team going belly-up, a number of local organizations stepped up. The Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council encouraged union members to buy tickets, local businesses pledged to donate a percentage of profits, people sold tickets door-to-door, and a charity auction was held. The driver for much of this effort was a booster group, the HOBOs (Help Our Braves Operate).43

Community efforts saved the Braves but not the TCAA. On October 1, Judge Orris Hamilton ordered foreclosure, with Sanders Field to be sold to satisfy a debt of $72,735.44 The order spelled the end of the TCAA, which was dissolved. A handful of bondholders purchased the ballpark at a sheriff’s sale and leased it to the Braves’ new owners, a group headed by Alaska businessman Jim Vernon.45

A Baltimore Orioles affiliate in 1960, the Braves finished second in the NWL and drew over 80,000 fans, tops in the league.46 Attendance fell by a third the following year, but one popular attraction was Steve Dalkowski, a 22-year-old southpaw with a reputation for phenomenal speed and extreme wildness. In his first 13 starts he went 0-8 with a 10.29 ERA over 56 innings, with 84 strikeouts and 119 walks – over two per inning.47 The rest of his season wasn’t much better. Years later, Baltimore manager Earl Weaver claimed Dalkowski threw harder than Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, or Sam McDowell. Onetime Oriole farmhand Ron Shelton used Dalkowski – at least in part – as his inspiration for untamed pitcher Nuke LaLoosh in the 1988 movie Bull Durham.

A promising youngster displayed a different sort of inconsistency in the two games immediately before Dalkowski’s Kennewick debut. Wenatchee shortstop Ken Hubbs went 3-for-4 and homered on Opening Day, then committed an NWL-record four errors the next.48 One year later, he was the National League Rookie of the Year with the Chicago Cubs.

Early in the 1961 campaign, Vernon sold his stake in the Braves to partners M.B. Kirkpatrick and J.D. Medema, who purchased Sanders Field as well.49 When the Orioles pulled out in the offseason, Kirkpatrick and Medema gave their franchise back to the NWL. Tri-City Sports, a group of 40 local investors led by the sports editor of the Tri-City Herald, emerged and took over the team.50 Kirkpatrick bought the ballpark outright in February 1962 and leased it to Tri-City Sports.51

Once the NWL became aware that the Braves were falling into its lap, the league negotiated a novel agreement (later assigned to Tri-City Sports) in which five different major league clubs assigned prospects to the 1962 Tri-City roster – the Los Angeles Angels, Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Pirates, and Washington Senators.52 A White Sox farmhand, Brian McCall, had the Sanders Field game of the year on July 27, when he hit for a natural cycle, topped off by a grand slam and an NWL-record nine RBIs.53 The Braves won the NWL second-half crown but fell to Wenatchee in the postseason playoffs.

Tri-City signed with the Los Angeles Angels in 1963 and rebranded themselves Angels to match. July 21 proved heavenly for Angels left fielder Charlie Strange, who married the former Donna May Brown that day behind home plate at Sanders Field. After the ceremony, which took place between games of a doubleheader, the couple exited under “an archway of Angel-held bats” as a crowd of over 2,000 cheered.54

In 1965, Kirkpatrick sold Sanders Field to Tri-City Sports, once again putting ownership of the team and ballpark in the same hands. The group re-established a relationship with Baltimore, which assigned 29-year-old Cal Ripken Sr. to manage a Tri-City team recently renamed the Atoms. The team finished the year 81-58 and swept the Lewiston (Idaho) Broncs in the NWL postseason playoffs, defeating John “Blue Moon” Odom in the finale at Sanders Field, with bonus baby Rick Monday making the final out.55

As witnessed by the many wind turbines that dot the hills to its south, Kennewick is subject to steady winds, which periodically are damaging. A twister touched down at the ballpark in the summer of 1964, causing an estimated $5,000 in damage.56 Hurricane-force winds toppled a pair of Sanders Field light poles in 1965, and a storm packing 100-mph gusts cockeyed the scoreboard seven years later.57

Typically, though, Eastern Washington winds bring dust rather than destruction – irritating, abrasive dust. “Huge clouds of swirling dust” caused the cancellation of a game at Sanders Field the very first month it was open. “Dust-laden winds” of 65 mph delayed a 1956 game that was resumed only because the umpires “could find nothing in the rules for postponing a game for anything except rain.”58

Sanders Field program, circa 1967 (Courtesy of the Eastern Benton County Historical Society)In 1966, the NWL became a four-team, short-season league, the product of Salem and Wenatchee leaving the league and pressure to allow college ballplayers to complete their seasons before playing pro ball. The sports editor of the Tri-City Herald noted that the season’s June start also allowed young ballplayers to avoid the draft during the ongoing war in Vietnam.59

Five professional ballplayers lost their lives in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Two of them competed at Sanders Field. Ronald Hodge, a Navy pilot shot down over North Vietnam in 1967, caught for the Yakima (Washington) Bears in Kennewick in 1959.60 Joseph McCarthy, killed by a rocket-propelled grenade in 1969, played third base for Yakima in the 1966 season opener in Kennewick. 61 Hitting a 440-foot home run for Tri-City that day was Roy Gleason, who later became the only ballplayer with prior major-league experience deployed to Vietnam.62

Although the NWL was dormant in April 1966, back in Washington D.C., Emmett Ashford, who debuted as a professional arbiter for the NWL in 1953, including a handful of games at Sanders Field, became the first Black umpire in major league history.63

Tri-City hit the jackpot again in 1966, when their new parent club, the Los Angeles Dodgers, tabbed Flatbush legend Snider to be their skipper. Behind Gleason, league MVP Ted Sizemore, and a dominant pitching staff, the Atoms ran away with their second straight NWL crown. The team registered the best winning percentage of any Tri-City team to play at Sanders Field (.679) – but attracted fewer than 30,000 spectators.

Over the next two seasons, LA continued to supply Tri-City with fresh talent.64 However, the $4,000 leasing fee they paid Tri-City Sports wasn’t enough to pay off a mortgage taken on the ballpark. Old National Bank foreclosed in October 1967 and took possession. A year later, it sold the ballpark to Kennewick resident David Hyman for between $40,000 and $50,000.65 Along with it, Hyman purchased the NWL franchise “for a song.”66

While their home was in the hands of Old National Bank, the 1968 Atoms, under manager Don LeJohn, gave the Tri-Cities its third NWL title in four years. They clinched the crown with a doubleheader sweep at Sanders Field, winning the opener on a walk-off home run by Bobby Buckner, older brother of the Dodgers’ second-round draft choice, Bill.67

Daunting distances made hitting balls fair out of Sanders Field an accomplishment. Not until the middle of its second season did a batter send one over the center field wall, 400 feet away.68 Three Tri-City mashers hit three homers in a home game – Bob  Hoehn on June 6, 1957; Bob “Tex” Nelson on July 9, 1960; and Herm Rathman on July 18, 1965.69 Accounts of a few other Sanders Field blasts stretch credulity. Catcher Pascual Ramirez crushed a ball over the left-field scoreboard in 1964 that a club official measured as having traveled 571 feet.70 A few months later, Jackie Warner tied the NWL single-season home run record with a center field blast that was said to have gone 530 feet before landing.71

Through much of the financial turmoil that Sanders Field and the Tri-City franchise suffered between 1959 and 1968, one constant was Tom Jacobs. An avid sportsman who umpired at Sanders Field when it was new, Jacobs in 1959 co-founded the HOBOs booster organization and briefly served as the club’s general manager, its 10th in 10 seasons.72 When the Braves were sold to Tri-City Sports in 1962, Jacobs became vice president. Elevated to team president in 1965, he took on GM responsibilities without the title and “did everything but mow the grass” to help the Atoms stay afloat, including not taking a salary.73 Jacobs stepped down in 1967, then came back in May 1968 as GM once again. He died two months later. Before the start of the 1969 campaign, Hyman changed the name of Sanders Field to Sanders-Jacobs Memorial Field.74

By that time, Sanders-Jacobs Field was very much showing its age. A year earlier, the Tri-City Herald had called it “aging” and “weather-beaten,” with splintered seats and rusty chairs.75 Unabashed, Hyman offered use of the ballpark to the Seattle Pilots when it appeared that Seattle’s aging Sick’s Stadium might not be ready for the start of their inaugural season.76

During its first few seasons, Sanders Field underwent a series of modest improvements to its hastily built configuration. Gravel walkways were paved, a warning track was added in the outfield and home plate was raised to correct for inadequate grading.77 The original folding chairs were replaced with used stadium seats in 1959, and then five years later with new ones.78 Two hundred of those were removed in 1968, dropping capacity to 3,300.79 Shortly after he purchased Sanders Field, Hyman added new bathrooms, players’ quarters, a new concession area, and a new scoreboard.80

Sanders-Jacobs Field was painted green with yellow trim to welcome the Oakland A’s as Tri-City’s parent club for the 1969 season. Non-playable areas beyond each grandstand wing were painted orange but red might have been more appropriate. Hyman lost somewhere between $10,000 and $30,000 that year, prompting him to sell the team to Oregon businessman Dave Pierson and the ballpark to Harold Brinkley, a Richland painting contractor/developer.81 Pierson secured an affiliate agreement with the San Diego Padres, who placed 15 of their top 20 picks from the 1970 draft with the renamed Tri-City Padres.

By year’s end, the NWL took over the franchise for the second time in Tri-City history, then sold it to Brinkley the following February. Once again, a Sanders Field owner had helped to keep a team in the Tri-Cities by buying it. The Padres topped the NWL in attendance in 1971, kicked off by Opening Day excitement over Kurt Russell, star of the Disney movie The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes. A second baseman for the opposing Bend Rainbows, Russell missed the season-opening series with food poisoning but was in the lineup for a game at Sanders-Jacobs Field a few weeks later.82

Tri-City nosed out Walla Walla for the 1971 NWL title behind a rotation headlined by 18-year-old Jay Franklin, the Padres’ top pick in the that year’s draft. On August 30, Franklin clinched the pennant by no-hitting the Medford Dodgers. Five days later, he made his major-league debut. Others who authored no-hitters at Sanders Field include Tri-City’s Joe Drotar, who did so against the Wenatchee Chiefs on June 15, 1958,83 and two CBC hurlers: Bruce Berman held Everett College hitless in April 1963, and Peter Duncan did the same four Aprils later against Big Bend Community College.84 

Success in 1971 translated into bigger Tri-City crowds the next year, but a sub-.500 finish. After the season, San Diego relocated its NWL franchise to Walla Walla, Washington, unhappy with the poor condition of Sanders-Jacobs Field.85

Sanders-Jacobs Field and its resident club limped through the next two years without upgrade or major-league affiliation. Playing as the Imperials on August 27, 1973, they drew a crowd of only 213, the smallest audience the author has uncovered for a Tri-City game in Kennewick.86 Figuring there weren’t enough fans at games to need one, thieves stole the ballpark’s public address system after the season.87 The team became the Ports in 1974, named after the Port of Stockton, the former home of its 11th owner, Carl Thompson.

Baseball at Sanders-Jacobs Field ended with a flourish. First came “Bob Feller night,” with the Indians legend pitching in a home run derby.88 The next day, Rick Sutcliffe, 18-year-old ace of the Bellingham (Washington) Dodgers, threw a complete game. The Portland Mavericks had all their batters hit left-handed the following night and used nine different pitchers in the season finale. The Ports dropped them all, giving them more losses (57) than any other NWL team in a short season.89

Significantly more uplifting than the team’s record were the actions of Ports outfielder Steve Lackey on July 13, 1974. Spotting a teenaged boy hanging from a live wire attached to a light tower, he climbed the left field fence, wrapped his jersey around the boy’s wrist and yanked him to safety.90

In January 1975, Thompson announced that he was pulling the Ports out of Tri-Cities,  insisting that “rickety Sanders-Jacobs Field” was “just not suitable for baseball.”91 Without a tenant, Brinkley had the ballpark demolished and the site made available for commercial development.92 Ironically, one of the contractors who dismantled the lighting system was Charlie Petersen, manager of the first Tri-City team to call Sanders Field home.93

In 1977, Kennewick’s City Council created a subtle memorial to Sanders-Jacobs Field by stipulating that two roads being extended through a new subdivision on the site of the former ballyard be connected with a winding, S-shaped street. That street, Morain, remains so configured in 2024. 94

Minor-league baseball briefly returned to the Tri-Cities in 1983, when the NWL’s Walla Walla franchise relocated to Bomber Field, Richland’s high school ballpark. In 2001, Pasco became the last of the three Tri-Cities to host a minor league ball club when the NWL Portland franchise moved there. Currently affiliated with the California Angels, the High-A Tri-City Dust Devils now make their home at Gesa Stadium.



The author thanks Misty Ayers of the East Benton County Historical Society for providing access to the society’s archives.

This article was reviewed by Kurt Blumenau and Rory Costello and fact-checked by Paul Proia.



In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author relied heavily on game accounts and background information reported in the Kennewick Courier-Reporter and (Pasco, Washington) Tri-City Herald. He also consulted, and 



1 Hec Hancock, “’Skinny kid from Pasco’ ending great pitching career,” (Pasco, Washington) Tri-City Herald, April 23, 1986: 23.

2 Exhibitions on the Sanders Field diamond were not limited to baseball, nor to males. In 1954, barnstorming softball trick pitcher Eddie Feigner and a trio of teammates collectively known as “The King and His Court” appeared at Sanders Field. Fifteen years later, a distaff version billed as “Rosie & Her Maids” challenged any fan to hit a ball fair off their pitcher, Rosie Beaird. Rebranded as “The Queen and Her Court,” Rosie and company toured across the US into the 1980s. “State All-Star Hurler to Chuck Against King,” Tri-City Herald, May 30, 1954: 7; “See – Rosie & Her Maids,” Tri-City Herald, June 6, 1969: 14. “The Queen and Her Court Softball Team Promotional Poster,” Smithsonian Museum of American History website,, accessed February 13, 2024.

3 Over 3,000 fans jammed Sanders Field at a pair of International Roller Derby League events in 1963, with both men’s and women’s teams competing. That level of turnout encouraged teams like the Midwest Pioneers and New York Chiefs to come back to Kennewick on and off through 1972. “Westerners Take Roller Derby Lead,” Tri-City Herald, July 12, 1963: 21; Bill Purcell, “Derby acting lousy,” Tri-City Herald, August 23, 1972: 16.

4 Professional boxing matches were held at Sanders in 1956, then again in 1968 and 1971, featuring fighters ranging from heavyweight contender Kid Matthews and Al “Scooter” Meza, billed as the Pacific Northwest Lightweight Champ, to locals making their pro debuts. See, for example, “Harry the Kid Wins on Easy K.O. in 4th,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, August 12, 1956: 18.

5 “Big time wrestling,” featuring Gorgeous George on one early card, came to Sanders Field during the summers of 1951 through 1953, then returned a decade later. “Big Time Wrestling!!” Tri-City Herald, August 5, 1951: 6; “Patterson Wins Wrestling Bout,” Tri-City Herald, August 16, 1964: 13.

6 Fashion shows were held on the diamond during the ballpark’s first two seasons, with “beautiful models displaying the latest in fall and winter styles.” “Large Crowd Witnesses Sanders Field Style Show,” Tri-City Herald, August 2, 1951: 9.

7 Miss Tri City Baseball beauty contests were annually held at Sanders Field in the mid-1960s, with promotional photos often showing contestants posing in swimsuits with baseball gear. The winner of the 1963 competition had the eminently appropriate last name of Pitcher. “Beauties Practice Batting with Tri-City Atoms,” Tri-City Herald, June 14, 1965: 11; “Baseball Queen,” Tri-City Herald, June 16, 1963: 1.

8 One notable concert was held in August 1966 when five musical groups performed, including The Wailers, also known as the Fabulous Wailers, a rock band from Tacoma that counted a young Jimi Hendrix as one of its early fans. “1966 Summer Sound Spectacular,” Tri-City Herald, August 28, 1966: 21; “Coffee with a Legend – Kent Morrill of The Fabulous Wailers, Concert Livewire website, April 9, 2009,

9 “He Pitched an Inning Here,” Tri-City Herald, October 9, 1956: 8. Starting for the Salem (Oregon) Senators on May 27, 1953, Bevens clubbed a two-run homer in the top of the second inning, and after crossing the plate continued on into the clubhouse. There, the former Yankee hurler who was denied a no-hitter by Cookie Lavagetto’s ninth-inning double in Game Four of the 1947 World Series announced his retirement from baseball.

10 During the 1970 NWL All-Star game, which was held at Sanders-Jacobs Field, the All-Stars faced the San Diego Padres’ Triple-A Salt Lake affiliate. For reasons unknown, Lasorda, the Spokane Indians manager who was filling in as a third base coach for Salt Lake, pitched the last two innings. Salt Lake City manager Don Zimmer was his batterymate. Bill Purcell, “All-Stars Whip Padres,” Tri-City Herald, July 28, 1970: 10.

11 “Northwest was training ground for Orioles’ Ripken Sr.,” Tri-City Herald, October 7, 1986: 19.

12 “The Local Field,” Kennewick Courier, May 19, 1905: 5; Mary Trotter Kion, Kennewick, Washington (Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2002), 176; “Richland Items,” Kennewick Courier, April 16, 1909: 4.

13 “Ball Team Stops,” Kennewick Courier-Reporter, May 5, 1938: 1.

14 “Welcome, Baseball,” Tri-City Herald, January 12, 1948: 4.

15 Population reflects totals for the Tri Cities metropolitan area, which includes smaller towns in the immediate vicinity and some unincorporated areas in surrounding Benton and Franklin counties.

16 Don Becker, “Plans Okay for Tri-City Pro Baseball,” Tri-City Herald, July 10, 1949: 1.

17 Formerly a vineyard, the land was purchased from H.F. (Harry) and Hilda Owens for $10,000 and 5000 shares of stock. “Prosecution Now Being Eyed,” Tri-City Herald, March 14, 1952: 1; “Lease Questioned in Kennewick Deal,” Spokane Chronicle, March 15, 1952: 11.

18 Don Becker, “On the Inside,” Tri-City Herald, September 21, 1949: 6; “$10,000 Ball Drive is Started,” Tri-City Herald, June 26, 1951: 8.  Of that total, $50,000 went towards the construction of Sanders Field. “Foreclosure Action Started Against Home of the Braves,” Tri-City Herald, May 6, 1959: 1.

19 Jack Briggs, “Sanders Field – Should It Be Renamed,” Tri-City Herald, January 1, 1969: 3. Harry Owens, the former owner of the land Sanders Field was built on and an early member of the TCAA board of directors, took credit for suggesting that the Association name the field after anyone willing to donate $10,000 towards the land purchase. Sanders was the only donor that generous.

20 United Press, “Tri-City Braves Grant Contract,” Spokane Chronicle, March 4, 1950: 30. Fencing had been previously installed and erection of the light poles was performed by a separate contractor.

21 Blaine Hulse, “Baseball at It’s [sic] Best: Sanders-Jacobs Field,” The Courier, East Benton County Historical Society, August 7, 2009: 1. According to Charlie Petersen, the first Tri-City manager.

22 “Sanders Field – New Home of the Tri-City Braves,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, April 18, 1950: 8; “Braves Open Spring Training Today,” Tri-City Herald, March 20, 1950: 8.

23 Gale Metcalf, “Memories abound from Sanders-Jacobs Field,” Tri-City Herald, November 2, 1999: B1.

24 “Opener is Taken by Capilanos,” Tri-City Herald, April 19, 1950: 1.

25 “Parades, Programs, Mark WIL Opening in New Braves Home Against Vancouver,” Tri-City Herald, April 16, 1950: 8; “Tri City Braves on View Tonight,” Tri-City Herald, April 24, 1961: 1.

26 See, for example “Tri City Braves on View Tonight,” Tri-City Herald, April 24, 1961: 1, or “Braves to Open 13th Baseball Season,” Tri-City Herald, April 24, 1962: 12.

27 “Erect First Set of Light Poles at Sanders Field, Home of the Braves,” Tri-City Herald, March 30, 1950: 8; “Let Lighting Contract for Baseball Park,” Tri-City Herald, February 17, 1950: 7.

28 “Theater Hauls Braves into Court,” Tri-City Herald, May 25, 1950: 9; Don Becker, “On the Inside,” Tri-City Herald, July 23, 1950: 6.

29 “Fence to End Feud,” Spokane Chronicle, September 11, 1950: 11.

30 “$10,000 Ball Drive is Started,” Tri-City Herald, June 26, 1951: 8.

31 “Max Patkin,” Tri-City Herald, May 23, 1950: 6. Patkin continued to perform at Sanders Field over the next two decades, along with a host of other baseball clown and acrobat acts. “Baseball Tonight,” Tri-City Herald, July 15, 1970: 17. 

32 “Baseball,” Tri-City Herald, July 28, 1950: 10. The regular shortstop for the Monarchs at that time was 19-year-old Ernie Banks. No description survives of that game, so it’s unknown if Banks played that day.

33 “Huge Crowd Sees Satchmo Pitch,” Tri-City Herald, August 6, 1954: 8.

34 “Association Buys Braves,” Tri-City Herald, December 16, 1952: 1.

35 “Prosecution Now Being Eyed,” Tri-City Herald, March 14, 1952: 1. Kennewick High played nearly all its games at Sanders Field in 1951.

36 See, for example “Bombers, Bulldogs Await Playoff Tilt,” Tri-City Herald, May 17, 1962: 12. The first graduate of Richland High to reach the major leagues, two-sport star Gene Conley, played at Sanders Field during its inaugural season as a member of a Walla Walla semi-pro team. erroneously lists Conley as a graduate of Columbia High in nearby Burbank, Washington, a mistake likely owing to Richland High having been known as Columbia High when Conley attended there. “Exhibition Game Pits Prep Stars,” Tri-City Herald, August 21, 1950: 6.

37 In particular, the NWL elected to exclude any Canadian teams, as travel to cities such as Edmonton had been especially hard on teams from Washington and Oregon.

38 “T-C Survives; Hits Road,” Tri-City Herald, August 2, 1957: 10.

39 “Washburn, Neal Hurl CBC Wins,” Tri-City Herald, April 20, 1958: 13. In 1972, Washburn returned to Sanders-Jacobs Memorial Field as manager of the Northwest League Seattle Rainiers.

40 “Idaho Scores Sweep in CBC Double Bill,” Tri-City Herald, March 20, 1966: 24.

41 “CBC Divides Pair with WSU Frosh,” Tri-City Herald, April 5, 1967: 13. Cey made his professional debut at Sanders Field on Opening Day of the 1968 season. Other teammates debuting alongside Cey that day were 17-year-old Doyle Alexander, Tri-City’s starting pitcher, and left fielder Joe Ferguson. Tom Burnside, “Opening Night Crowd Sees Atoms Top Broncs,” Tri-City Herald, June 24, 1968: 8.

42 “Foreclosure Action Started Against Home of the Braves,” Tri-City Herald, May 6, 1959: 1.

43 See, for example “Braves to Open Big Home Stand Tonight After Win Over Yakima,” Tri-City Herald, May 29, 1959: 9; “HOBO to Conduct Auction Tonight,” Tri-City Herald, June 24, 1959: 10.

44 “Braves May Continue Using Sanders Field,” Tri-City Herald, October 2, 1959: 1.

45 “Bondholders Buy Sanders,” Tri-City Herald, November 1, 1959: 10; Charlie Van Sickel, “Tri-City Braves Change Owners; to Play in 1960,” Tri-City Herald, February 4, 1960: 1; “Alaskan Pick Up Class B Baseball Club at Pasco,” Fairbanks (Alaska) News-Miner, February 15, 1960: 7.

46 “Braves Finish Second, Capture Individual Honors,” Tri-City Herald, September 6, 1960: 8.

47 Charlie Van Sickel, “The Case of Steve Dalkowski,” Tri-City Herald, July 28, 1961: 9.

48 Charlie Van Sickel, “Dewald Faces Wenatchee in Second Game Tonight,” Tri-City Herald, April 26, 1961: 13; Charlie Van Sickel, “Braves Square Series; Dalkowski in Debut Tonight,” Tri-City Herald, April 27, 1961: 25.

49 Charlie Van Sickel, “Braves Dealt Record 11th Consecutive Loss; Dewald Named Interim Manager,” Tri-City Herald, June 4, 1961: 15.

50 “40 Tri-City Owners,” Tri-City Herald, February 2, 1962: 12; “Pasco,” Tacoma News Tribune, February 5, 1962: 17.

51 “Braves Sign Lease for Sanders Field,” Tri-City Herald, February 12, 1962: 6.

52 Charlie Van Sickel, “Hope Flickers for Pro Baseball in Tri Cities,” Tri-City Herald, January 8, 1962: 9; “Majors Assign 11 Players to Braves,” Tri-City Herald, April 15, 1962: 17.

53 Charlie Van Sickel, “A Night to Remember,” Tri-City Herald, July 29, 1962: 16.

54 “Couple Has Diamond Wedding,” Tri-City Herald, July 21, 1963: 1. The Angels split the twin bill with the Wenatchee Chiefs, winning the first game 6-5. That game ended with Wenatchee third baseman Glenn Beckert on third, representing the tying run, after he’d tripled to get the Chiefs to within one. “Kuykendall’s Home Runs Lead Wenatchee Victory,” Tri-City Herald, July 21, 1963: 19.

55 “Atoms End 16 Years of Frustration,” Tri-City Herald, September 10, 1965: 25. The Atoms defeated Lewiston’s Chuck Dobson and Jim Nash in the first two games of the playoffs, two prospects who, along with Odom, were in the Kansas City A’s rotation the following year. Charlie Van Sickel, “Tri-City Rips Lewiston in Playoffs,” Tri-City Herald, September 8, 1965: 18; “Atoms Set Sights on Title in Third Game Here,” Tri-City Herald, September 9, 1965: 16.

56 “Chiefs Edge Angels Again,” Tri-City Herald, July 2, 1964: 16.

57 “Winds Knock Down Ball-Field Lights, Ticket Booth,” Tri-City Herald, February 7, 1965: 9; “Wind Topples Fence,” Tri-City Herald, January 12, 1972: 8.

58 “Double Bill Tonight at 7 p.m.,” Tri-City Herald, May 18, 1950: 6; “Heroic Athletes Defy Gale; Eager-Beaver Bears Win,” Tri-City Herald, May 31, 1956: 10. With his team leading 6-1 but the game not yet of regulation length, longtime Yakima manager Hub Kittle was “kicking up enough dust to obscure third base” as he argued for the halted contest to resume.

59 Charlie Van Sickel, “Atoms Assured NWL Spot,” Tri-City Herald, February 14, 1966: 8.

60 “Norris Beats Yakima Twice,” Tri-City Herald, July 26, 1959: 7; “Ron Dodge,” Baseball’s Greatest Sacrifice website,, accessed February 14, 2024.

61 “Tri-City, Yakima Split Double Bill,” Tri-City Herald, June 26, 1966: 13, Ryan M. Spencer, “Baseball Veterans Lost in Vietnam: Hall of Famers in My Book,” Ace of Stats website, March 29, 2019,

62 Charlie Bevis, Roy Gleason SABR bio, A one-hit wonder with the 1963 Los Angeles Dodgers, Gleason served six months in Vietnam before suffering injuries from a land mine explosion that both sent him home and hastened the end of his promising career.

63 See, for example “Tribe Wallops Braves, 15 to 2,” Spokesman-Review, May 13, 1953: 16. Ashford drew high praise from a Spokane Spokesman-Review columnist after one of those games.  “Let me tell you something; if we had more officiating as fair and square as Ashford calls them, we’d have a better league.” Bill Boni, “Condolences (?) Come from Pasco,” Spokesman-Review, May 24, 1953: 33.

64 For example, Von Joshua, an amateur free agent signed in late June, was immediately assigned to Tri-City, where he tied for the NWL batting crown. “Class A Averages, The Sporting News, September 9, 1967: 39.

65 Rick Anderson, “Home of Tri-City Atoms Placed Up for Sale,” Tri-City Herald, October 16, 1968: 21; “Tri-City Stadium for Sale,” Spokesman-Review, October 18, 1968: 24; Rick Anderson, “Tri-Cities to Keep Professional Baseball Team,” Tri-City Herald, December 17, 1968: 1.

66 “Tri-Cities’ string of baseball franchises amazing,” Tri-City Herald, March 11, 1973: 6-24.

67 Jerry Pugnetti, “Champagne and Cigars for the Atoms,” Tri-City Herald, September 3, 1968: 18.

68 “Spokane Takes Series Opener 12-10,” Tri-City Herald, July 25, 1951: 8.

69 “Braves Take Two More Defeats,” Tri-City Herald, June 7, 1957: 10; Charlie Van Sickel, “3,475 Watch Braves Sweep Twin Bill,” Tri-City Herald, July 10, 1960: 19; “Rathman’s Spree Spells 8-2 Win Over broncs,” Tri-City Herald, July 19, 1965: 10.

70 Charlie Van Sickel, “Northwest League Notes,” Tri-City Herald, July 19, 1964: 20.

71 “Warner Matches Home Run Mark,” Tri-City Herald, September 3, 1964: 14. Warner broke the NWL mark at Sanders Field a few days later, when he clubbed his 37th home run in the season finale. His record has yet to be equaled.

72 A Midwest League pitcher in the 1920s, Jacobs served in multiple leadership positions for a regional sports officials’ association beginning in the 1940s. Don Becker, “Jacobs is Versatile,” Tri-City Herald, September 6, 1950: 8; “Local Sports Leader Dies,” Tri-City Herald, July 28, 1968: 22; “Board Gives Lohrke Vote of Confidence,” Tri-City Herald, June 25, 1959: 8. “Many Groups Rise to Back Ball Club,” Tri-City Herald, May 27, 1959: 8.

73 “Jacobs Keeps Atoms’ Post,” Tri-City Herald, October 6, 1966: 18; Charlie Van Sickel, “Is It Really Worth the Effort,” Tri-City Herald, July 5, 1967: 12. 

74 “Tri-City field, nickname changed,” Tri-City Herald, February 19, 1969: 10.

75 Rick Anderson, “Home of Tri-City Atoms Placed Up for Sale,” Tri-City Herald, October 16, 1968: 21; Rich Anderson, “Yakima Takes CBC Twice,” Tri-City Herald, April 28, 1968: 38; Tom Burnside, “Northwest League Stronger,” Tri-City Herald, August 4, 1968: 22.

76 “Local Baseball Field Offered,” Tri-City Herald, March 25, 1969: 10.

77 “Sports Bagashells,” Don Becker, Tri-City Herald, April 2, 1951: 5. Also added on the right field wall was a “bathroom fixture [toilet],” which earned a batter $50 for a ball hit into it during a game.

78 “Season Comfort,” Tri-City Herald, March 22, 1959: 10; “Improvements at Sanders Field,” Tri-City Herald, February 9, 1964: 23.

79 Tri-City Herald, June 20, 1968: 18.

80 Tom Burnside, “Orange Grass at Ballpark,” Tri-City Herald, May 15, 1969: 17.

81 Bill Purcell, “Padre Owner Seeks Resignation of GM Langley,” Tri-City Herald, August 7, 1970: 13; “Tri-Cities’ string of baseball franchises amazing,” Tri-City Herald, March 11, 1973: 6-24; “Harold D. Brinkley,” Tri-City Herald, August 5, 2015: B4. Three years later, Hyman leased Sanders-Jacobs Field from Brinkley with thoughts of turning it into “a Madison Square Garden West” by bringing in boxing, wrestling, soccer, roller derbies and even ice skating. Hec Hancock, “Roar of the Crowd,” Tri-City Herald, October 26, 1973: 20.

82 “T-C Bend Game Off,” Tri-City Herald, June 22, 1971: 14; “Padres Polish Off Rainbows, 5-3,” Tri-City Herald, July 15, 1971: 18. According to the Tri-City Herald, Russell “turned in some flashy fielding” in one game in which he played second base, handling seven chances flawlessly.

83 “Drotar Pitches No-Hit Shutout,” Tri-City Herald, June 15, 1958: 10. A sixth-inning groundout by Wenatchee’s ace pitcher, Claude Osteen, pinch-hitting between starts, raised the hopes of those in the crowd that they might see history that day. Mis-identified as “Chuck” in the Tri-City Herald game summary, the newspaper spelled Osteen’s name correctly after he defeated the Braves at Sanders Field three weeks later. “Chiefs Top Braves, 5-3,” Tri-City Herald, July 4, 1958: 10.

84 “Berman Hurls No-Hitter,” Tri-City Herald, April 14, 1963: 18; “Duncan’s No-Hitter Sparks Sweep,” Tri-City Herald, April 30, 1967: 14. In his seven-inning no-hitter, Duncan retired all 21 batters he faced after the first one had reached on an error.

85 Linda Hamilton, “Padres’ departure ‘not end of world’,” Tri-City Herald, September 15, 1972: 13. Padres minor league director, Peter Bavasi, shared his opinion that the ballpark needed “drastic improvements,” something he felt required the resources of a municipality.

86 Gil Craker, “Brownlee sharp with 4-hitter,” Tri-City Herald, August 28, 1973: 15.

87 “Police reports,” Tri-City Herald, October 7, 1973: 46.

88 Aubrey Adams, “406 see Ports lose,” Tri-City Herald, August 28, 1974: 16. This was the second Sanders-Jacobs Field home run derby for Feller. His first was in July of 1969. In the game following this home run derby, Bellingham’s cleanup hitter and third baseman, Pedro Guerrero, identified as “Pete” in the next day’s game summary, knocked a three-run homer and drove in five. Bill Purcell, “Bullet Bob Talks About ‘The Grand Old Game’,” Tri-City Herald, July 13, 1969: 47. 

89 Aubrey Adams, “Youngster deals Ports 5-1 defeat,” Tri-City Herald, August 29, 1974: 33; Aubrey Adams, “Mavs in laugher,” Tri-City Herald, September 1, 1974: 38; “First Time?” Spokesman-Review, September 2, 1974: 14.

90 “Important save for outfielder,” Tacoma News Tribune, July 14, 1974: F-6.

91 Hec Hancock, “Didn’t make a hit,” Tri-City Herald, January 19, 1975: 27.

92 Hec Hancock, “Tri-City ball park may get ax,” Tri-City Herald, April 15, 1975: 14.

93 Jim Price, “Petersen lived a complete baseball life,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, August 25, 2013: C5.

94 “Kennewisk ok’s S-shaped street,” Tri-City Herald, January 19, 1977: 2.