In 1946, unfathomable tragedy struck the Spokane Indians
On June 24, 1946, a bus carrying 15 members of the Western International League’s Spokane Indians tumbled off the highway crossing over Snoqualmie Pass. Nine team members died. The other six were severely injured.
For a nation recovering from the horrors of World War II – and enjoying the first peacetime baseball season in five years – it was an unfathomable catastrophe.
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Ultimately, the Spokane Baseball Benefit reportedly raised over $118,000 for the cause. And while nothing could bring the team back together again, what played out that season demonstrated the ability of competitors to come together and support one another in the face of unimaginable tragedy.
“I have one of the big team pictures in the back room and I see it every day,” Spokane team trainer Dutch Anderson told the Spokesman-Review in 1993. “I think about those guys, just getting started in life. They all had high hopes, and the bubble busted.”
Janey Murray is the digital content specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum