WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Four sports stars from yesteryear, two from the sprawling Seattle, Wash., area and two from tiny Touchet, Wash., have been inducted into the Whitman College Athletics Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame’s Class of 2006, announced Wednesday night at the annual Whitman Athletics Awards Banquet, includes Lawrence “Scotty” Cummins ’38 and the late Max Seachris ‘58, both graduates of nearby Touchet High School.
Calvin “Cal” Boyes ’51 and Timothy J. Smith ’61, two stellar athletes who came to Whitman from Seattle-area high schools, round out the latest Hall of Fame class.
More information about the inductees follows ...
Seachris, who played baseball and basketball at Whitman, later divided a long teaching, coaching and administrative career between two local high schools and his college alma mater. He died in July 2002 at the age of 69.
Seachris, a 1950 graduate of Touchet High School, capped his first two years at Whitman by helping pitch the baseball team to a Northwest Conference title in the spring of 1952. It was Whitman's first conference crown in eight years. Shortly thereafter, however, a polio diagnosis forced Seachris to leave school. He eventually regained his health and returned to campus, resuming his athletic career and finishing his degree in 1958. He earned all-conference baseball honors in each of his last three seasons.
After graduating from Whitman, Seachris spent nearly two decades as a teacher, coach, athletic director and superintendent at Touchet and Prescott high schools. At Touchet, his baseball teams won 11 league titles while his basketball squads were winning 10. In three years at Prescott, Seachris won one league title in baseball, but it was his football teams that dominated the headlines, winning two league titles as well as a state championship. He was named Blue Mountain Coach of the Year in 1977.
Seachris, who earned his master’s degree in 1970 at Walla Walla College, came back to Whitman in 1977 as baseball coach and assistant professor of physical education. He remained at the helm of Whitman baseball until he retired from coaching in 1995 to concentrate on his role as athletic director, a position he had assumed in 1985. After guiding Whitman through its transition from the NAIA to the NCAA, Seachris retired in 1998 as athletic director emeritus.
At 6-feet-2 and 210 pounds, Cummins was an imposing and talented presence on the Whitman football and baseball teams of the mid-1930s. He played for legendary Whitman coach R.V. Borleske, earning all-conference honors as a hard-hitting catcher in baseball and pass-catching receiver in football.
Snaring 12 touchdown passes during his junior football season, he received honorable mention recognition on one of the small-college All-America teams. The New York Giants football team caught wind of his gridiron exploits, offering him $100 per game to go pro. Intent on finishing school and using his remaining college eligibility, he stayed at Whitman. He capped his college career by helping the baseball team, a perennial conference champion, win 41 of 56 games during his 1938 senior season.
After graduating from Whitman, Cummins was offered another contract by the New York Giants, as well as a contract by a Northwest minor league baseball team. Professional sports were not a lucrative proposition at that time, however, and Cummins chose a more steady line of work, teaching history and coaching at schools in Stevenson and LaCenter, Wash.
After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he opened Walla Walla’s Scotty Cummins Athletic Supply, which he ran until his retirement in 1975, and which continues to bear his name. He served on the board of directors of the National Sporting Goods Association for many years, and he was elected its president it 1969.
Now 90 years of age, Cummins continues to make his home in Walla Walla. He is an emeritus member of the Whitman Board of Overseers.
Boyes, a football standout and three-sport letterman at Whitman, later enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a coach, professor and administrator at California State University at Sacramento. Coming to Whitman after one year at Washington State College, he played basketball and baseball for the Missionaries, but football was his best sport. He was an all-conference quarterback, served as a senior co-captain and won the Niles Trophy as Whitman's most outstanding and inspirational football player. A graduate of Monroe (Wash.) High School near Seattle, he turned down a tryout with football’s Cleveland Browns, choosing to go to school and earn his degree.
After Whitman, Boyes married one of his college classmates, Eileen Golden ‘52, and worked for two years at Walla Walla High School as a teacher and coach. In 1956, after two years of active duty as a lieutenant in the Coast Guard, he began a career at California State Sacramento that eventually spanned more than four decades. As head coach of the baseball team, he won two Pacific Coast regional championships and led the Hornets to a second-place finish in the NAIA national championship tournament in 1962. His teams won 11 Far Western Conference titles while compiling an overall conference record of 166 victories against just 71 losses.
Boyes also was an assistant football coach for 12 seasons, served as athletic director on three separate occasions, and was chair of the physical education department for seven years. He earned his doctoral degree in education at the University of the Pacific in 1965 and retired from Cal State Sacramento in 1991, after having also served as Dean of the Division of Health and Physical Education, Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs, and Director of University Advancement. He is a member of the Hornet Athletics Hall of Fame.
Boyes, 76, and his wife, now retired and dividing time between Donner Lake, Calif., and Hawaii, have three grown children, including son Mike who set a number of school passing records as a quarterback at the University of Montana.
Professional baseball’s loss was Whitman’s gain when Smith rejected contract offers to enroll at Whitman in the late 1950s. One of the top Missionary athletes of his day, Tim was a fixture on the baseball and football teams, earning all-conference honors in both sports prior to his graduation in 1961.
A legendary Seattle schoolboy athlete, Smith hit .565 as a senior at Franklin High School to lead the Seattle City League in hitting. That spring, he was picked to represent the state of Washington in a high school all-star game played at New York’s old Polo Grounds, and one newspaper columnist watching the game singled him out as best shortstop in the stadium.
Earlier in his senior year, playing high school football, he led the Seattle City League in both rushing and scoring.
A strong-armed shortstop, Smith anchored Whitman’s baseball infield for four seasons. As a freshman and sophomore, one of his infield mates was his older brother Dave, a member of Whitman’s Class of 1959. Younger sister Margaret followed her brothers to Whitman, graduating in 1963.
Smith enjoyed his best Whitman baseball season as a junior, when he hit .350 and was named the top shortstop in the conference. He also played three seasons of college football, earning the nickname of “Touchdown Tim” as a junior when he scored 12 touchdowns, led the league in scoring and earned all-conference honors. He battled injuries during his senior football season, but the speedy halfback still topped the Missionaries in both rushing, averaging 7.8 yards per carry, and pass receiving.
Smith, 66, a retired computer analyst, lives in Renton, Wash.