Let’s get this out before you all start blaming me about throwing shade and what not. After watching the NBA All Star game and the Super bowl it occurred to me how lucky we are in these parts when it comes to our sports heroes. And you know that is what we have here in the Northwest. We have been blessed to watch and be around some of the most amazing individuals who happened to be athletes.
The recent passing of Seattle legends John Johnson and Dave Henderson took me down the nostalgic path and a quick left turn reminded how lucky I was to have known these great individuals not from an athletic perspective but rather a humanitarian interaction. Both where great individuals who were not gods by any stretch of the imagination but good and decent men who tried to make the world a better in their own way.
So we at The Facts Newspaper wanted to take a moment to honor these great individuals and in the process remember to honor some of the living legends. Warren Moon, Lorenzo Romar and our own Dave Mann.The former Seattle Rainiers outfielder played for 16 minor league teams in 12 cities and three countries.
Dave Mann’s long and illustrious started in 1952 with the Stockton Ports of the California League after a St. Louis Browns scout signed him to a baseball contract for $8,000.
Six years later, Dave was invited to spring training with the Cleveland Indians and was given his best chance at making a big league roster, but couldn’t dislodge Roger Maris, Rocky Colavito or Minnie Minosa in the outfield. Opportunities were fleeting, especially in terms of race.
Dave Mann broke bread and had conversation with the likes of Martin Luther King Jr, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron and of course his old roommate Satchel Paige.
“Back in those days the black athletes hung together and everyone knew each other,” Dave told me at halftime during a Seahawks game.” Those were different then and you did what you had to do to survive.”
To say Dave Mann mere survived all these years, would be rude and downright disrespectful. What made the aforementioned names amazing individuals is not what they did, hard work, faith belief but how they did it. With class, humility and a belief that hard work coupled with integrity and humility and a sprinkle of love makes for a wonderful life.