case 'Jesse Baker':
Aaron Pointer's career in sports has taken him
to the highest professional level in multiple sports and brought him
to the South Puget Sound region. Born April 19, 1942, in Little
Rock, Ark., Pointer grew up in Oakland, Calif., and attended
University of San Francisco to play baseball and basketball.
Pointer was signed by the Houston Colt .45s as
an outfield prospect in 1961 for a $30,000 bonus and proceeded to
bat .402 in 93 minor league games playing for Class D Salisbury.
That batting average makes Pointer the last professional baseball
player to bat better than .400 over a full season of play (as of
2017). He made it to the big-league Colt .45s in September 1963 for
his MLB debut, and he returned to the renamed Astros in 1966-67
before being traded to the Chicago Cubs organization in 1968. One of
the highlights of his time in Houston came on Sept. 27, 1963, when
he was part of an all-rookie lineup that boasted an average age of
19, still the youngest lineup in MLB history. During his time in
Houston, he became one of only three professional baseball players
who played for Houston under all three identities of Buffs, Colt
.45s and Astros.
That trade led Pointer to Tacoma, where he played for the minor league Tacoma Cubs before heading to Japan for three seasons. He played the entire 1969 season in Tacoma, patrolling center field for the Cubs and finishing the season with a career batting average of .272 while helping the team win the Pacific Coast League Championship. He retired from baseball at age 30 and returned to Tacoma, where he took a job with the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Department supervising athletics programs. He began officiating high school football games on the weekends and eventually worked his way up to the small college-level before being hired as the first black refer in the PAC-10 conference. Finally, he made it all the way to the NFL as a game official, where he worked from 1987 through 2003.
Pointer's officiation career has included
baseball, basketball and football, including three USSSA National
Championships, numerous State and Regional Championships and
induction into the Tacoma/Pierce County Oldtimers Baseball/Softball
Hall of Fame in 1995 and the USSSA Washington State Hall of Fame in
2001. He officiated three girls WIAA State finals and received two
WIAA Meritorious Service Awards. On the gridiron, he officiated two
WIAA Class 3A State Finals and numerous NCAA bowl games, including
the 1987 Rose Bowl.
Pointer has spent time as a member of the board for the Tacoma Athletic Commission and Metro Parks. Some of his favorite memories from his various sports careers include getting a hit off Sandy Koufax and getting hit by Bob Gibson, as well as officiating an NFL game where the national anthem was sung by his younger sisters – the Pointer Sisters – and a preseason game that included a catch by his son Deron playing for the Indianapolis Colts.