Dick Samlaska (Slowpitch Softball)
Dick Samlaska epitomized the complete ballplayer during his 24-year career. He earned his first major recognition in 1963 as the Kiwanis Athlete of the Year while playing catcher for Mount Tahoma High School, and by the end of high school career he had earned all-star MVP and first-team all-state honors.
From 1968 to 1986, Samlaska played slowpitch softball for Heidelberg, Tacoma and People's Church. He played third base and catcher for Heidelberg, earning three MVP awards in Great Falls, Montana, MVP for highest batting average (.700) and a Golden Glove award while playing in six national tournaments between 1968 and 1977.
During his one year playing for Tacoma, Samlaska won an MVP award in Boise, Idaho, while earning best defensive player honors at a tournament in Reno and helped his team win seven tournaments.
While playing third and first base for People's Church in the early 1980s, Samlaska took numerous all-star honors, as well as multiple defensive awards, while helping his team win three ASA National Tournaments and four USSSA World Tournaments.
Born in Tacoma, Samlaska also played football at Mount Tahoma High School. He later played for the Pierce County Bengals from 1975 to 1979, earning three Northwest League championships and the 1978 and 1979 national championships.