Earl Mahnkey

Born January 27, 1916 in Tainey County, Missouri, Earl Mahnkey was a 1935 graduate of Stadium High School.

Throughout the 1940s, Earl Mahnkey was considered one of the premier fastpich softball shortstops in the area but Earl was pretty content to play with his friends on the Tacoma Elks teams and they remained a dominant fixture on the softball scene.

He helped the team win the City League championship in 1940 and in 1943 the Elks team beat the Tacoma Eagles and famed pitcher Woodrow Red, a national ASA Hall of Famer, to win the City League title 3-0. Fellow inductee Bob Frankosky pitched the shutout for the Elks.

In 1945, the Stores-Machinists defeated the Tacoma Elks, 3-2, to win the City League title in a classic battle between Bob McCarty and Trevor McLain of the Elks nine. It was a highly competitive league and featured some of the top pitchers in the country who were stationed in the military in Tacoma including Woodrow Red and Kermit Lynch.

Stores-Machinists qualified to play in the National Championships in Cleveland so they added Earl to the roster who hit .333 and started three of the team’s five games enroute to a third-place finish.

But Earl’s athletic abilities weren’t limited to softball as he was an accomplished golfer, bowler and basketball player as well. Over the years he bowled and played basketball for Don’s Pagoda and the Broadway Sports Center in the City, Industrial, Commercial, and Shipyard Leagues and it wasn’t unusual for him to be gone three evenings a week and on weekends to find local game.