For almost a 15-year span, Les Bishop played and excelled at virtually every level of baseball in the Tacoma and South Sound area.
And after that, he spent 12 years as an umpire at all the same levels.
His playing highlights included a year in the early 1940s in the Tacoma City League where he led the circuit in hits, runs, home runs, runs batted in, total bases and most at-bats. He had a .388 batting average, but that fell short of the remarkable feat Slammin' Stan Wallace put together that year, hitting .442.
Bishop played in the Tacoma City League for nearly 10 years, but also had stints during that time with the Tacoma Tigers of the Western International League. After playing for the Tigers for part of the 1938 season, he was offered a contract for 1939, but turned it down to continue in the semi-pro leagues.
He also took turns with Olympia, Shelton and Tacoma in the Northwest League.
"To tell the truth, I couldn't see a great deal of difference between the Western International League and the Northwest League brand of ball," Bishop once wrote in a letter.
Bishop started in big-time baseball in the Valley League at the age of 15 in 1931. It was in the Tacoma City League, though, where he produced his most amazing feats, including a 21-game hitting streak to start the season with Superior Dairy in 1935. One of those games was a 5-for-6 effort against Cammarano Brothers, which included a home run and a double.