Frank Karwoski

In 2007, the Pacific Lutheran baseball team achieved something that hadn't been accomplished in 53 years - they won a conference championship.

The Lutes' success this season brought to mind the Pacific Lutheran College baseball teams that won back-to-back Evergreen Conference titles in 1953 and 1954. Frank Karwoski played an important role on those championship teams.

Karwoski was born on Oct. 11, 1930, in Tacoma. Described by sportswriters as the "diminutive star," Karwoski attended Lincoln High School, where he was a standout on the varsity football and baseball for three years before graduating in 1950. He played third base for the 1949 Lincoln team that played for the high school state title against Yakima.

At Pacific Lutheran College, Karwoski again played football and baseball. On the gridiron he was starting quarterback four straight years. On the diamond, he earned four letters and was selected to the Evergreen Conference all-star team as a third baseman. With Karwoski handling the hot corner, PLC won the Evergreen Conference West crown and then beat East champion Whitworth in a playoff for the 1953 championship. The following year, Pacific Lutheran again won the West to advance to the playoffs against East winner Central Washington. The teams split the first two games before PLC won the deciding contest.

From 1952-54, Karwoski played semi-pro baseball for the Tacoma Athletics of the Northwest League, earning a spot on the all-star team that played the Tacoma Tigers of the Western International League. He also played in the City League with several teams including 38th Street, the Shoemen and Portland Avenue.

After graduating in 1954, Karwoski played professional baseball for the Denver Bears of the Class A Western Baseball League and for the Lubbock Hubbers in the West Texas-New Mexico League from 1954-55. He played for the Hubbers with PLC teammate Jack Johnson.

In his later year, Karwoski spent many hours fishing for steelhead and also deep-sea fishing off Baja, Mexico. Field & Stream magazine, in its 63rd Annual Fishing Contest, recognized him for catching a rainbow trout weighing 25 pounds, 8 ½ ounces and measuring 3 feet, 5 inches.