Coug fans have limited chance to own history

IN THE MIDDLE of the tongue-lashing, Dave Edler glanced down to see just how much of Bobo Brayton’s ire his jersey had absorbed.

“When he’d really get going, the spit was flying,” Edler recalled in a recent phone conversation with “He was yelling at me and I looked down to see how wet my shirt was. He started laughing and wiping it off.”

Edler’s offense was throwing batting practice in the cage. Brayton, who won 21 divisional tiles and advanced to two College World Series' in his 33 years as head coach of the Cougar baseball team, had a strict rule against pitchers throwing batting practice.

When he saw Edler winding up that day, he raced across the field in a huff, Edler remembers vividly.

Edler turned in some outstanding mound work for the great WSU teams of the 1970s, but he was most known for his production at the plate and in the infield -- he was a conference batting champion and third-team All-American at third base.

Bobo’s Best: On sale now

It was no shocker when he was picked years later as one of “Bobo’s Best” and immortalized in a color lithograph depicting the greatest Cougs to play for the legendary coach.

Two-hundred of those lithos -- each autographed by all the living players illustrated or named on it -- recently went on sale HERE as part of head coach Donnie Marbut’s fundraising effort to build a clubhouse at Bailey-Brayton Field.

The cost is $1,000 per litho. If Marbut sells all 200, it will push his fundraising total to the halfway mark of the $7 million he needs to turn the clubhouse from an architect's drawings into a reality. The need for such a facility would seem acute -- in the Northwest alone, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Gonzaga and Portland already have invested heavily in new baseball facilities.

The idea to turn the lithos into autographed collectors’ items for fundraising purposes started with Justin Felker when he was a director with the Cougar Athletic Fund.

“To be more precise, the idea started with a completely chance meeting on a golf course in the Midwest with Rick Austin, the old Milwaukee Brewer and Cleveland Indians pitcher who was a star at WSU for Bobo,” recalls Felker, who is now with the Spokane advertising firm KellyBrady. “It pays to wear Cougar gear, otherwise Rick and I wouldn’t have met that day. But to make a long story short, our conversation led to getting the lithos autographed.”


It took Felker five years and a whole lot of miles to land the 59 signatures on all 200 of the lithos.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be on that poster, to be among those names and faces -- these are the legends of Cougar baseball,” says Edler, a former Seattle Mariners infielder, one-time mayor of Yakima and, for the last 14 years, the pastor at Yakima’s Foursquare Church.

From Ron Cey to John Olerud (both pictured above), Joe McIntosh to Aaron Sele, they’re all present and accounted for.

Marbut wants to build on their legacy by making a first-class clubhouse part of the program. The sale of "Bobo's Best" with their signatures will help get him there.


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