- Location: Spokane, WA
- League: Pacific National League 1903-1904; Northwestern League 1905-1917; Pacific Coast International League 1918, 1920; Western International League 1940-1942, 1946-1954; Northwest League 1955-1956; Pacific Coast League 1958-1971; Northwest League 1972; Pacific Coast League 1973-1982; Northwest League 1983-2019; High-A West 2021; Northwest League 2022-
- Affiliation: Oakland Oaks 1946; Brooklyn Dodgers 1947; Philadelphia Phillies 1953; Los Angeles Dodgers 1958-1972; Texas Rangers 1973-1975; Milwaukee Brewers 1976-1978; Seattle Mariners 1979-1981; California Angels 1982; San Diego Padres 1983-1994; Kansas City Royals 1995-2002; Texas Rangers 2003-2020; Colorado Rockies 2021-present
- Ballpark: Ferris Field 1940-1942, 1946-1956; Avista Stadium 1983-present
The Spokane Indians, of the Northwest League and briefly in High-A West, wear a nickname that may have started out as something else entirely. The Colorado Rockies farmhands play their home games at Avista Stadium in Spokane, WA.
"Spokane Indians" may not actually be for the nearby Spokane Tribe. According to Eastern Washington University's Spokane Historical project, the 1903 Spokane baseball club was to adopt the nickname Inlanders after it won a contest sponsored by The Spokesman-Review. Despite naming it the winner, the newspaper soon changed it to Indians. The name has stuck to Spokane baseball ever since, through a variety of leagues and affiliations.
However the nickname originated, the team and the tribe for which the city is named today work closely, co-marketing the brand and merchandise including a jersey that reads Sp'q'n'i - Spokane in the tribe's language, Salish. Federal recognition of tribes as now practiced started in 1934; Spokane earned it in 1954.
The Brooklyn Dodgers bought the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League in 1957, moving them north to make way for their own move to LA. Triple-A baseball was successful in Spokane for decades, but eventually two PCL teams eventually moved away in 11 years - one because of the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens.
In 1983, short-season baseball came to Spokane under the same brand but without a parent club. After two such seasons, brothers George Brett, Ken Brett, Bobby Brett and J.B. Brett bought those Indians and landed an affiliation with the San Diego Padres - setting them on another successful run.
Spokane and Indianapolis were the last minor league teams to use a big-league nickname that was not their parent's. Ironically, both are called "Indians" - which was officially vacated at the Major League level with the Cleveland Indians becoming the Cleveland Guardians after the 2021 season.
On June 24, 1946, the Western International League Spokane Indians were the victim of the worst sports transit accident in U.S. professional sports history. The team bus, carrying 16 players, crashed on Highway 10 in the Snoqualmie Pass on its way from Spokane to Bremerton, WA. The bus rolled into the ravine along the highway and caught fire, killing manager Mel Cole and eight players while severely injuring three others.
|Year||Record||Finish||Manager||Playoffs||Notes||Hitting Coach||Pitching Coach||Coach|
|1903||82-68||2nd||W.V. Garrett / C.H. Williams||none|
|1905||20-19||3rd||Charlie Reilly||none||PNL ended play June 20|
|27-20 (41-58 overall)||4th||G.G. Howlett / Ed Hutchinson / Charles McIntyre||none||Victoria (NWL) moved to Spokane July 11|
|1910||96-65||1st||Dan Dugdale||none League Champs|
|1913||70-97||6th||Harry Ostdiek / Watt Powell / Mike Lynch||none|
|1916||79-48||1st||Nick Williams||none League Champs|
|1918||9-16||--||Nick Williams||Team disbanded May 26|
|1940||84-59||1st||Eddie Leishman||Lost League Finals|
|1941||89-44||1st||Ray Jacobs||none League Champs||(Lost series to All-Star team)|
|1946||54-78||7th||Mel Cole (28-32) / Ben Geraghty (2-1) / Mel Cole (2-2) / Ben Geraghty (22-52)||none|
|1948||102-64||1st||Buddy Ryan (57-52) / Dolph Camilli (45-12)||none League Champs|
|1949||78-71||3rd||Jim Brillheart||Lost in 1st round|
|1951||93-49||1st||Alan Strange||none League Champs|
|1953||75-67||5th||Don Osborn||League Champs|
|1954||30-24||--||Don Osborn||team disbanded on June 21|
|1958||68-85||7th||Goldie Holt (32-45) / Bobby Bragan (36-40)||none|
|1960||92-61||1st||Preston Gomez||none, League Champs|
|1963||98-60||1st||Danny Ozark||Lost League Finals|
|1965||57-90||11th||Bill Brenzel (3-8) / Duke Snider (6-8) / Pete Reiser (1-1) / Duke Snider (47-73)|
|1967||80-68||2nd||Roy Hartsfield||Lost League Finals|
|1968||85-60||2nd||Roy Hartsfield||Lost League Finals|
|1970||94-52||1st||Tommy Lasorda||League Champs|
|1973||81-63||2nd||Del Wilber||League Champs|
|1974||78-64||1st||Del Wilber||League Champs|
|1981||56-84||10th||Rene Lachemann (11-9) / Ken Pape (45-75)|
|1982||78-65||3rd||Moose Stubing||Lost League Finals|
|1984||35-39||6th (t)||Jack Maloof|
|1985||33-41||6th (t)||Jack Maloof|
|1987||54-22||1st||Rob Picciolo||League Champs|
|1988||42-34||3rd (t)||Steve Lubratich||League Champs|
|1989||41-34||1st||Bruce Bochy||League Champs|
|1990||49-27||2nd||Gene Glynn||League Champs|
|1993||35-41||6th (t)||Tim Flannery|
|1998||47-29||1st (t)||Jeff Garber|
|1999||44-32||1st||Kevin Long||League Champs|
|2003||50-26||1st||Darryl Kennedy||League Champs|
|2004||41-35||3rd (t)||Darryl Kennedy|
|2005||37-39||4th||Greg Riddoch||League Champs|
|2008||51-25||1st||Tim Hulett||League Champs|
|2010||43-33||2nd (t)||Tim Hulett||Lost League Finals|
|2014||40-36||4th||Tim Hulett||Lost in 1st round|
|2016||32-43||7th||Tim Hulett||Lost in 1st round|
|2017||39-37||4th (t)||Matt Hagen||Lost in 1st round|
|2018||38-38||3rd (t)||Kenny Holmberg||Lost League Finals|
|2019||45-31||3rd||Kenny Hook||Lost in 1st round|
|2021||67-49||2nd||Scott Little||Lost League Finals||.||Ryan Kibler||.||Fred Ocasio|
- Beth Mary Bollinger: Until The End Of The Ninth, Rooftop Publishing, 2007 (a novel based on the true story of the 1946 bus crash and its aftermath).
- Jim Price: "Devastating crash reverberates 60 years later", in Mark Armour, ed.: Rain Check: Baseball in the Pacific Northwest, Society for American Baseball Research, Cleveland, OH, 2006, pp. 92-94.
- Jim Price: "Stars leapt to bigs through Spokane", in Mark Armour, ed.: Rain Check: Baseball in the Pacific Northwest, Society for American Baseball Research, Cleveland, OH, 2006, pp. 84-91.