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Bill Simpson
[1972]

School: Cleveland

Sports Played: Cross Country, Basketball, Baseball

High School Honors: Cross Country: 2-year letter winner. Basketball: 3-year letter winner. Baseball: 3-year letter winner; 1st Team All-State as a Junior; 2nd Team All-PIL as a Junior; 1st Team All-PIL and All-Metro, and All-State Honorable Mention as a Senior.

Post High School Career: Drafted by NY Yankees 1972. Scottsdale Community College in 1973, first team in school history with All-League honors. Washington State University from 1974-76; 3-year starter at shortstop including 1976 College World Series ranked 5th nationally. Inducted into the WSU "Century One" Wall of Honor in 1989 as shortstop for the best infield in first 100 years of Cougar Baseball. Acknowledged in 2002 as member of Best Team ('76) in WSU History. Acknowledged in 2010 as one of "Bobo's (Brayton) Best" in 33 year career coaching of Cougar Baseball. Played semi-pro Baseball in the Seattle-area 5 seasons for the Cheney Studs earning All-State Tournament recognition in 5 state tournaments in 1974, 1978-1981.

Commentary:

My life has not been perfect. There have been ups and downs. Just like the ebb and tide of a baseball game, a season, a career. When I look back in retrospect I remember the dedication, commitment and sacrifice that went along with the passion for playing the game that was pure fun and joy. It is the foundation for my life and it is what has been what I have drawn on to deal with adversity and to make a difference when I can. It is the individual accomplishments within a team concept that is still the basis for the way I approach my career in commercial development.

Inspiration has always come from coaches and players during my baseball career. Jerry Gatto took over the Cleveland baseball program from Jack Dunn in 1970. Gary Daniels (also a 2013 inductee) was the athlete that I wanted to emulate from the day I stepped foot in Cleveland High. Gary, Ron Eshleman, another inductee from 2011, and their senior classmates were true to the game, ball players that worked hard to improve themselves to make the team better and it was great mentor-ship. Playing for Bobo Brayton (one of the top coaches in the nation) at Washington State University created the greatest opportunities of my individual career and for team accomplishments, including playing in the College World Series.

The most significant encouragement came from my parents. My dad, Al Simpson, who was a 2009 Inductee and the Marshall High coach my junior and senior years, prompted my development as a baseball player when we played catch in the street and he would take me to Powell Park to hit me ground balls before I ever enrolled at Cleveland. My mother Vernice and grandparents sat through a lot of my games. I am honored and appreciative to my parents, grandparents, all teammates and coaches for their contribution to who I am and the successes along the way.

Vocational Roles: After graduating from WSU with a BS in Construction Management I have worked in commercial construction, design and development for 35 years specializing in restaurants. I was the Vice President of Design & Construction for Red Robin International, Sr. Director of Development for both Restaurants Unlimited (Cinnabon, Palomino, Kinkaids) & McCormick and Schmick. I also had a project management position for Westin Hotels. I am currently working for Western Construction Services in Vancouver, Washington, focusing on restaurant clients.

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