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Tacoma: Council renames part of South Cheyenne Street to Clay Huntington Way

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on March 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm with No Comments »
March 28, 2012 3:46 pm

Move over Dave Niehaus Way and Edgar Martinez Drive. Tacoma’s now got its own ballpark promenade honoring a storied sports legend: Clay Huntington Way.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved renaming a portion of South Cheyenne Street — from South 19th to the entrance of Cheney Stadium — after the late, great local sports and civic icon.

“Mr. Huntington was a noted citizen, booster and broadcaster who was instrumental to the establishment of Triple A baseball in Tacoma, the formation of the Tacoma Athletic Commission, the construction of Cheney Stadium and many other notable achievements,” city historic preservation officer Reuben McKnight told the council.

The Tacoma Athletic Commission formally proposed the street’s name change to the city’s landmarks preservation commission last November. The landmarks commission later unanimously recommended the measure, finding Huntington met the criteria as a historic figure and the street renaming complied with city code requirements.

Huntington, who died in June at the age of 89, served on the Pierce County Commission and helped found the Tacoma Athletic Commission, the Washington State Sports Hall of Fame and  the Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame, among other achievements.  The former “Voice of the Tacoma Tigers,” he also worked for more than seven decades as a broadcaster on radio and TV and, later, at KLAY, the Lakewood radio station he had owned since 1991.

Tacoma Mayor Bill Baarsma, TAC president Ron Crowe and several others spoke in favor of Tuesday’s resolution.  Baarsma noted that when the minor league Tacoma Cubs left the city “high and dry” in 1968, it was Huntington who helped lead the charge to regain a baseball club.

“It was through his efforts, along with Stan Naccarato and others, that Triple A baseball did return to Tacoma,” Baarsma said.  “And it’s a very robust enterprise.”

The street’s renaming is “a celebration of someone who was a person who valued family, who valued community, but also had the audacity to dream big,” Mayor Marilyn Strickland said.

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