WENDELL SMITHWhile April 1947 is considered the date on which the walls of segregation came tumbling down in Major League Baseball, the catalyst for the radical change took place many years before that and little or nothing to do with Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey.The spark that ignited the brushfire of integration took place at a relatively obscure American Legion All-Star game near Detroit, Mich., back in 1933. It was then and there that a budding young pitching star handcuffed an opposing team with a 1-0 masterpiece.The talented hurler was named Wendell Smith and what transpired that day would prove to have a profound effect on him, the national pastime and, to a larger degree, the whole of American society.According to Jules Tygiel, author of “Baseball’s Great Experiment,” present that day was a scout from the Detroit Tigers who, though impressed with Smith’s prowess, inked a contract with Smith’s catcher Mike Tresh…and the losing pitcher. Tresh, it should be noted, went on to play and coach in the Major Leagues. His son, Tom Tresh, likewise carved out a mediocre career in the bigs mostly as the shortstop for the New York Yankees.
Facebook36Tweet0Pin0Submitted by SCJ AllianceWhat is the 48th positive odd integer?If 95 didn’t jump to mind, you wouldn’t have made it far in Thurston County’s MATHCOUNTS competition this year.Jason Bruhn, an engineer at SCJ Alliance in Lacey, led the Thurston County contest held at Saint Martin’s University. Photo courtesy: SCJ AllianceIt took just seconds for local mathletes from Jefferson Middle School to answer that and other challenging questions to win the county-wide contest and advance to the state level held last month.MATHCOUNTS is a national middle school coaching and competitive mathematics program. It promotes math achievement through a series of fun and engaging “bee” style competitions on the chapter, state and national levels.Jason Bruhn, an engineer at SCJ Alliance in Lacey, led the Thurston County contest held at Saint Martin’s University and has volunteered as the chapter coordinator for the past 18 years on behalf of the National Society of Professional Engineers. This year, he recruited three additional colleagues from SCJ to help out, Tyrell Bradley, Maddie Riggs and Bob Tauscher.“Math is an everyday thing here at SCJ,” Bruhn said. “We love to see kids excited about math and to show them how what we do relates to what they’re learning now.”Local participants in February’s Thurston County competition came from Jefferson and Aspire middle schools and included one homeschool student. The top team, from Jefferson Middle School, and two top individuals advanced to the state competition.The winning Jefferson Middle School Mathletes’ team with Jason Bruhn (center). Photo courtesy: SCJ AllianceWinners at the state competition move on to the national competition on May 13-14, which is aired on ESPN 3.SCJ has been nationally recognized multiple times for award-winning projects, growth and as a great place to work. Founded in Thurston County nearly twelve years ago, the firm has grown steadily to a dynamic team of more than 80 employees in six locations across Washington. In addition to Lacey, SCJ has offices in Centralia, Seattle, Ballard, Vancouver and Wenatchee.