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When the Indians traveled the host team would put up $2,500 in guaranteed money to cover the weekly salaries of the players.  More proceeds would be split between the teams.  They in turn had to put up the same amount when hosting a game in the PCPFL.  The most lucrative games proved to be the long trip to Honolulu to play a 2 game set with the Hawaiian Warriors.  With fans numbering 16,000 and 25,000 for the two games, the Indians brought home $50,000 as their cut.



Tacoma Indians (1946)

Years of Operation: 1946


Overall Record:  7-5


First Game: Sep 15, 1946 vs Salt Lake Seagulls


First Win: Sep 15, 1946 vs Salt Lake Seagulls


Final Game: Jan 19, 1947 vs Los Angeles Bulldogs

League Affiliation:  

Pacific Coast Professional Football League (1946)



Team Headquarters:


2503 E 11th St

Tacoma, Washington

Owner: Al Davies


General Manager: Al Davies


Coaches: Steve Slivinski


Home Field(s): Stadium Bowl

Titles Won:


1946-PCPFL North Championship




Tacoma's only men's professional football team was a one-year wonder, the Indians. They won seven games, lost four, averaged about 13,000 fans for five Sunday games at Stadium Bowl, managed to get a spot in the PCPFL's championship due to a quirky forfeit by the rival San Francisco Clippers, quickly gathered to travel to Los Angeles for the title game, were trounced, 38-7, and never played again.


The Marvs (Tommervik and Harshman) made the most money. They each were paid $7,800 by owner Al Davies, who owned Birchfield Boiler on Tacoma's Tideflats, building steel boilers and ships. The team's headquarters was in the boiler plant at 2503 E. 11th St.


Davies paid the Marvs a $2,000 bonus to sign with the fledgling Indians, rather than the AAFC's New York Yankees. "Davies gave us the extra money because we were local guys and they thought that would draw fans," Harshman said. Harshman and his wife Dorothy used the signing bonus to buy a set of solid birch furniture. "I was 28," he said, "and wanted to do something with my life."


They rarely practiced. Slivinski occasionally called a practice at Renton High School, since many of the players worked in Seattle or attended graduate school at UW. Cusworth drove to Sunday games from Cle Elum, where he worked in a coal mine.

Home games were at Stadium Bowl. It had no track, no grass, just that grand view. There were H-shaped wooden goal posts set at the goal line. "You'd go down and hook the goal post with your arm so you could swing in another direction," Harshman said, "and that would run the defender into the post. Tommervik would get the ball to you and you'd have a touchdown."


Tickets cost $2.50 for east-side bleachers, $1.50 for the west end zone and 75 cents for kids. The Elks Club band played and the Eagles fraternal drill team performed. Fans received refrigerators, nylon stockings and men's topcoats in drawings held during the game.


The Indians rode Pullman trains to games in Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Oakland and San Diego, and a plane to Honolulu. "We flew to Hawaii," Slivinski said, "and played two games over there. Everybody who went to Hawaii played two games to cover the travel (expense). Hawaii (the Hawaiian Warriors) had no road games.


"They had their own officials. With 20,000 people in the ballpark, the officials were reluctant to make a call against the home team."


A reserve end and quarterback, a former UW player and Philadelphia Eagle named Chuck Newton dreaded flying. He drank a fifth of whiskey to prepare for the Matson Airlines four-motor prop plane's trip to Hawaii. "The guys carried Chuck onto the plane," Harshman said.

"He would rather have walked to Hawaii," Tommervik said.


The Hawaiian Warriors had a tackle named Wayne Sterling, who had played at UW. He was a Honolulu police lieutenant. He threw a luau for the Tacoma team. "It lasted for days," Tommervik said. "We slept right on the beach."


"Girls met us with leis at the Honolulu airport," Harshman said. "We had left our pregnant wives at home and we thought we were really something."


The Indians made $50,000 from their cut of the proceeds of the trip and it went towards allowing the team to finish in the black for the season but returned battered having lost a number of players to injuries in the 2 games with Hawaii.


The Indians' best receiver was a former Ballard High and PLU end named Sigurd Sigurdson, who everyone called "Sig." He caught passes for 104 yards for the 1947 Baltimore Colts in the AAFC, blew out a knee and never played again.


1946 Schedule/Results (7-5):  
Sep 15 @ Salt Lake Seagulls 27-6
Sep 22 - San Francisco Clippers 7-21
 Sep 29 - San Diego Bombers W
Oct 6 @ Oakland Giants 14-6
Oct 20 - Oakland Giants 20-13
 Oct 27 - Sacramento Nuggets W
Nov 3 - Salt Lake Seagulls 24-7
Nov 17 @ Sacramento Nuggets 21-7
Dec 1 @ Hollywood Bears 6-9
Dec 8 @ Hawaiian Warriors 30-35
Dec 15 @ Hawaiian Warriors 13-30
Jan 19, 1947 @ Los Angeles Bulldogs * 7-38
   * PCPFL Championship  

Indians backfield:
#33 Marv Harshman
#10 Tippy Lockhard, #85 Bob Barrett, #44 Tommy Tommervick