13 Most Famous Pro Athletes from Tri-Cities Area
Here in Tri-Cities we have a great sense of pride for our community. When we see some of our own go on to do great things, we pull for them. It's always fun to know who could have been your neighbor once upon a time.
We're focusing on athletes who have lived in the Tri-Cities and surrounding areas.
Mike Reilly played 3 seasons with the Kamakian Braves at quarterback. He bounced around from NFL practice squads until he finally found his stride in the Canadian Football League, leading the Edmonton Eskimos to a 2015 Grey Cup title, winning the Grey Cup MVP for himself.
The definitive slugger, Kingman perfected the art of "go big or go home." The 6'6" hitter finished his career with 1,816 strike-outs, which was 4th all-time at the time. He now ranks 15th, but you can't help but marvel at the Pendleton legend's 442 home runs.
A world series title is something some legends never see, let alone two. Add in a no-hitter (only 295 pitchers have thrown one!), and you can say Pasco native Ray Washburn had a great career.
Considered one of the best 3-4 defensive ends during his career, former Kennewick resident Adam Carriker was drafted in the first round by the St. Louis Ram before becoming a mainstay on the Washington Redskins. He's enshrined in the Nebraska Sports Hall of Fame.
Name a Tri-Citian that doesn't know Ray Mansfield. The Kennewick legend ushered in the era of the "Steel Curtain" snapping the ball to Terry Bradshaw. He played in 182 consecutive games before retiring. His backup, Mike Webster would be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Jeremy Bonderman made history at Pasco High School when he became the first high school junior to ever be drafted in the first round. Drafted by the A's, the pick caused Billy Beane to throw his chair. Bonderman pitched in the World Series with Detroit.
At barely 6' tall, Prosser phenom Kellen Moore defied football logic when he led one of the most prolific pass offenses in college history. He sits atop the all-time wins column with 50. How crazy is it to think Kellen Moore only lost 3 times in college?
Kimo von Oelhoffen made a name for himself in the NFL, literally. The Kimo Clause requires the defensive player to take all measures possible to avoid hitting a quarterback below the knees while they are planting their feet to throw. Kimo owns a popular sportsbar in Richland.
Moses Lake, Sunnyside
Everybody knows Evel Knievel. But did you know he moved his family to Moses Lake for a fresh start early in his career?
Mr. Cowboy was Mr. Buckaroo for Pendleton High School, where he was named to All-State for football and basketball. He played for the Cowboys from 1961-1974, winning the Super Bowl in 1971. He was an 11x Pro Bowl selection and enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
One of the most popular players in his generation, the Pasco-born Brian Urlacher brought a ferocity to the football field. His jersey was one of the best selling in the NFL during his career. He was voted to 8 Pro Bowls before retiring, having played his entire career in Chicago.
Richland's very own, Hope Solo has been the face of women's soccer for 17 years as the United States goalie. She's a two-time gold medalist and a World Cup Champion. She's been Washington all the way! She was born and raised in Richland before taking her talents to the University of Washington, and eventually the Seattle Reign.
Drew Bledsoe was a gunslinger who was essential to the groundwork that would become the Patriots dynasty. He grew up in Walla Walla before playing stellar ball at WSU. New England drafted him first overall. He enjoyed success in the NFL, throwing for over 40,000 yards. He lost a Super Bowl to Green Bay before winning one on the bench in 2001. Bledsoe was named to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2011. Bledsoe's Doubleback Winery has a tasting room in downtown Walla Walla.