Two Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame inductees passed away recently and both were pitchers on national championship baseball teams.
Frank Bake, a member of Linfield’s 1966 NAIA championship club, died April 1 at age 69. Dennis Stevens, a pitcher on the Wildcats’ 1971 NAIA title team, died March 14 at 64 years of age.
Bake graduated from Cleveland High School in 1962, where he excelled in both academics and athletics. While playing basketball and baseball, he gained the nickname "Snake Bake” and the legend began. The catchy name followed him to Linfield, where he again excelled in both academics and sports. He pitched for the 1966 National Championship baseball team, which was inducted into the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.
After graduation, Bake worked as an insurance underwriter. He then joined the family business, Columbia Door Sales and worked there for 35 years. He owned and operated the business from 1988 until 2004, and continued in the garage door industry until his death.
Bake was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed hunting ducks and pheasants, but his true passion was fishing. He was most content on the river with one of his black labs and a fishing buddy, telling stories and trying to hook a salmon or walleye.
Frank is survived by a sister and brother-in-law, Cathy and Bob Sullivan; a nephew, Mike Sullivan; and a great-niece, Amanda Ricker.
Stevens, a retired Air Force lieutenant, grew up in Portland. He was an all-state baseball and football player who attended Linfield on an athletic scholarship, which covered a portion of his tuition expenses along with with summer sailing trips to Hawaii and the Orient in the Merchant Marine.
He was a pitcher on Linfield's 1971 NAIA national championship team and was inducted as part of the team in the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001. He graduated with a double major in psychology and sociology and completed a master's degree in business administration. During college, he met and later married Joyce Ann Greene. The couple recently celebrated 40 years of marriage.
After graduating from Linfield, he entered the Air Force and was stationed at various locales in the Midwest, West Coast, and Pacific, supporting the Vietnam and Persian Gulf eras. He concluded his 32-year military career at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
He is survived by his mother, Gloria Stevens, sisters Donna Lugibihl and Laurie Davis, brother David Stevens, wife Joyce, daughter April Zimmermann, son Matt, and granddaughter Alexa Zimmermann.