Cheney Free Press -

By Matthew O. Stephens

Fairchild partnership leads to MLB award

Spokane Indians named minor league organization of year


Last updated 12/16/2021 at 9:51am

SPOKANE – For the first time in club history, the Spokane Indians baseball team was presented with minor league baseball’s Organization of the Year Award on Dec. 6 due in large part to its partnership with Fairchild Air Force Base.

“The Spokane Indians Baseball Club is overwhelmed with gratitude at being named the Organization of the Year by Minor League Baseball,” Indians Vice President Otto Klein said in a press release. “It’s a true testament to our outstanding front office and gameday teams, as well as our community partners and fans.

According to the same release from Fairchild Air Force Base, the baseball organization set a “franchise record in sponsorship sales, posting a 95% increase in online ticket sales and partnering with Fairchild Air Force Base for a program that generated national attention and was critically acclaimed.”

“I’m amazed by the Spokane Indians and everything they do for the military. Being able to show their team first-hand how incredible our Airmen and aircraft are further showcases our mission and the capabilities we have, and that makes this partnership even stronger,” 92nd Air Refueling Wing Cmdr. Col. Cassius Bentley said. “They undoubtedly earned this prestigious award.”

“The Spokane Indians minor league baseball team and Fairchild Air Force Base launched Operation Fly Together May 27, 2021, a partnership that is the first of its kind in history,” base spokesman Capt. Kaitlin Holmes said.

The partnership is known as “Operation Fly Together,” and encompasses celebrating the base, aircraft, active military, veterans, etc. The baseball team plays in uniforms that are designed to look like the blue dress uniforms worn by airmen on “Fairchild Fridays,” and those uniforms are auctioned off afterwards to benefit veterans.

“It is a tremendous honor to partner with such an integral pillar in the community. We are proud to celebrate the KC-135 Stratotanker and encourage community support of Fairchild’s mission to extend global reach through empowered Airmen in such a unique way,” Holmes said. “The leaders at Fairchild are grateful to help better the lives of veterans while ensuring a positive climate for our airmen as a result of the local community’s increased support of the base.”

Reporter Matthew O. Stephens can be reached at


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