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Dan Raley your local sport historian

One of the more interesting things about writing this blog and posting in the Seattle Examiner is that a number of local sports writers pop by to read what I write each day which is a good idea since a lot of the topics usually play off of what they write about the teams we follow.

Dan Raley of the Seattle PI posted recently over at the Examiner to point out that Jim Lambright was no longer working for the Pacific Institute but was now working for a local construction company. I am assuming it is in some executive capacity because I can't imagine him handling sheet rock or hammering nails at this point of his career.

Dan writes a column in the PI called "Where Are They Now?" I remember the subjects Dan writes about and I think it is important that someone like Dan has been around to pass those stories on to the next generation.

A couple of years ago he wrote a column about a longtime friend of mine by the name of Mike Shanks who Dan also knew well from his Roosevelt High School days. Mike was one of the better HS athletes of his time and one of the most infamous characters in the Seattle area over the past couple of decades.

You may not know who Michael Shanks is because he legally changed his name to "Mike the Mover" quite some time ago. Now almost everyone knows who Mike the Mover is in Seattle. Mike never has met a political office he didn't mind running for. He never came close to winning but the publicity from those campaigns helped gain free publicity for his moving business.

I will never forget when he told my mother that he had officially changed his name to "Mike the Mover. My mother said without missing a beat..."so your middle name is The? I like Patrick much better."

When Dan wrote the column I emailed him and we shared a few anecdotes about our old friend Mike. He asked me,  "Did you see the photo in the paper we took of him in his confederate generals uniform in front of his cannon?" I didn't see it because since I am in Chicago I only get the Internet edition. Dan took it upon himself to mail me out a copy of the paper from that day.

In a matter of a of a few more weeks the print edition of the Seattle PI is going to go away forever. It seems to be a national trend because every single day it seems we read about another local daily going out of business. With every one of those closures every single city is losing part of its identity while some very fine people are losing their jobs way before their time.

Dan Raley of the Seattle PI is one of those guys. Tonight he will be at Hec Ed covering the Huskies as they try to win their first undisputed Pac 10 championship since 1953. I find it bittersweet that the paper may not stay open long enough for him to follow them all the way through the NCAA tournament.

As Husky fans we may not always like what has been written in investigative articles of the program by the Times and PI over the years but I don't think we ever met a UW beat writer we never liked.

Dan Raley is one of those guys and we are going to miss him.