The story behind the Dick Neistadt Trophy (1948)

Dick  Neistadt
Dick Neistadt

For you Eatonville graduates, you may recall  the Dick Neistadt trophy handed out every year to the sportsman of the year. If you have wondered who Dick Neistadt was and why there is a trophy in his name, Dick Logston tells us the story:

“Dick was my next door neighbor out on the Lynch Creek road, and a very promising basketball player. I believe it was in the summer of 1948 when he and several friends were at Soap Lake. As they were leaving, he decided to take one more dive into the lake and broke his neck in the shallow water. He later died in the hospital. Terrible loss! Hence the trophy in his honor.”

For more information, see Rich William’s post below.

Photo and story courtesy of Dick Logston.

Click on image to enlarge.

8 responses to “The story behind the Dick Neistadt Trophy (1948)”

  1. Hi Diane,
    This photo and a Memoriam to Richard Harry Neistadt are in the 1948 E.H.S. annual. The first recipient of this award in 1949 was Jim Bergman. In 2007 we were asked to store many of the trophies and other memorabilia for the school while the remodel was taking place. We were shocked to find many of the vintage trophies, including the Dick Neistadt Basketball Inspirational Award, severely damaged. We are in the process of having it restored but the recipient plates are missing. We have researched and found many of the award winners, however, we are still looking for the 1950, 51, 52, and 53 winners. If anyone looking at this blog knows the names of these recipients, please send this information to Thanks.


  2. The last time I was at the Eatonville school I tried to locate the 2nd place state basketball trophy from 1952. I was not able to find it so I suppose it was cast away and no longer regarded as valuable. Sounds as though many trophys met their fate in this manner. Sad. Dick Logston


    • Per Rich Williams’s response, it looks like they are being restored. You might check with him to see how progress is coming along, 🙂



  3. Hi Diane,

    Here’s an update. The Dick Neistadt Award is now being restored at Northwest Trophy in Seattle. They found a foundry back east that will duplicate the bronze figures. We have now found all the recipients names and they will be engraved on the trophy in the same font used on the original plates. We did find out that the first recipient was not Jim Bergman in 1949, it was Gail Bloom. He received the award in 1948.

    As far as Dick Logston’s comment. We agree that the school was very negligent regarding their stewardship of the vintage trophies and pictures. We did find and clean up the trophy the 1952 basketball team received when they won second place at the state tournament. It is located in the basketball section of the trophy case in the Commons area.


  4. Diane, I had the privilege of playing basketball under Ernie Cope (Mr. Cope back then), 1955,1956 and 1957. At some time during the season Ernie would tell us about Dick Neistadt and why there was an award. He told us about the diving accident, and that he met with Dick at the hospital before he died. Dick knew that he was dying and he told Ernie that he would be “up there” helping the team to make the baskets during the game. To me this was a very inspirational message and I have remembered it ever since. During the basketball games I would make the sign of the cross on my forehead before every foul shot, which helped me focus. Recently one of the graduates of Eatonville H.S. who was a few years younger then me, told me he remembered me touching my forehead each time before I took a foul shot. He said he asked his dad what I was doing and his dad told him it was a “Catholic thing” as our family was Catholic. If it wasn’t for the Neistadt story I don’t think I would have done that.


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