The Cardinals first came into existence in 1988 as Bellevue Connie Mack Baseball. In 1990, the club began an eight-year run as the Curtis Baseball Club, sponsored by Lee Brooke. The team continued its success on the diamond both in the state of Washington and in the Pacific Region, winning its first State Championship and progressing to that year’s Connie Mack Pacific Region Championship game before losing to eventual Connie Mack National Champion Orange County Cardinals. Near the end of the decade, the focus of the program changed. It had always been important to do things right, to play the game the right way, and to use the game to help the participants grow as people. The team had been successful on the diamond, and the players had achieved their dream of playing college baseball. But, in the mid-1990’s, the primary focus became using baseball to more specifically develop the life skills of goal setting, preparation, productive self talk, and purposeful self esteem based in process, objective self assessment and purposeful personal growth—using baseball as a model.
In that ambitious project, the young people of the Wilkinson Cardinals have continued to be successful on the diamond beyond the high school level. The program has graduated over 90% of all its players to study and play baseball at the college level; those same players have become particularly successful beyond baseball and beyond college. They are using the lessons of sport on purpose to reach their important life objectives.
These young people have chosen not just to associate with winners, but to impact winning and become leaders of winners. They have taken on a curriculum beyond baseball, and they have used it as they have gone forward in life.
"From goodness to greatness, from greatness to excellence,
from excellence to significance"
(Coach Pete Wilkinson, 2013 Kingco 3A Coach of the Year; Awarded 2011 Teaching Pro of the Year by Collegiate Baseball America)