Beloved grocery clerk Andew Vathis honored at Spokane Indians game

He worked at the South Hill Albertsons for nearly 30 years bagging groceries and making friends — a lot of them. It’s hard to know exactly how many. When you have a personality like Andrew Vathis, friendship comes easy.

Vathis would have been 52 Tuesday. On his birthday, his friends, Special Olympic teammates, and members of his family were invited to Avista Stadium for the Spokane Indians game.

“Andrew was a big fan, but he was also a great friend, and he used to come to Indians games all the time, he used to come into our office,” said Indians Vice President Otto Klein.

It was ‘Andrew Vathis Night’ Tuesday and the team gave jerseys off the backs of players to one lucky fan at the end of each inning.

“Andrew loved jersey, and so it was fitting that tonight is jersey right off the back night and the very first jersey we gave away was to his mother, and it was special,” Klein said.

Vathis’ mother was called down to the field along with his brother who threw the first pitch.

“I’m just so amazed at all the people that honor my son,” said Erika Vathis, Andrew’s mother. She received an Indians jersey with her last name on the back.

But that was not the only thing.

Vathis’ name now hangs on the stadium’s ‘Rim of Honor.’

“He was an outstanding individual, and we were sad to see him go,” Klein said.

Since Vathis’ death there have been several safety changes along 57th Avenue where here was killed in January. Several lighted crosswalks have been installed including one where Vathis was hit. A sign there reads ‘Andrew’s Crossing.’

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