The name Bill Beard is synonymous with sports in Salem. But long before Beard opened a sporting goods store bearing his name in 1960, he became a three-sport star at Willamette. The Oregon City High product was an all-conference performer twice in football and three times in baseball before signing a professional baseball contract with the New York Yankees. He earned a tryout with the Washington Senators of the major leagues, but spent his entire career in the minors, starting out in Spokane, then playing for the Seattle Rainiers, the Salem Senators, the Portland Beavers and the Drain Black Sox. He managed the Salem team in 1949. He was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1982. Beard was a long-time officer and fundraiser for Cardinal Round Table, Willametteís athletic booster club. He also pent many years officiating local football and basketball. An avid golfer, Beard was the Oregon Senior Grand Champion in the sport in 1977 and 1980, and placed second in 1986 and 1988.