Our community needs to take a moment and recognize the selfless actions of Ted Tornow and his wife, Ruth, who have put in endless hours this year to keep baseball in Clinton, Iowa. Ted, what you have done has not gone unnoticed. We are all so grateful for what you have done to keep our beautiful riverfront stadium filled with the magic of baseball!
We have a one-of-a-kind, historic baseball venue dating to 1937 and built by the WPA. But it’s more than a venue. It’s where our eyes watch exciting action, our ears hear the crack of the bat, and our mouths cheer and holler for the players by name. Small enough to be intimate, and large enough to cater to fans of all ages.
That’s what Ted has saved for Clinton. And more than that, when the fans leave the stadium at the end of the game, win or lose, you will see people in their 80s and 90s leaving. Hank Dihlmann still walked to his car every night at 99 years old. You will see young families with small children. You will see teenagers with their friends. You will see preteens learning to socialize in a safe place. You will see the young learning from the older about how the game is played, asking questions about walks and steals and… what exactly is a “balk”? That’s what Ted has reinvented for Clinton after Major League Baseball deserted us.
Our family began bringing our children years ago, and we are a better family for that, with many more friends and stories of what we did while the kids grew up.
Thanks, Ted, for keeping baseball in Clinton, in spite of impossible obstacles. You never quit fighting for us, during COVID, during MLB negotiations, during days when employees are scarce, and during days you had to be wondering if it’s all worth it. Yes, Ted, it was worth it!
We may not have the carnival or the big money, but we have what America is missing. And a little stadium, with a roof for the hot days, is the place to be in Clinton when the first pitch is thrown.
We hope there are many, many more years of baseball in Clinton. This is an irreplaceable treasure on the Mighty Mississippi. Let Clinton never lose the special opportunity we have been given by many of our forefathers who built this stadium for times such as this.
The collegiate players are a joy. I’ve heard they all want to come back to Clinton next year because of the hospitality. Way to go Clinton! RAGBRAI riders said the same thing!! We love our team, we love the volunteers at the stadium, we love the staff and the board, and we especially love the determination of our players.
Good luck, LumberKings. Go get ‘em in the playoffs today. But win or lose, Clinton has already won because you have spent the summer with us. We will anxiously await your return next year.
Debby Manion, Clinton