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History

Clinton Through The Years

Organized professional baseball began in Clinton in 1895 with an entry in the Eastern Iowa League - a loosely organized group of cities that played the first edition of what was to become the National Pastime.

 

Official organized league play began in Clinton in 1906 with the Clinton Orphans - an entry in the Class D Iowa State League. Over the next several seasons, the Infants (Class B Three-I League), the Teddies (Class D Northern Association) and the Pilots (Class D Central Association) drew fans to old Ringwood Park.

The construction of Riverview Stadium - built in 1937 as a Works Progress Administration project - beckoned baseball's return after a 19-year hiatus. The Clinton Owls, a Brooklyn Dodgers affiliate in the Three-I League, christened the stadium with a first-place finish that season. The stadium was renamed Alliant Energy Field in 2002 and has undergone several renovation projects in recent years: replacement of entire field lighting system, new home clubhouse, installation of new drainage tiles, expansion of both dugouts and the renovation of covered batting cages. In 2006, the stadium underwent a $4.2 million renovation. On October 1, 2011 the stadium was renamed Ashford University Field.

The city's professional baseball action was put on hold after 1941 at the start of World War II, but a local industrial league entertained the local crowds until 1947 when the stadium was shared by an Industrial League entry and the Central Association's Clinton Cubs. The year 1947 also marked the first of two consecutive league championships for the Cubs.

In 1954, the Clinton Pirates joined the Class D Mississippi-Ohio Valley League. Two years later, the league changed its name to its current title, the Midwest League. The franchise has twice captured the league title - 1963 and 1991.

In the 50-plus years since, the Clinton franchise has operated under a variety of names. In order, the team has been called the Pirates, C-Sox, Pilots, Dodgers, Giants, and the current LumberKings. The club has also had 10 major league affiliates, including the Pittsburgh Pirates (twice), Chicago White Sox, Seattle Pilots (and their successor Milwaukee Brewers), Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, Montreal Expos, Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners.

Clinton alumni include: Jose Acevedo, Jason Bay, Rod Beck, Marvin Benard, Ben Broussard, John Burkett, Royce Clayton, Matt Clement, Roy Corcoran, John Danks, Rob Deer, Scott Dunn, Neftali Feliz, Nick Franklin, Mickey Hatcher, Charlie Hayes, Orel Hershiser, Shawn Hill, Derek Holland, Adam Hydzu, Tom Kelly, Ian Kinsler, Ron Kittle, Josh Labandeira, Brian Lawrence, Ron LeFlore, Jim Leyland, Kameron Loe, Rodrigo Lopez, Candy Maldonado, Brad Miller, Don Money, Mitch Moreland, Mike Neu, James Paxton, Darrell Porter, Brandon Puffer, Mike Remlinger, Ron Roenicke, Steve Sax, Mike Scioscia, Kyle Seager, Grady Sizemore, Justin Smoak, Dave Stewart, Gorman Thomas, Salomon Torres, Wilson Valdez, Max Venable, Edinson Volquez, Taijuan Walker, Alan Wiggins and Matt Williams. Over 250 players that donned a Clinton uniform have appeared in the major leagues.

Clinton, located in eastern Iowa on the shore of the Mississippi River, is a city of approximately 28,000 people. It is located about 30 minutes from the Quad Cities metropolitan area and just three hours from Chicago. Once regarded as America's Lumber Capital, Clinton now is home to such corporate giants as Archer-Daniels Midland (ADM), International Paper, Nestle-Purina, Bemis Clysar (DuPont), Lyondell Chemicals and Custom-Pak.

The LumberKings are the only remaining charter member (1956) of the Class A Midwest League and have operated continuously since 1954. The club is community-owned and is governed by a 24-person board of directors, five of whom form the executive board.

Professional baseball in Clinton is as much of a given commodity as the mighty Mississippi River.