This article was written by Kent Dinnebier/Clarinda Herald Journal.
Baseball is part of the fabric of Clarinda, and for more than 50 years Merl and Pat Eberly have been part of the game’s local history.
The Clarinda City Council last week renamed Clarinda Municipal Stadium as Clarinda Municipal Stadium – Eberly Field.
This summer the Clarinda A’s will be playing their 56th season of organized amateur baseball. Merl Eberly started out as a player with the team then went on to become the manager and then the general manager.
His wife, Pat Eberly, has also been involved in the organization, coordinating the annual Clarinda A’s Hall of Fame banquet, the house parent program and the team newsletter. She also is a fixture at the stadium concession stand.
The Clarinda A’s currently are managed by their son Ryan. Their son Rod served as head coach of the Clarinda High School baseball team for several years. The Cardinals also play their home games at the stadium.
“(Merl) has always been kind of the driving force behind everything that has gone on down there,” Mayor Gordon Kokenge said.
In the resolution on the field, the council noted: “Mr. Eberly and his family are well-known and well-loved throughout Clarinda, and there is considerable community support for renaming Clarinda Municipal Stadium.”
Said former Mayor Frank Snyder : “It’s one of the simple things we can do to recognize a family that has donated to this community for a long, long time.”
Shenandoah Mayor Dick Hunt has been involved with the Clarinda A’s for several years and described the decision to rename the field “a no-brainer.”
“I don’t know who has done any more for the area, especially in the area of baseball, than the Eberly family,” Hunt said.
“I think we need to recognize the people who have helped put Clarinda on the map in many ways,” Snyder said. “They have touched a lot of young kids’ lives.”
A ceremony renaming the stadium and honoring the Eberly family will be part of the Clarinda Baseball Day celebration June 26.