Colleges are playing their spring schedules, the major leagues have opened their season and the Clarinda A’s management and board of directors are continuing their work to be ready for their 60th season which will open May 25 with a double header at 6:00 vs Ozark Generals in non-league games and a single 1:30 game on the 26th.
In the spring of 1954, Clarinda High School football coach John Tedore reintroduced baseball as a varsity sport at the High School. With a book on how to lay out a diamond and help from Bill Bench and Vernon Woodard they borrowed a tractor with a blade from local gas station owner Tony Jennings and carved out the diamond in front of the fairgrounds grand stand. They also got a few adult players together to form a town team which in 1955 became first the Merchants and then the A’s. The town team concept changed to a summer collegiate program in the early 70’s. Little did any of those on those first teams dream it would still be going strong and have produced over three dozen major league players, one in the MLB Hall of Fame, as well as over 300 minor league players. Currently on major league rosters are Buddy Black, manager of the San Diego Padres, Andrew Cashner, pitcher for the Padres; Daniel Descalso, infielder, St. Louis Cardinals; Tony Cingrani, pitcher, Cincinnati Reds; Arnie Beyeler, coach, Boston Red Sox and Jeff Branson, coach, Pittsburg Pirates.
A’s board of directors, auxiliary and management are excited about this 60th season and will be celebrating it by combining the annual Parent’s Week with honoring alumni. July 3 will be the annual fireworks display following the MINK League game with the Sedalia Bombers, on the 4th a picnic will be held for the team, visiting parents and former players at 12:30 at the Clarinda Lutheran School followed by an alumni game that evening and other family oriented activities at Municipal Stadium/Eberly Field. On the 5th the celebration will continue with a morning golf tournament – 8:30 Shotgun, 4 person Texas Best Shot, $200 per team, lunch following and A’s game that night vs Omaha Diamond Spirit. You can contact the Clarinda Country Club (712) 542-5417 or Brenda Samuelson (712) 542-8894 to register.
Other special events this season are free nights sponsored by Clarinda Chamber, June 6; Hy-Vee, June 18; Subway, June 28 and Clarinda Academy, July 3. Hat Night will be opening night, May 25 and Autograph Night/miniature Bat Night is scheduled for June 22. Hy-Vee will again sponsor the $100 Baseball Toss and free Baseball Bingo will be played again.
Clarinda A’s manager Ryan Eberly is excited about this season’s roster, “several from last year’s MINK League championship team will be returning and I think we have done a good job in recruiting for this season with the hope to return the NBC World Series where we finished 4th and received the Team Sportsmanship Award last year.” He continued, “MINK League play will be very competitive and a new team was added this fall, the Branson Nationals, which will add to the challenges we will face defending our league championship.”
Jeff Clark, president of the A’s board of director, encourages all to come out to support the A’s this summer, “We have a really family friendly environment at the park and the caliber of play is very good, hope you will come to the stadium and enjoy the games and all the activities we have planned for our 60th season.”
Season tickets are available at J’s Pizza and Steak House, the Clarinda Chamber of Commerce office or by contacting Pat Eberly at 542-4272. Season tickets are $25.00 for a family pass, $15.00 for a single and gate admission is $2.00. Of the 53 games on the 2014 schedule, 33 of them are at home