Dubuque, Iowa minor league baseball

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Dubuque Baseball Club
(1879, 1888, 1890, 1895–1899, 1903–1915, 1917, 1922–1932, 1954–1968, 1974–1976)
Dubuque, Iowa
  • Class A (1963–1968, 1974–1976)
  • Class D (1917, 1922–1932, 1954–1962)
  • Class B (1895–1899, 1903–1915)
Minor league affiliations
League Midwest League (1956–1968, 1974–1976)
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
Minor league titles
League titles 5 (1905, 1927, 1929, 1955, 1962)
Team data
Previous names
  • Dubuque Packers (1954–1967, 1974–1976)
  • Dubuque Royals (1968)
  • Dubuque Tigers (1929–1932)
  • Dubuque Dubs (1927–1928)
  • Dubuque Speasmen (1926)
  • Dubuque Ironmen (1925)
  • Dubuque Dubs (1924)
  • Dubuque Climbers (1922–1923)
  • Dubuque Dubs (1912–1915)
  • Dubuque Hustlers (1911)
  • Dubuque Dubs (1906–1910)
  • Dubuque (1899)
  • Dubuque Tigers (1898)
  • Dubuque (1888, 1890, 1895–1897)
  • Dubuque Red Stockings (1879)
Previous parks
John Petrakis Field, Municipal Stadium

Minor league baseball teams have operated in the city of Dubuque, Iowa under a variety of names and participating in various leagues. The city has hosted teams in 52 seasons between 1879 and 1976.[1]

Dubuque Climbers, 1923

Dubuque Baseball History[edit]

The earliest known professional team was the Dubuque Red Stockings, who played in an early version of the Northwestern League in 1879. Dubuque also had early teams that played in the Central Interstate League in 1888, Illinois–Iowa League in 1890, Eastern Iowa League in 1895 and Western Association from 1895–1899.

The Dubuque Shamrocks played in the Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League from 1903–1905, winning the league title in 1905.

The team name became the Dubuque Dubs in 1906 and they played in the Three-I League from 1906–1915, when they moved to Freeport, Illinois to become the Freeport Comeons on July 14, 1915.

The Dubs returned in 1917 in the Central Association, but also moved mid-season, to Charles City, Iowa, where they became the Charles City Tractorites.

Multiple players with major league experience played for the team, including Hall of Fame pitcher Red Faber and 223-game winner Mel Harder.[2][3]

The Dubuque Climbers played in the Mississippi Valley League from 1922 to 1923.

Of note, Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Joe McGinnity played for the team both years, managing the squad the latter season. The then 51-year-old was 5-8 in 19 games in 1922 and 15-12 with a 3.93 ERA in 42 games in 1923, at the age of 53.[4] He led the squad to a first-place finish in the standings in 1923.

Art Delaney, who pitched three years in the major leagues, also played for the team.[5]

President Obama with Willie Mays & Bruce Bochy 2011-07-25

After returning to the Dubs name for the 1924 season, the team became the Dubuque Ironmen for 1925. Hall of Fame baseball player Iron Joe McGinnity played for the team.[6]

The name was the Dubuque Speasmen during the 1926 season and was managed by Bill Speas, after whom the team was nicknamed.

The team featured multiple players who played or who would go on to play in the major leagues: Estel Crabtree, Luther Harvel, Al Platte and Webb Schultz.[7]

They were once again the Dubs from 1924–1928. In 1927, still under manager Speas, they were the de facto league champions, finishing first in the standings.

They were the Dubuque Tigers from 1929 to 1932 and won a league championship in 1929.

Numerous future and former major league players played for the team, including Otto Bluege, Paul Speraw and Biggs Wehde in 1929,[8] Johnny Dickshot, Wally Millies and Wehde in 1930,[9] George Caithamer, Red Lutz, Hal Trosky and Phil Weintraub in 1931,[10] and Maurice Archdeacon, Red Evans and Wehde in 1932.[11]

Following the 1932 season, the Tigers ceased to exist.[1]

Dubuque Packers[edit]

The Dubuque Packers were a minor league baseball team that played in the Mississippi–Ohio Valley League from 1954–55 and the Midwest League from 1956–68 and 1974-76. The Quincy Gems moved to Dubuque in 1974 to restart baseball in Dubuque.

Joe McGinnity[edit]

Nicknamed "Iron Man", Hall of Famer Joe McGinnity was a player/manager for three seasons (1922–23, 1925) in Dubuque, beginning at age 51. In his career, McGinnity won 246 Major League games and 231 Minor League Games. Spanning 26 seasons, McGinnity threw 7,210 Innings in winning 485 games.[4] He went 5-8 in 1922, 15-12 in 1923. He then went 6-6 in 1925, his final season to pitch, at age 54.[4]

The Ballpark[edit]

From 1915 to 1976, Dubuque teams played at Memorial Stadium/John Petrakis Park (1967), which was built in 1914. Memorial Stadium was renamed after the president and GM of the franchise. The stadium was located at the 4th Street Extension, before East Dubuque Bridge in Dubuque, Iowa. Its dimensions were (LF-CF-RF): 340-400-340.[12] The park was prone to flooding and eventually its condition led to the demise of the franchise in Dubuque.[13]

John Petrakis[edit]

The namesake of the ballpark, John Petrakis served as the President and GM of the franchise. Petrakis was a longtime baseball supporter in Dubuque and was instrumental in youth baseball and minor league baseball. Petrakis was recognized on a National level. In 1956, Petrakis was featured in the Saturday Evening Post and received the "Executive of the Year for minor leagues" by the Sporting News. After the demise of the original ballpark, a new field, within the Gerald McAleece Park & Recreation Complex, was named "John Petrakis Field" and dedicated on May 4, 1986.[14][15]


The Dubuque Packers were the subject of the documentary A Pitch in Time: The Story of the Dubuque Packers (2013). The documentary was produced and directed by journalist Katlyn Gerken.[13]

Major League affiliations[edit]

They won league championships in 1955 & 1962.

Hall of Fame Player, Joe McGinnity, New York Giants, 1905

Notable Dubuque alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Dubuque, Iowa Register History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  2. ^ "Mel Harder Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  3. ^ "Red Faber Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  4. ^ a b c "Joe McGinnity Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  5. ^ "Art Delaney Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  6. ^ "1925 Dubuque Ironmen Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  7. ^ "1926 Dubuque Speasmen Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  8. ^ "1929 Dubuque Tigers Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  9. ^ "1930 Dubuque Tigers Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  10. ^ "1931 Dubuque Tigers Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  11. ^ "1932 Dubuque Tigers Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  12. ^ "John Petrakis Park Minor League History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  13. ^ a b Pitch in Time: The Story of the Dubuque Packers. Katlyn Gerken (2013) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl6lukHHApc
  14. ^ "PETRAKIS, John". Encyclopedia Dubuque. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  15. ^ "Gerald McAleece Park & Recreation Complex". City of Dubuque. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 

External links[edit]