Plans to honor a local baseball great with the naming of the Farley, Iowa, diamond feels like a grand slam for a man who has made a broad contribution to the area community, both on and off the field.
Paul Scherrman, the charter president of the Eastern Iowa Hawkeye League semi-pro circuit and a member of Dubuque County Baseball Hall of Fame, will have yet another honor bestowed upon him this summer. The Farley Park Board last week announced plans to name the baseball diamond at the facility Paul Scherrman Field in recognition of his lifelong dedication to the sport and the Farley community.
Playing professionally might be the dream for a lot of ballplayers, but it was when Scherrman’s professional career ended that a lifetime commitment to Dubuque County baseball came into full bloom.
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That led Scherrman to performing in the “Field of Dreams” movie and becoming a member of the Ghost Players, with whom he traveled the world, not to mention hundreds of local events. It brought him to playing semi-pro ball on the Farley team for decades, as well as managing the team. With that came painstaking and meticulous care of the Farley field and making improvements in every aspect. He even served on the board of directors for the Roberto Clemente Foundation and Roberto’s Kids.
Meanwhile, Scherrman was a respected community leader for his work at the family implement business and serving three terms in the Iowa House of Representatives before retiring from politics in 2002.
Scherrman says baseball has been good to him. In turn, the community of Farley and, indeed, the game of baseball is better for the roles that Scherrman has played over the years. The naming of Farley field in his honor is a fitting tribute.
Contributions to support the dedication and plaque can be made payable to Paul Scherrman Field and dropped off at any MidwestOne Bank location.
An era ended in Iowa this week when Dubuque native Tom Miller left the attorney general’s office.
When Miller was first elected attorney general, Jimmy Carter was president, Three Mile Island was in the news, and there was a brand new game out called Trivial Pursuit. More than four decades later (with one term off when he ran for governor and then joined private practice), Miller leaves office as the longest-serving attorney general in U.S. history.
This native son has fond memories of his years growing up in Dubuque, attending St. Columbkille Elementary School, Wahlert Catholic High School and Loras College. And the community should be proud of him.
Miller held the office for 40 years — more than half his life — before being denied an 11th term in November. Over that time, the role of the attorney general became one of staunch consumer advocate with AGs across the country working together to take on tobacco companies, pharmaceutical giants and tech behemoths. Additionally, the attorney general’s office became synonymous with fraud fighting in an era when scams of all sorts skyrocketed.
Forty years marks a long time to be in public service and face the scrutiny of elected office. As the state turns the page to a new attorney general in Brenna Bird, we congratulate Tom Miller on his years of dedication to the state.
Work is well underway to broaden the scope of Dubuque history beyond Julien Dubuque, Chief Peosta, lead mining and the historic Shot Tower. While most locals know something about some of Dubuque’s historic figures such as Mathias Ham, Bishop Loras and Mother Mary Frances Clarke, most people would be harder pressed to talk about what the first Black church in Dubuque was like. Few know stories of Black neighborhoods and the folks who populated them.
City officials have begun to unlock some of those hidden stories as work progresses on the historical resource survey of Black community life in Dubuque, the first of its kind overseen by the city. City Council members heard an update last week on the progress, which already has revealed some eye-opening history.
For example, in 1868, the Iowa Supreme Court issued a verdict allowing for the integration of the state’s schools, but nearly 10 years after the ruling, they remained segregated in Dubuque.
There are lessons of context wrapped in this untold history.
Ultimately, the project will include the creation of a heritage database and a record of historically significant figures and sites from the period that begins with Dubuque’s incorporation in 1833 to 1980.
To learn about Dubuque’s cultural history and Black heritage will help citizens better understand our society today. This effort to unearth and retell some of our collective story without excluding the contributions of any group will make it a much more vibrant and accurate picture of history.
Editorials reflect the consensus of the Telegraph Herald Editorial Board.
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