House Resolution 110 - Introduced HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 110 BY MOMMSEN , WOLFE , KURTH , WINCKLER , B. MEYER , KONFRST , FISHER , KRESSIG , CARLSON , BEST , GERHOLD , RUNNING-MARQUARDT , HALL , OLDSON , COHOON , STECKMAN , M. SMITH , NIELSEN , JACOBY , McCONKEY , FORBES , BEARINGER , WILBURN , THORUP , ISENHART , WESSEL-KROESCHELL , OLSON , KAUFMANN , STAED , KURTZ , SIECK , EHLERT , SHIPLEY , MOHR , and MAXWELL A Resolution recognizing the importance of Minor League 1 Baseball in Iowa and demanding that Major League 2 Baseball abandon its efforts to eliminate Major 3 League Baseball parent-club affiliation with certain 4 franchises located in Iowa. 5 WHEREAS, Iowa has a long and rich connection to 6 baseball, serving as the birthplace of over 200 Major 7 League Baseball players, including Hall of Famer 8 Bob Feller and 2019 World Series Champion Jeremy 9 Hellickson, and providing the setting for one of the 10 most popular baseball films of all time, Field of 11 Dreams, in which a ballpark in rural Iowa is famously 12 confused for heaven; and 13 WHEREAS, Major League Baseball announced that the 14 Field of Dreams property in Dyersville will host a 15 Major League Baseball game featuring the New York 16 Yankees and Chicago White Sox in August of 2020, with 17 Commissioner Rob Manfred recognizing Iowa’s unique role 18 in baseball culture and the rustic backdrop that Iowa 19 provides by stating, “We look forward to celebrating 20 the movie’s enduring message of how baseball brings 21 people together at this special cornfield in Iowa”; and 22 -1- LSB 6383YH (7) 88 js/rn 1/ 4
H.R. 110 WHEREAS, the history of professional baseball in 1 Iowa traces back over 100 years to the Keokuk Westerns, 2 who played part of the 1875 season in the National 3 Association, which is considered the first professional 4 baseball league; and 5 WHEREAS, professional baseball first appeared in 6 Davenport and Des Moines in 1879, Burlington in 1889, 7 Cedar Rapids in 1890, and Clinton in 1895, with Des 8 Moines, Burlington, and Cedar Rapids each hosting over 9 100 seasons of professional baseball; and 10 WHEREAS, over 40 million fans bought tickets to 11 Minor League Baseball games in 2019, of which nearly 1 12 million were purchased at Iowa ballparks, meaning that 13 a state that makes up less than 1 percent of the United 14 States population was responsible for over 2 percent 15 of Minor League Baseball ticket sales, demonstrating 16 Iowa’s devotion for America’s pastime at the Minor 17 League Baseball level; and 18 WHEREAS, the Sports Business Journal recognized 19 the Quad Cities region as the top minor league sports 20 market in the United States in 2015 and named Des 21 Moines as the top minor league sports market in 2017, 22 owing in large part to the entertainment and economic 23 value that Minor League Baseball teams provide in each 24 market; and 25 WHEREAS, the Quad Cities River Bandits spend nearly 26 $2 million each year on local vendors; additionally, 27 the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau has 28 stated that more than half of the annual hotel room 29 nights spent in the Quad Cities region are attributable 30 -2- LSB 6383YH (7) 88 js/rn 2/ 4
H.R. 110 to the River Bandits and other local sporting 1 events; and 2 WHEREAS, the Clinton LumberKings, the only remaining 3 charter club of the Midwest League, create an estimated 4 annual economic impact of $6.56 million in Clinton 5 County, which contributed to approximately 75 percent 6 of the total tax revenue the county received from 7 domestic tourism in 2018; and 8 WHEREAS, according to the Economic Development 9 Authority, the Burlington Bees have supported, directly 10 and indirectly, $4.7 million in wages in Des Moines 11 County; and 12 WHEREAS, Major League Baseball wants to eliminate 13 approximately 25 percent of the Minor League Baseball 14 teams in the country, including the Quad City River 15 Bandits, the Clinton LumberKings, and the Burlington 16 Bees; and 17 WHEREAS, many Iowans live at least three hours 18 away from the nearest Major League Baseball team and 19 are “blacked out” from watching six of the closest 20 geographic Major League Baseball teams on no-cost 21 television, making local Minor League Baseball teams 22 the best opportunity for fans to see potential Major 23 League Baseball players; and 24 WHEREAS, each Minor League Baseball team in Iowa has 25 been a temporary home for many Major League Baseball 26 stars; the Iowa Cubs have rostered many heroes from 27 the 2016 Chicago Cubs team that broke a 108-year 28 championship drought by winning the World Series; the 29 Cedar Rapids Kernels featured reigning American League 30 -3- LSB 6383YH (7) 88 js/rn 3/ 4
H.R. 110 Most Valuable Player Mike Trout; the Burlington Bees 1 featured Mark Buehrle, who would win the 2005 World 2 Series with the Chicago White Sox, and also featured 3 Hall of Famers Paul Molitor, Billy Williams, and 2020 4 inductee Larry Walker; the Clinton LumberKings featured 5 Orel Hershiser, Mike Scioscia, and Dave Stewart, all 6 of whom played in the 1988 World Series and each of 7 whom would win at least one World Series Championship 8 during his respective career; and the Quad Cities River 9 Bandits featured beloved Minnesota Twins catcher Joe 10 Mauer, who won three batting titles during his career, 11 and Joe Maddon, who managed the Chicago Cubs to victory 12 in the 2016 World Series; NOW THEREFORE, 13 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 14 That the House of Representatives stands in support of 15 Iowa’s Minor League Baseball teams by demanding that 16 Major League Baseball abandon its efforts to eliminate 17 the Major League Baseball parent-club affiliation of 18 the Quad Cities River Bandits, the Clinton LumberKings, 19 and the Burlington Bees; and 20 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the House of 21 Representatives appreciates the economic and cultural 22 benefits that Iowa’s Minor League Baseball teams bring 23 to their respective communities and to the entire state 24 of Iowa. 25 -4- LSB 6383YH (7) 88 js/rn 4/ 4