"SHSI Certificate of Recognition"
"Best on the Web"

Encyclopedia Dubuque

www.encyclopediadubuque.org




PETRAKIS, John

From Encyclopedia Dubuque
Jump to: navigation, search
John Petrakis. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
PETRAKIS, John. (Dubuque, IA, July 3, 1914--Dubuque, IA, Aug. 1, 1987). Dubuque's "Mr. Baseball." Perhaps no other individual has done more for the sport of baseball in Dubuque that John Petrakis. In 1933 he spearheaded fund-raising efforts to maintain softball and baseball programs in Dubuque. In 1934 he arranged for Iowa's first nighttime BASEBALL game. Petrakis coached the Central Cafe softball team from 1941 to 1950, collecting eighteen trophies, and served as president of the Dubuque Packers, semi-pro baseball club.

Petrakis' commitment to baseball did not go unrecognized. In 1956 he was featured in the Saturday Evening Post because of his success as the general manager of Dubuque's minor league team. The commissioner of major league baseball named him the Minor League's "Ambassador for Organized Baseball." The same year, he was named Executive of the Year for minor leagues by the Sporting News. In 1958 Petrakis was presented with the Outstanding Citizen Award from the Dubuque Realty Board. In 1961 the 4th Street baseball park was renamed in his honor, and he received the Service to Humanity Award from the Dubuque JAYCEES and the Boys' Club "Man Behind the Boy Award." Petrakis was elected to the DUBUQUE SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME in 1985. On May 4, 1986, the new baseball field, part of the Gerald “Red” MCALEECE Recreation Complex, was named the "Johnny Petrakis Baseball Park."

Some of Petrakis' honors were not related to baseball. He was named to Ripley's Believe It or Not in 1934 for his basketball free-throw records of 112 consecutive shots, 972 out of 1,000 and 4,665 out of 5,000. In 1935 he was named to "Iowa Oddities" for making 148 consecutive free throws.

Jpetrakis.png
The former owner and operator of Johnnie’s Cafe, Petrakis began working for Life Investors Insurance Company in 1963. He served eighteen years as a member of the Dubuque Recreation Commission. In 1951 he organized the DUBUQUE BOYS' CLUB Boosters.
Sign from the old ballpark sold at auction on January 7, 2011. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

---

Source:

175 Years, Volume 3, "Mr. Baseball's Hard Work Gained Attention," Telegraph Herald, September 15, 2008