Cormack back for game at Patterson Field
SE Valley, SW Valley to meet on Saturday at iconic ballpark
Mike Cormack is returning to Fort Dodge, but this time, it will be on the baseball field.
Cormack, a Fort Dodge Senior High graduate who represented Fort Dodge in the Iowa House of Representatives for eight years, is now an assistant baseball coach for Southwest Valley.
The Red Raiders will face Southeast Valley at legendary Patterson Field on Saturday. Junior varsity action will begin at 2 p.m., with varsity to follow.
Cormack, who is in his second year teaching and as an assistant baseball coach at Southwest Valley, is excited to return to Fort Dodge and play at Patterson Field.
“First, it’s great to see (Patterson) available for area teams,” Cormack said. “It’s a very special field. I talked to the team about it…there aren’t a lot of comparable places.
“Clarinda has Ozzie Smith Way and that’s a more traditional field, but what Jerry (Patterson) built is something so unique and special.”
Southwest Valley is in the Corning Community School District and in Adams County.
“I told the guys it may seem a little quaint, but there were future major leaguers that played at Patterson Field,” Cormack said. “There are hand-crafted bats at the bat cave, which (doubled as) a storm shelter. It’s a great collection to see. There were a lot of semi-pro games played there.
“I don’t know if kids these days understand what that was like. The closest for them may be the Cape Cod league.”
Cormack, who played and coached at Patterson Field, also has a family tie to the field.
“It’s a very special place for me,” Cormack said. “My own family name is out there. My dad helped Jerry when he originally purchased the land. I also worked under Jerry at the YMCA.
“Anyone who met him knew he was one of the nicest people.”
The Southwest Valley team is ready for the opportunity to play in Fort Dodge.
“We are extremely grateful that Southeast Valley agreed to play us there,” Cormack said. “We usually play at a tournament in Carroll, but it was eliminated this year. We were looking anywhere for games. I talked to Art (Johnson, who took over when Patterson died), and he thought it was a great idea.
“We are very excited to be able to play at Patterson Field, and hope that we can do it on a regular basis.”