We’re defining Siouxland in 150 icons. Follow along at siouxcityjournal.com.
SIOUX CITY | After more than 30 years without a professional baseball team, Sioux City was getting back on the map with one of six new franchises comprising the new, independent Northern League.
With a start-up date established in June 1993, millionaire Bill Pereira of Boise, Idaho, fronted the money to start the new team and provided the blueprint for a modest $2.5 million ballpark.
While work progressed quickly on that facility, Pereira’s checklist was down to one major task: Hiring a field manager to get the newly established Sioux City Explorers off the ground. And he found him at professional baseball’s annual winter meetings in December 1992.
Ed Nottle had managed the top minor league teams for Oakland and Boston a total of eight years, making a bid for major league managing jobs with both clubs.
Nottle’s baseball background was only part of the package. Bigger yet were his public relations gifts and the talent that earned him the nickname “Singin’ Ed.’’ In 1983, he cut an album at his own expense, hiring musicians from the Oakland Symphony while serving as the Athletics’ bullpen coach.
“We lost a house over that,’’ he repeated years later to one howling audience after another.
Still, the recording, “To Baseball, With Love,’’ was professional quality and Nottle, 74, still offers CDs extracted from the original vinyl.
Speaking and singing or both to countless audiences throughout the Siouxland area, Nottle’s teams attracted over 3,100 fans a game throughout the Explorers’ first eight seasons. He later returned to the X’s for two more seasons (2006-07) and is now retired in Evansville, Ind.