A man who managed the Clarinda A’s summer collegiate program for more than 57-years died over the weekend, following a lengthy battle with cancer. According to the Eichemeyer Funeral Chapel in Clarinda, 76-year old Merl J. Eberly died Saturday.
Eberly was serving as the General Manager of the team at the time of his death. Notable alumnus of the A’s include Ozzie Smith, Von Hayes, Buddy Black, and Jose Alvarez. They were among more than 30 former players who went on to have major league careers.
Eberly’s association with athletics began early in his life, as he was a four-sport athlete at the Clarinda High School, playing basketball at Clarinda Junior College and minor league baseball with the White Sox, in Holdrege, NE.
While he was a journalist for more than 30-years in Clarinda, his love of sports and working with young people led him to coach the Clarinda A’s, and the Clarinda Lancers basketball team until 1981. Eberly also served as coach at Iowa Western Community College’ Clarinda campus in the late 1960’s and early ‘70’s.
Merl Eberly was also active in the Clarinda Booster Club from the time of his graduation, as well as many other community groups and activities. A Celebration of Life service for Eberly will be held Thursday, in Clarinda.