Hank Dihlmann broadcasted Clinton High School Athletics and Lumberkings games on KROS for a total of 40 years.
Dozens surprised the longtime voice of the River Kings and Lumberkings at The Tuscany in Clinton for his 99th birthday celebration.
“For this many people to know what was going to happen and not say a word, man. They say you can’t keep a secret. Bologna,” Dihlmann said with a chuckle.
Friends and former colleagues shared stories both humorous and heartwarming attesting to his brilliance as a broadcaster and as a person.
“Kind, caring individual. Cares about people, cares about all people it doesn’t matter,” said KROS News Director Dave Vickers. “That’s what he is. He lives that every day.”
“He always said his job was to paint a picture so the person listening could visualize what was going on on the field, and that’s what he did,” added his daughter Margaret Dihlmann-Malzer.
Dihlmann began his radio career with KROS back in 1942. He was the play-by-play announcer for the Clinton River Kings for 40 years, and the Lumberkings for 26. In fact, he can still be spotted in the stands cheering them on.
“I had 40 years of covering sports in Clinton doing something I love doing,” said Dihlmann. “Hey, and they paid me for doing it. What more could you ask?”
A veteran of WWII, Dihlman has achieved a perfect attendance record with the Kiwanis Club for 62 years and counting. Today he was read statements from public officials such as Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, and Senator Joni Ernst recognizing his impact. He was even presented a key to the city by Clinton Mayor Mark Vulich, making this a birthday to remember.
“It was a shock, I was overwhelmed, and for the first time in the last 75 years I was really at a loss for words.”