June 2, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Former University of Iowa three-sport letterwinner John D. "Jack" Dittmer passed away Saturday, May 31, 2014, at the age of 86.
Dittmer, a nine-time letterwinner in baseball, football and basketball, was first-team All-Big Ten, second-team All-America and co-captain of the Big Ten champion Iowa baseball team in 1949. In football, he earned all-conference and second-team AP Big Ten honors in 1948 after leading Iowa in scoring. A year later, he was tabbed as Iowa's most valuable player after setting a Big Ten single-season record for receiving yards. He lettered in basketball in 1950.
Upon graduation, Dittmer signed a professional baseball contract in 1950 with the Boston Braves. By 1952, he was called up to the majors, and he played with the Milwaukee Braves from 1953-56. Dittmer played in Major League Baseball for five years and three days.
Dittmer ended his professional career in 1959 and sold cars in his hometown of Elkader, Iowa, until he retired in 2009.
Dittmer was elected to the Iowa Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978, and in 1993, he was inducted into the National Iowa Letterman's Club Athletic Hall of Fame.
Dittmer is survived by his wife of 63 years, Darlene, his children Lisa Ihde, Jan Garms, and Doug Dittmer, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Visitation is 3-7 p.m. (CT) on Tuesday, June 3, at Peace United Church of Christ in Elkader and one hour before services Wednesday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Funeral services begin at 10:30 a.m. on June 4, and Dittmer will be laid to rest at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.