Sen. Sullivan honors Lee Jordan as “Alaskan of the Week”

Friday, July 14, 2017 - 10:29
  • Flanked by his son, Steve, Knik Little League founder Lee Jordan prepares to throw out the first pitch at the Knik Little League opening ceremonies on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at Eagle River Lions Park. Lee Jordan helped found the Knik Little League and was one of the main proponents of bringing the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks to Chugiak in 2011. For his efforts to support Alaska baseball, Jordan was named “Alaskan of the Week” on June 19, 2017 by U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan. (Star file photo by Matt Tunseth)

Sen. Dan Sullivan took time June 19 to honor a giant of Chugiak-Eagle River with a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Sullivan recognized Lee Jordan as his “Alaskan of the Week,” singling out the local community leader for his work to support Alaska baseball through his commitment to the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks Alaska Baseball League team.

“He and former State Senator Bill Stoltze, a good friend of mine and another huge booster of baseball in Alaska, hatched a plan to get a team to their area as part of the Alaska Baseball League,” Sullivan said.

Thanks largely to the efforts of Jordan and Stoltze, the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks came to town, playing their first home game at Loretta French Sports Complex in 2011. Formerly known as the Athletes in Action Fire, the Chinooks are part of the national Athletes in Action organization, a Christian-based sports group that operates a summer team of college athletes in Alaska.

The field at the sports complex was renamed in Jordan’s honor, and he and his wife, Barbara, remain avid fans.

Sullivan pointed out that Jordan’s history in Chugiak-Eagle River goes back much further than his most recent project. An Army man who came to Alaska in 1947, Jordan also helped found the Knik Little League and the Chugiak-Eagle River Star newspaper, and was briefly elected mayor of Chugiak-Eagle River during a failed attempt by the area to secede from Anchorage in 1975.

Sullivan praised Jordan’s passion for baseball and his community, and thanked him for helping keep the storied ABL alive at the unique field in the Chugach foothills, which boasts its own “green monster” in left field in the form of a towering, grass-covered hillside overlooking the playing field.

“It is all about communities coming together, and Lee has made that happen for Alaskans and baseball lovers, not only in our great State but throughout the country,” Sullivan said.

The senator also went out of his way to comment on the uniqueness of Jordan’s adopted hometown.

“It is part of Anchorage, but it is also very much its own place, with a sense of pride and people who live there like Lee,” he said.

To hear the senator’s full remarks, visit youtube.com/watch?v=Se9F-llvve8&feature=youtu.be.

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