Mr. Trumpet Strikes Again

Posted on Jul 29, 2013 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Jim Doepke, aka “Mr. Trumpet,” is making progress in his quest to play the national anthem at all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums. On July 22, Doepke, d’74, belted out “The Star Spangled Banner” on his trumpet at Safeco Field in Seattle–the 10th Major League ball park he has appeared in.

A high school band director in Wisconsin who retired in Florida in 2007, Doepke began carrying his trumpet into the stands when cheering for his hometown Milwaukee Brewers. He was soon adopted by the team and was chosen to play the anthem at the opening of Miller Park in 2001. After multiple appearances in Milwaukee, he hit on the idea of taking his show on the road.

“I’ve always gotten a lot of satisfaction from playing the national anthem, and I decided it would be a kick to do it at every Major League park,” Doepke told Kansas Alumni magazine in 2009. He also plays for military honor ceremonies and has sounded taps at Arlington National Cemetery. Also high on his list of trumpet triumphs: playing before KU basketball games in Allen Field House.

Jayhawk fans will have two opportunities to catch Doepke this season: Dec. 10 at the Alumni Association’s pregame tailgate at the KU-Florida game in Gainesville, and Dec. 21 at the KU-Georgetown game in Lawrence.

–Steven Hill

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