Clinton joined the Midwest League in 1954 and is the oldest franchise in the league. The team has had several different major league affiliations: the Pirates (1954–58 and 1966–68), the White Sox (1959–65), the Pilots/Brewers (1969–70), the Tigers (1971–75), a Tigers/White Sox co-op (1976), the Dodgers (1977–79), the Giants (1980–94), the Padres (1995–98), the Reds (1999–2000), the Expos (2001–2002), and the Rangers (2003–2008).
Aside from its time as the C-Sox (1960–65) and the Pilots (1966–76), the team used the parent major league team's nickname before adopting the LumberKings name for the 1994 season.
Their home park is Ashford University Field, built in 1937 as Riverview Stadium.
The team's attendance record of 127,251 was set in 1988. The team also is an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners in which they have been so since 2009. The Clinton Lumberkings have reached a two-year agreement again with the Seattle Mariners. The Lumberkings also released the 2013 schedule in which they play an away game in Burlington, Iowa to face the Burlington Bees on April 4, 2013.