A former Iowan has authored a book about rural Iowa’s love for America’s favorite pastime. Bob Meyer, of Kansas City, grew up in the Dubuque County town of Balltown and has just published, “Small Town Baseball…Big League Dreams.”

Meyer says he’s been a longtime baseball fan and based on his good memories of playing and watching small-town baseball, he decided to write the book. He says the sport’s roots run very deep in Iowa history.

“Years ago, after the war, a lot of small towns in Iowa and other parts of the country had small town teams but it gradually died out in other areas,” Meyer says, “but in eastern Iowa, for whatever reason, passed down from generation to generation, it’s been kept alive.”

Meyer was one of those semi-pro players in eastern Iowa and says it was a special time in his life. “Just putting on the uniform and lacing up the spikes, walking out on the ball field was always special to me,” Meyer says. “It was so much fun and a privilege to be able to play ball against some good ball players and good guys.”

Meyer’s book features stories about a couple of eastern Iowa players who went on to play in major league baseball. One is Bruce Kimm from Norway, Iowa, who played 34 years of professional ball, 17 years in the majors between coaching and catching, while another is Jim McAndrew from Lost Nation, who pitched for several years with the New York Mets. Meyer says proceeds from book sales will benefit Camp Courageous of Iowa in Monticello and the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging in Kansas City, Kansas.

You can find out more about the book on the Small Town Baseball Big League Dreams Facebook page or by e-mailing [email protected].

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City