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Iowa History Daily: March 26 - Zuber's Road to the Show

Iowa History Daily: On March 26, 1913, Bill Zuber was born in the Amana Colonies. An 11-year Major League Baseball veteran, Zuber’s rise to the big leagues represents one of Iowa’s most unusual pathways to professional sports.

Zuber grew up in Middle Amana where the Amish community prohibited sports as a part of the German pietist ideology. However, baseball somehow started to gain popularity as the seven villages formed teams during the 1920s. Each village created a baseball diamond, and teams battled out ballgames between one another and neighboring towns. Zuber didn’t even see a game of baseball until he reached the age of fourteen.

Soon after his first exposure to the game, Zuber started playing for his village team and gained a reputation as a solid third baseman and a dangerous hitter. Soon moved to the mound, professional scout C.C. Slapnicka spotted Zuber’s potential only three years after Zuber first discovered the game. Signed soon after to the Cleveland franchise, a brief stint in the minors soon led to the MLB.

From 1936 through 1947, Zuber racked up a career record of 43-42 and a 4.28 earned run average while pitching for Cleveland, Washington, New York (Yankees), and Boston. One of Zuber’s best seasons took place in 1943 when he put together an 8-4 record while helping the Yankees to a World Series win. After his career ended, Bill and his wife Connie purchased the Homestead Hotel and created Bill Zuber’s Restaurant in middle Amana. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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