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Iowa Time Machine: Hawkeye Great Jim Sundberg - Mary 18, 1951

Iowa Time Machine ⏰: On May 18, 1951, all-time Hawkeye baseball great and MLB All-Star and Jim Sundberg was born. A two-time All-Big 10 catcher at Iowa, Sundberg helped the Hawkeyes to the College World Series in 1972.

Born in Galesburg, Illinois, Sundberg arrived in Iowa City to play for head coach Duane Banks after his second-grade teacher sent a letter to the Hawkeye coach suggesting Banks recruit the future All-Star. A member of Delta Epsilon at Iowa, Sundberg majored in business while providing steady leadership for the Hawkeyes on the diamond. 

While Sundberg racked up individual accolades and impressive statistics, his leadership shined through in 1972 when Iowa won the final ten conference games of the season to capture the school’s first Big 10 title since 1949. In the postseason, the Hawks dropped their first game before rallying back to win four straight eliminations games and advancing to the College World Series.

A first-round draft pick of the Texas Rangers following his junior season, Sundberg went on to an extraordinary MLB career. Jumping directly from Class A to the Majors during the spring of 1974, Sundberg made the All-Star game the same year. One of the top defensive catchers of his era, Sundberg went on to become a three-time All-Star, and win six consecutive Gold Glove Awards during his tenure with the Rangers. Later in his career, he won a World Series as a member of the Kansas City Royals in 1985. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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