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Liepa to bring Iowa baseball history to life at Newton Public Library program

Published: Thursday, June 5, 2014 10:59 a.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, June 5, 2014 12:27 p.m. CST
(Submitted photo)
John Liepa often does his presentations dressed as Iowa’s first major Leaguer, Cal McVey of Montrose, who played for the 1869 Cincinnati Redstockings. He will presenting a program Monday June 9 at Newton Public Library.

NEWTON — Noted historian and baseball expert, John Liepa, presents “How Iowa Met Baseball: The Myths, The History, The Players,” at the Newton Public Library on Monday, June 9. The program is for the whole family.

Library Meeting Room doors open at 5 p.m. for viewing of Liepa’s extensive baseball memorabilia, including baseball cards. At 6 p.m, he will begin talking about the invention and origins of baseball and the first players of baseball in Iowa. He will focus on players originating from Jasper County and area towns.

“How Iowa Met Baseball:  The Myths, The History, The Players” is a special presentation about the myths regarding the “invention” of baseball, the origins and evolution of the early game in the United States; how the Civil War played a role in accelerating the spread of the game; the very first mention of the game’s coming to Iowa in 1858, and how it caught on.

Liepa is a Professor Emeritus of History and Political Science at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC.)  He has taught courses on American National Government; State and Local Government; Community Organizing; U.S. History; Iowa History; World History; African-American History; Women’s History; Labor History; and World Geography since 1972. 

Liepa has been honored as DMACC’s “Educator of the Year” in 2004; and received an “Excellence in Education” award in 2001. He is an avid collector, archivist and author of articles on Iowa’s baseball history, a 28-year member of the Society for American Baseball Research, and owns an extensive collection of Iowan’s baseball cards and photographs from 1866 to the present.

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