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The Bell Tolls for Thee
The Iowa Baseball Museum of Norway tells the story of how baseball got started in Iowa and Norway, Iowa (population 600) and progressed over the years. There is, however, one characteristic, one feature that distinguishes Norway and makes it unique among all the other similarly-sized hamlets: Baseball and the museum produced totally by volunteers.
In 1905 Jake Kimm (a baseball player) constructed Benton County Savings Bank in Norway, Iowa. That remodeled building now houses a baseball museum that contains Norway baseball history in the form of murals, displays, trophies, pictures, and other historic memorabilia.
Before Norway High School closed in 1991 the Norway High School Baseball team made 29 trips to the state baseball tournament winning it 20 times, coming in second 4 times, produced 4 major leaguers, 18 or more minor leaguers, many college players, umpires and coaches. In 2007, THE FINAL SEASON feature film was produced about the legend.
Baseball started in Norway during the Civil War when it was brought here by our returning soldiers who learned baseball from soldiers from the state of New York (baseball started in Cooperstown NY in 1839). Baseball was Norway and Norway was baseball. They played the game right.
We still have town team and youth league baseball in Norway. In addition “Perfect Game” plays on our field. The connection to the historic baseball record in our town is kept alive through the museum which tells the story of how baseball got started in Iowa and in Norway and progressed over the years.
Thank you Shona Frese, Museum Secretary and Manager, Iowa Baseball Museum of Norway, for sharing this information about the museum. www.norwaybaseballmuseum.com