Team or No Team, Baseball is Alive and Well at Iowa State

It’s been 23 years since Iowa State University had a baseball program. In fact, their last game was on May 18th, 2001, against Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Tournament.

While the school may not have an official baseball team like every other member of the Big 12 Conference, the good news is that baseball is still being played in Ames, Iowa, to this very day.

Where? At the one and only Cap Timm Field. No, there may not be thousands of fans in the stands or people selling beer and hot dogs, but the important thing is that baseball is alive and well at Iowa State.


The sport still exists at Iowa State because of the club baseball team. It’s a team run by students, and they play in the National Club Baseball Association. This year’s team finished with a 20-3 overall record and a conference record of 13-1, which was good enough to win the Mid-American North Conference.

Club President Cale Wabbe runs the team’s day-to-day operations.

“He’s been awesome. He makes sure everyone gets involved and that everything gets done. He’s a great guy and a great player,” said pitcher Zachary Nelson.

This team isn’t made up of guys who are on scholarships. They are here because they love the sport, and they don’t have funding like teams that play in the Big 12. The players use their own vehicles to travel to away games–some as long as five hours–and even have fundraisers to make sure they have everything needed to play.


So, why would someone go through all of this?

Wabbe said it best: “I do this to be able to continue to play the game that I love. This game has given me a lot.”

But for him, it goes well beyond what happens between the baselines. “The connections I have made have been amazing. All of these guys are like family to me. I truly have made lifelong connections here through club baseball.”

On Friday, the team will face a familiar opponent at the regional playoff in Kearney, Nebraska, where they will take on Colorado–the very same team that knocked them out of the postseason a year ago.

“Losing two was tough when we only had to win one against them last year,” said third baseman Liam McGee. “To beat them this year would be incredible.”

While the club team has missed the World Series the past two seasons, Cale Wabbe is no stranger when it comes to the NCBA World Series. He was part of the 2021 team as a freshman that made it there but ultimately fell short.


However, that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t thought about winning it all ever since.

“It would mean the world to me,” Wabbe said. “We have worked so hard to get here, and we have the group of guys to win the whole thing.”

Who knows, maybe one day, the club team won’t be the only baseball team from the school to make it to the World Series. “It’s obviously pretty disappointing,” Wabbe said when asked about Iowa State not having a baseball team to compete in the Big 12.

Disappointing is right. I understand that certain financial decisions had to be made, but hopefully, one day, Iowa State baseball will make a comeback. Until then, this group of young men will continue to carry the sport and keep it going at Iowa State. The very field they play on is named after the legendary coach, Cap Timm. He was the only coach in the program’s history to lead Iowa State to a College World Series, and he did it twice.

While Alton, Illinois, may not be Omaha, I can assure you that Cap Timm would be proud of the job that all the players have done over the years to keep the sport alive because, in the end, as long as baseball is being played, that is all that matters.

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