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Jun 25, 2020

This week’s Moonlighter story starts the way many stories do but ends up alongside a host of Hall of Famers. Steve Dreyer called himself a pretty good high school baseball player who just wanted to keep playing after high school. However, as the 4th guy in the rotation at Ames High, not too many programs were knocking on his door. Dreyer’s desire to keep playing and willingness to work just kept opening doors for him.

Dreyer ended up on the UNI baseball team after being encouraged to attend a tryout by a former teammate. After 3 days of trying out as an infielder, Dreyer made the team because he could play 3rd base and pitch. His freshman season for the Panthers was a rocky road. An ERA over 12 was evidence of being put into some tough spots, including facing Robin Ventura with the bases loaded. Over the course of his sophomore year though, Dreyer was starting to improve as a pitcher and found himself feeling more in control. Dreyer made a big jump from his freshman year to his sophomore year, and by the time he reached his junior year, he was UNI’s top arm.

Before his junior year, Dreyer went to an open scouting day in central Iowa. Dreyer topped 90 when his turn on the mound came and the scouts had to ask him who he was and where he went to school. That introduction gave scouts a reason to start watching UNI baseball a little more closely. Dreyer led the Panthers to some impressive showings against bigger programs like Notre Dame and Creighton and major league baseball was becoming an option. Fast forward to draft day in June 1990, and the Texas Rangers made the call after selecting him in the 8th round.

Dreyer’s time in the minors was pretty short and very successful as he worked his way into the majors after about 2 years. By 1993, Dreyer had some success in AA and joined the AAA team in New Orleans. With the support of his coaches, Dreyer found his stride and earned an opportunity in Arlington. Joining the Texas Rangers 1993 meant playing alongside Nolan Ryan, Pudge Rodriguez, Jose Canseco, and Rafael Palmeiro. Dreyer played in 15 games for the Rangers over the 1993 and 1994 seasons, including 9 starts. Dreyer continued to play professionally until 1997. Now, Dreyer is still hanging around the ballpark, but now it’s as a fan of his son, Jack, who is a standout pitcher for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

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