Reporting Mike Max
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It is what it is supposed to be, for 88 years in this state they have held an amateur baseball tournament featuring the best of town teams.
Brownton and Glencoe hosted the event Saturday.
Chad Raiche, of Maple Lake’s amateur baseball team, said it meant a lot to make it to the tournament.
“The community looks forward to this as much as we do. It’s no guarantee you are going to be here every year, and we’ve made it, you know, twice in the last fifteen years,” he said. “Our guys get pretty excited about this.”
The tournament, an event where traditions of fun and food intertwine, is how it should be. The small town teams bring a following of girlfriends, wives and children – all of which have learned to live with baseball as a part of their summers.
For the other halves from Blue Earth, baseball simply provides a social network.
Julie Stallman, who follows Blue Earth baseball, said that all the players on the team have played together for about 10 years.
“We’re all one big happy family,” she said.
The baseball team from Dumont, a small town in western Minnesota, had it all fall right this year. There reward was to play on a sun-kissed, postcard-like day on a ballpark in Glencoe.
Erik Deal, a Dumont infielder, said the Glencoe ballpark was amazing.
“We’re glad to be here,” he said. “This is beautiful, this is baseball.”
Chuck Warner knows all about what baseball is suppose to be. Saturday was Warner’s seventh tournament. His first was in 1964.
He’s seen the youthful eyes of future ballplayers, and he knows the key to making the small town sporting celebration a success.
“We’ve got to have the small towns here, like Lake Henry,” Warner said. “If we can get Lake Henry here, those people not only come with an awful lot of people, but they drink beer like mad.”
It that the key to a profitable tournament?
“You betcha,” Warner said.