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Best Amateur Baseball Parks In Minnesota

May 18, 2011 8:33 PM

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(credit: http://www.miesvillemudhens.com)
It’s an old-time tradition: Amateur baseball in Minnesota. Get a group of guys together who likely have full-time jobs during the day, and let them run around on a baseball field a few nights a week to let them feel like kids again. Baseball is one of the most popular amateur sports in Minnesota, and it’s highlighted every fall by three state tournaments hosted by small towns throughout the state. Here, in no ranking, are some of the best parks in Minnesota.

Jack Ruhr Field

14250 240th Street East
Miesville, MN 55009
Website

It’s the real-life version of “Field Of Dreams,” one of the great baseball movies of all-time. Other than a bar, Jack Ruhr field is the heart of the small town of Miesville, which is in southeastern Minnesota Highway 50 just east of Hampton. The Mudhens play in the Classic Cannon Valley League and are perennial Class B State Tournament contenders. It’s a great baseball park with corn fields surrounding the outfield fence.

The Mini Met

401 Rice Street South
Jordan, MN 55352
Website

Just south of the metro lies one of the great amateur baseball parks in Minnesota. The Mini Met in Jordan is the home of the Jordan Brewers of the River Valley League. The Mini Met is also one of the annual sites for the Minnesota State High Scholl Baseball Championships. Take Highway 169 south from the metro and exit on Highway 21. It’s off Rice Street near Pekama Park.

John Burch Park

100 North 7th Street
Cannon Falls, MN 55009
Website

John Burch Park is home to the Cannon Falls Bears of the Classic Cannon Valley League, and it’s located in the heart of downtown Cannon Falls off historic Highway 19. The park features an amateur version of the “green monster” in Boston’s Fenway Park. A high fence with overhanging trees makes up for the short distance in left field. The park has great concessions, including fresh popcorn. The Bears also feature one of the most competitive teams in Class B.

Athletic Park

725 West First Street
Chaska, MN 55318
Website

It’s the home of the Chaska Cubs of the River Valley League. It’s one of the nicest stadiums in the southwest metro. Athletic Park is also a venue for the Minnesota State High School Baseball Championships as well as the Lions All-Star Baseball Tournament. The ball park features great concessions and comfortable seating for the perfect summer night of baseball.

Johnson Park

5th North Street and North German Street
New Ulm, MN 56073
Website

In one of the more entertaining cities of southern Minnesota rests one of the better baseball facilities in southern Minnesota. Johnson Park in New Ulm is home to the New Ulm Brewers of the Tomahawk East League. New Ulm is also known for its quality amateur baseball with the Kaiserhoff, and the ball park is just blocks away from the historic downtown. Johnson Park is a great place to check out a ball game.

Vollmer Field

100 Desoto Ave South
Glencoe, MN 55336
Website

Historic Vollmer Field is the home of the Glencoe Brewers of the Crow River Valley League. It’s a classic ball park in western Minnesota with all the amenities. Pine trees also sit behind the fences in left and right field. It sits in an open area that’s great to pull up your lawn chair on for a warm summer night of baseball. Vollmer Field will also be one of two facilities to host the 2011 State Amateur Baseball Championships, held in late August and early September.

Barney Tadsen Field

County Highway 25 and 3rd Street South
Brownton, MN 55312
Website

It almost has to make the list based on its name alone! Barney Tadsen Field is the home of the Brownton Bruins. Located off Highway 25 in the heart of the city, the Bruins play in Crow River Valley League. The ball park features your classic backdrop behind home plate, complete with old-style bleachers and a fencing to keep fans safe from foul balls. Brownton is the other host city for the 2011 State Amateur Baseball Championships.

Memorial Park

1st Avenue SE and Dana Kiecker Street
Fairfax, MN 55332
Website

The Fairfax Cardinals of the River Valley League serve as host to one of the finest amateur baseball parks in Minnesota. Memorial Park is located in the heart of Fairfax off Highway 19 and 2nd Street. It’s your classic amateur baseball park in a “Don’t blink or you might miss it” town, and the Cardinal fans love their baseball. The Cardinals are consistently one of the most competitive teams in the state, last reaching the state tournament in 2006.

Arlington Ball Park

197 Douglas Street
Arlington, MN 55307
Website

The Arlington Ball Park is home to the Arlington A’s of the River Valley League. The park is located off Highway 5 in the heart of town, which is just northeast of Gaylord. The park features a couple of rare sights in Minnesota amateur baseball: A press box above the stands behind home plate, and a radio tower behind the first base bleachers. The Arlington A’s last reached the state tournament in 2009 as a co-host.

Hawk Field

100 Sophia Avenue
Hamburg, MN 55339
Website

The Hamburg Hawks of the Crow River Valley League play in one of the great amateur ball parks in southwestern Minnesota. Hamburg is located off Highway 212 and County Road 25, just southwest of Norwood. Large trees line the fence from right field to center field, and you know you’re watching town ball when your parking space is on the grass looking out to right field. The layout allows for plenty of space for tailgating.

Legion Field

305 Legion Field Road
Marshall, MN 56258
Website

Don’t confuse yourself thinking you’re at Wrigley Field if you travel to Legion Field in Marshall. Okay, so that’s stretching it a little, but the Marshall A’s have one of the most authentic ball parks in southwestern Minnesota. Ivy covers the outfield fence the entire way around, and teams can play at night with light poles placed throughout the park. There’s also a radio tower in foul territory behind first base so hard-core fans can follow the play-by-play from their seats. The Marshall A’s play in the Southern Minny League.

Lions Memorial Park

1160 Birch Avenue
Bird Island, MN 55310
Website

You can’t help but smile and enjoy the game of baseball when you travel to Lions Memorial Park to watch the Bird Island Islanders play. The Islanders compete in the Corn Belt League and have a park that features a little bit of everything. Four large light towers in the outfield keep the park well lit for night games. An electronic scoreboard keeps fans up-to-date on the game, and it takes a real blast to hit a home run to left field with a mini “Green Monster.” The park is located off Highway 212 in Bird Island, between Hector and Olivia.

Memorial Park Baseball Field

100 10th Avenue
Howard Lake, MN 55349
Website

Baseball fans rarely get a scenic outfield view in amateur stadiums, but Memorial Park Baseball Field in Howard Lake gives you just that. Think the Minnesota version of McCovey Cove in San Francisco, but Howard Lake is the scenic backdrop for the entire outfield. A big home run might end up in the lake, so bring your suit if you want to swim for a souvenir. The park is home to the Howard Lake Orphans and is located off Highway 12 and 10th Avenue in the heart of town about an hour west of the metro.

- Jeff Wald is a Web Producer at WCCO-TV. Before coming to WCCO, Wald covered amateur baseball around Minnesota for six years.

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