Rain Interrupts Southern Minnesota Ballpark Tour
I enjoyed a recent stretch of six ballparks in six cities in seven days last week. It would have been seven games had rain not forced one cancellation.
Mother Nature knocked another out with a downpour, but at least the game started before the skies opened up. That was Saturday night and was a Father's Day gift from my daughter. We attended the Rochester Honkers game at Mayo Field on the sports deck, which includes all-you-can-eat and drink. After a day of fasting and with the weather approaching, a couple of trips to the food stand were on the top of the to-do list. As the rain fell, we huddled under a canopy and several well-lubricated fans led a few rounds of karaoke, interspersed with trips back to the beverage hut.
The previous night my son's summer team played at the venerable Jack Ruhr Field in Miesville, home of the Mudhens. His team is at a lower level of American Legion baseball, so to play on that field was a treat. The field was in perfect shape and our game was under the lights. This is Aaron's final summer of baseball, which will probably hit me at the end of the season.
I also took in an Owatonna American Legion game and saw them put together some strong innings offensively and defensively to top the Rochester A's, which is roughly the same group that played for Big Nine champ Century during school ball. Brady Schuster had a big game on the mound plus hit a two-run home run. Noah Budach stole bases like there was no tomorrow, including a straight steal of home to spark a big sixth inning. I'm happy to report KRFO Radio will carry Post 77's game with Winona on Thursday, June 22, at 5PM at Fuller Field.
I'm glad I brought my bug spray to Montgomery for my first experience at Memorial Park. I wanted to watch a guy I know with the New Market Muskies as they dueled the Mallards of Montgomery in an amateur game. The ballpark features an impressive grandstand and large, persistent mosquitoes. I saw some of the home town players coating themselves with bug repellent before the game. So I did the same.
I also went to Legion Tier 1A games for my son's team in Farmington and Woodbury. The weather may have factored into a couple of games, but a week of baseball is time well spent. I took a break from the game Sunday, but was back with Aaron's team Monday. Have to get in as many games as possible because the season goes by too quickly in Minnesota.
I enjoy getting to venues I haven't visited before. Wednesday was my first trip to Memorial Park in Montgomery. The mosquitoes there were nearly as big as birds.
Owatonna Post 77 American Legion baseball showed off their new dark gray uniforms at Dartt's Park.
Miesville's population is 125. Yet the town boasts numerous state amateur baseball titles. The proximity to Hastings might have something to do with that.
The Honkers put on a good show at Mayo Field in Rochester with high-level college players and many between-innings activities and giveaway promotions.