That is awesome.The uniqueness of the Stearns County League is that it dates to 1950 in what is basically its present form. Regal was an early member, as was Freeport. Meire Grove and Greenwald were Green-Grove until separate teams were formed in 1959.For nearly six decades, it has been those two, plus Farming, Lake Henry, St. Martin, New Munich, Richmond and Roscoe. Of course, 1983 saw the admission of Elrosa and Spring Hill.“Those teams had to come up with the expansion fee,” Schleper said. “They each had to buy a case of beer for the league’s board of directors.”The 10-team Stearns County League forms a family, both in spirit and in reality. Herman Lensing is a reporter from Star Publications, the publisher of weekly newspapers such as the Melrose Beacon, Sauk Centre Herald and Albany Enterprise.Herman is among the 222 residents of Greenwald. He’s famous for having his camera always at the ready. He has been chronicling the exploits of this league and other area townball teams (29 total in Stearns County) for decades....There are generations of names associated with every team in the league. That’s a tribute to the large Catholic families of farmers. The farms are fewer and the families are smaller in current times. Still ...“To be a true Stearns County town, you need a Catholic church, two bars and a ballfield,” Schleper said....What astounds is standing at a ballpark in Farming, Spring Hill or Elrosa, looking across the prairie, and trying to figure out how Stearns County League teams renew themselves. Richmond is near Cold Spring and close to 1,500 in population, but the rest of these little places are a Catholic church, two bars (or one) and a ballfield.The basic radius rule for player eligibility is 6 miles. The old saying was, “You should play where you go to church.”The four 15-mile exceptions to the radius rule are still low by state amateur standards. Most important, the SCL runs Little Dipper (Little League age) and Big Dipper (Base Ruth and Legion age) programs as a feeder system. Parents pay no fee, and the kids swing with wood bats to get ready for the town team.Many of the bills are paid through pulltab sales at local bars, where the ballclub is the charity. There are also offseason fundraisers.
Monday, July 10, 2017
Townball in Minnesota
This is something I wish we had here: