A Hidden Minnesota Gem: Town Ball

Baseball Entertainment

In the State of Hockey, and Land of 10,000 11,842 Lakes there is a hidden gem many people don’t know about. Every Summer approximately 300 baseball teams start their season here in Minnesota. Town ball is what many refer to it as and Minnesota has the absolute best setup for it. There are teams that play all over the state. From downtown Minneapolis at Parade Stadium, teams in the suburbs, and then even teams in rural Minnesota like the town of Nimrod (population 69, nice).

What is town ball?

Town Ball is amateur baseball. It’s called or referred to as town team or town ball because each town has their own team and usually the players stay home to play with their home town team. Town Ball has been played in Minnesota since the 1920’s in 2023 it will be the 100th State tournament. Minnesota has only been a state since 1858 so it’s seen more years with a state tournament than not.

Town Ball also isn’t a men’s league or rec league. It’s a lot of college or former college ballplayers who can still bring it. Sometimes even former and future pro players. No other state has an amateur sports league like Minnesota does with baseball.

The Fields

Everyone’s seen the movie The Sandlot. Do you remember that field? That’s not what we play on. Some of the fields that we have in this state are incredible. It’s more Field or Dreams-esque. From Delano (the first lighted field in Minnesota), to Meisville, Milroy, Dassel, Hinckey, the list goes on and on and on. These towns take pride in their field and they should. They are beautiful.

Brennan Field, Hinckley MN
Saints Field, Dassel MN
Town Ball field in Howard Lake, Minnesota
Memorial Park, Howard Lake MN
Town Ball field in Miesville, Minnesota
Jack Ruhr Field, Miesville MN

These are just a couple of pictures of some beautiful ballparks around here. They are even more gorgeous in person.

Town ball on the rise

In the era of social media, Town Ball popularity is rising. There is more coverage now than ever before. Every Tuesday Fox 9 goes to a new ballpark and covers a game/unique stories from the team and the town. Fox Sports North (now Bally) did an 8 episode documentary on town ball in Minnesota. That documentary can be found on Amazon prime video.

There are some other ways too such as “TownballTueaday” a couple of guys on Twitter who love ball and try to make it to as many games as possible. There’s even a book on town ball ballparks. 2021 saw the highest state tournament attendance since 1959. The championship game saw over 1,500 people itself.

The Atmosphere

There is nothing like a beautiful Summer night in Minnesota, if you have the opportunity to I am begging you to try and make it out to the ballpark. Even if you don’t care too much about baseball. Most stadiums sell beer or you can BYOB, they have a grill and concessions stand going, music is playing. Overall, it’s an ELITE atmosphere. There’s also an off chance you’ll see a couple of Bozos try and consume 9 beers, 9 dogs, in 9 innings.

So if you are interested in just checking out a game here is a list of ballparks to visit ranked by Bob Greeley. Here are also some people to follow on social media/Twitter! @MinnBaseball @townballtuesday @Kovar_Hjsports @Townballfacts @Bob_Greeley76 And of course the team I play for the @AndoverAces. More to come on the Aces later 😉.