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Bjorn Bjerke, who says he plays every position, was the other Raptor who had ridden the rails before this week.
“This was such a smooth ride,” he said of Northstar. “My dad told me that players used to travel this way. You wonder why they’d give this up altogether.”
He and others were surprised to learn that they hadn’t. The Yankees and Phillies traveled by Amtrak for the 2009 World Series. The Orioles and Nationals have used the train to travel between Baltimore and Washington.
“This was kind of fun, but a little bumpy,” said Raptors first baseman Christian Hunley.
It got bumpier — and not just from the muffled thumping of the rails beneath their feet. The players exited the five-car Northstar train to thunder, lightning and a sudden downpour.
Their game in Big Lake was rained out. Suddenly, 11 cellphones appeared as players notified parents who would take them back to Robbinsdale — by car.
“Just sitting around on the train, having fun with my friends makes this a rainout that I’ll probably never forget,” said Josh Lehnertz, a second baseman. “I can see why trains stayed around baseball for so long.”
As players grabbed their gear, Langfellow resurrected what was once another major league baseball staple that has become as rare as socks with stirrups.
“Tomorrow,” Langfellow told his players before they scurried in the rain, “we’re playing a doubleheader.”
Paul Levy • 612-673-4419