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Continued: St. Paul Saints, fans say farewell to Midway Stadium

  • Article by: JIM ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 29, 2014 - 6:05 AM

Ole Sheldon, who played parts of five seasons with the Saints and is now the hitting coach, admitted to some mixed emotions as he glanced around the stadium before the game.

“It’s been nice here. My wife comes to all the games — she’s a teacher, and she’s made friends with a lot of the fans,” he said. “It’s a very family-like atmosphere.”

As much as he loves Midway Stadium, though, “I’ll pull the trigger on this place,” he said. He is looking forward to better locker rooms and other more modern upgrades at the new stadium.

In the end, after Murray had caught the first pitch from St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, and U.S. Sen. Al Franken had joined the capacity-busting record crowd of 9,455 in singing “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” the Saints fell to the division-leading Goldeyes 4-3.

But the fireworks still let loose, and there was one last promotion: the Monster Food Truck Rally, where fans could linger on the field one last moment, savoring a late bite, and more than two decades of memories

 

Jim Anderson • 651-925-5039 Twitter: @StribJAnderson







 

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  • saints and (some) sinners

    Professional baseball in St. Paul traces its roots to at least 1877. The Saints, whose nickname cropped up in the 1890s, have been part of several leagues and minor league systems, including the Yankees (informally), White Sox (1936-42) and Dodgers (1944-60).

    Charles Comiskey managed and owned the Saints before moving the team to Chicago after the 1899 season and renaming it the White Sox. Some noted players who have worn a Saints uniform (HOF indicates they are in baseball’s Hall of Fame):

    Roy Campanella: Brooklyn Dodgers catcher was league MVP three times before his career was cut short in 1958 by a car accident that left him paralyzed. (HOF)

    Duke Snider: Played 66 games with the Saints in 1947 before his hitting and fielding prowess led him to a long Dodgers career. (HOF)

    Gene Mauch: Twins manager from 1976 -1980, played for Saints in 1946.

    Don Zimmer: The longtime baseball character who died last June played in St. Paul in 1953

    Darryl Strawberry: Former New York Mets star whose career had derailed found a new focus with the Saints during a 29-game stint in 1996. Later signed with the Yankees, winning a World Series ring.

    Jack Morris: St. Paul native and MVP of the 1991 World Series (he pitched 10 innings of Game 7 for the Twins) played with Saints in 1996 to end his career.

    J.D. Drew: Highly touted draft prospect couldn’t agree on a deal with the Phillies so came to St. Paul in 1997. Joined the Cardinals the next season.

    Ila Borders: Became the first female pitcher to integrate men’s professional baseball (St. Paul native Toni Stone was the first female player in the Negro Leagues) when she signed with the Saints in 1997. Later traded to Duluth.

    Minnie Minoso: In 1993, at age 67, the nine-time major league All-Star appeared with the Saints. Played a game in 2003, becoming the only pro to have played over seven decades.

    Dave Stevens: Born with no legs, the former Augsburg athlete played for the Saints in 1996, becoming the first person with such a disability to play professional baseball.

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