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Continued: Robbinsdale baseball team hops on board to a bygone era

  • Article by: PAUL LEVY , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 8, 2014 - 9:43 PM

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



  • related content

  • Josh Lehnertz, Tony Langfellow, and Steven Peterson played cards on the commuter train from Fridley to Big Lake on Monday afternoon.

  • A team of 16-year-old baseball players for the Armstrong Cooper Raptors took the Northstar commuter train from Fridley to Big Lake for their game on Monday afternoon, though when they arrived, the game was rained out.

  • Head coach Wally Langfellow came up with the idea to ride the rails to a game after a 25-minute drive to a game took more than an hour while stuck in traffic.

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