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Here are only a few Joe Driscoll stories

  • Blog Post by: Patrick Reusse
  • April 20, 2013 - 4:58 AM

Here was some of the reaction to Thursday's column on town-team legend Joe Driscoll, who is being pushed for induction into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame – by friends and admirers of his dedication to the game.

JIM KARNAS: I played ball with Joe on our 1975 and 1976 State Amateur championship teams of Prior Lake.  I got less sleep those two summers than any other time in my life but wouldn’t change a thing. 

We had seven of us from Dick Siebert's Gophers (Dave Cosgrove, Bill Kendall, Tom Mee, Marv Menken, John Walseth, Steve Schneider and me).  We had Bobby Kelly from Bloomington, Tad Bothwell ... and of course Joe. 

He was our glue. Bobby was our best baseball player but he had a temper to match his ability.

The state amateur board felt we put together an all-star team and disbanded us after the 1976 season.  That year we were 30-1 and undefeated in Minnesota.

We all met the mileage requirements (live within 15 miles of the town) but they were determined to get rid of us, so they did. 

As you mentioned, it’s a “no brainer” to put Joe in … He’s one of a kind. 

STAN FREDRICKSON: My brother Jay and I became friends with Joe, and a lot of his family too, in the early 70's. One summer afternoon Jay and I picked up Joe at the Sundown Saloon in LeSueur to go hear a band in Mankato.

We proceeded on the back roads to Mankato. On a winding section of road along the river, a mother skunk and 5 or 6 baby skunks began crossing in front of us. We stopped, of course. Joe jumped out of the car and stood in the middle of the road with his arms raised, stopping cars in both directions.

After a few minutes,  the skunks safely made their way, and we were getting back in the car. A guy behind us got out of his car and came up to us  and asked what the hell we were doing on the side of the road.

Joe said: "Why do you wanna know? Are you a cop?" The guy said yes he was, off duty, but a cop. So, Joe explained about the skunks needing to get across the road, that we had stopped traffic to help them.

The cop said no way anybody would make up a story like that, so he told us to get on our way.

THOMAS SCHNELL: I played for Miesville from 1976 to 1997 and played against Joe numerous times in big games. Miesville vs Arlington when Joe played there was a big-time rivalry. Anyway I used to get under Joe’s skin when he was on the mound and he really didn’t like me.

We beat them a couple times and after one game we were having beers and he told me he named this hill he ran everyday “ Schnell Hill”. He said that is what drove him in the off season was to get back at me.

Then he asked why I was such a [jerk] on the field and a nice guy off the field. I told him I don’t like to lose. He was fine with that and we became friends after that.

 

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