St. Paul Saints have a heavy Minnesota flavor

  • Article by: JASON GONZALEZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 16, 2013 - 6:40 AM

The Saints have nine Minnesotans on their roster, many with vivid memories of the team.

 

The term “home team” will have extra meaning as the St. Paul Saints open their 2013 season Thursday night at Midway Stadium.

From St. Anthony to Edina to Rochester, nine players — more than one-third of the team — have Minnesota roots. That includes pitcher Mark Hamburger, who played for Mounds View High School and Mesabi Range Community College and makes his Saints debut against the New Jersey Jackals at 7:05 p.m.

Hamburger, who also played in the Twins organization after being signed out of a tryout camp in 2007, remembers his first visit to Midway Stadium as a 6-year-old, chasing a foul ball with his brother until his dad roared “No! … ”

As the boys hit their brakes, eight large men with bellies full of beer sprinted by and dived toward the souvenir.

“I got out of the way before the dog pile,” Hamburger said. “Those must have been the tailgaters.

“You’ve got cave men running around. You can get buzz cuts, and that was my thing when I was young. It’s a kids atmosphere.”

The team is stocked with an unusual amount of Minnesotans, according to manager George Tsamis. One was added only 24 hours before the first pitch. Mark Radmacher, a former Rosemount High School and Hamline player, will join the team as its third catcher.

Unusual aptly describes most of those players’ introduction to the Saints. Here is a look:

Donald Blunt, utility player, Richfield High School, Augsburg College

As a 12-year-old, Blunt remembers what happened in between innings rather than the game itself.

“Another version of professional baseball that’s not on television,” he recalled. “I thought it was … well, I guess I’m not really sure.”

He began to pay more attention while in college. Blunt attended the 2011 open tryout, got a call to join the team in July and has been a part of independent baseball since.

Dan Kaczrowki, second baseman, St. Anthony High School, Hamline University

With a driver’s license in hand, Kaczrowki never gave a thought to playing for the Saints when he and his high school friends went to games at Midway Stadium.

“It was great for high school kids ’cause it’s inexpensive,” he said.

Kaczrowki, after a brief Saints stint in 2009, is back in a St. Paul uniform for a second time in his career. After four seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, he hopes this stay is a short one, too.

Cole Nelson, pitcher, Edina High School

  • related content

  • St. Paul Saints 2013 season schedule

    Wednesday May 15, 2013

    schedulemay16: NEW JERSEY, 7:05 pm; 17: NEW JERSEY, 7:05 pm; 18: NEW JERSEY, 7:05 pm; 19: NEW JERSEY, 1:05 pm;...

  • The Saints’ Donald Blunt took some swings during Wednesday’s practice. The team, heavy on Minnesotans, opens its season at 7:05 p.m. Thursday at Midway Stadium.

  • Eight of the nine Minnesotans on the Saints roster gathered Wednesday. They are (front row, from left) Luke Anderson, Dan Kaczrowski, Dustin Klabunde and George Jensen; and (rear row) Mark Hamburger, Donald Blunt, Matt Meyer and Cole Nelson.

  • Saints outfielder Jordan Tripp — one of the seemingly few non-Minnesotans on the roster — stretched with the help of athletic trainer Jason Ellenbecker in preparation for Thursday’s season opener.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
UMBC 56
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
SMU 63 FINAL
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 71 FINAL
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 58 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL
UNLV 75

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What chance does the Wild have of making the playoffs?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close