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

St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 3
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 12 FINAL
Seattle - LP: E. Ramirez 4
Washington - LP: D. Fister 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 8
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Smyly 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1
Boston - LP: T. Layne 2 FINAL
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 5
NY Yankees - WP: S. Greene 8 FINAL
Detroit - LP: D. Price 4
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: Z. Wheeler 2
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 5 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: M. Latos 7
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 2 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: H. Noesi 3
Minnesota - LP: P. Hughes 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 6
Oakland 3 Top 9th Inning
Houston 3
Milwaukee 2 Bottom 7th Inning
San Diego 0
Los Angeles 3 Top 6th Inning
Arizona 1
Miami 1 Top 6th Inning
LA Angels 4
Colorado 0 Top 5th Inning
San Francisco 1
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:02 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
D.C. 0 2nd Half
Los Angeles 3
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close