‘day at the park’
Cold Spring’s opponents for its “Day at the Park’’ were three teams from the Stearns County League: Richmond, New Munich and Lake Henry.
The Stearns County League was first formed in 1934 with teams representing small farming communities. A few of the teams came and went through the years.
By 1959, it was an eight-team league with New Munich, Meire Grove, Greenwald, St. Martin, Richmond, Lake Henry, Roscoe and Farming. Two more dots on the map, Elrosa and Spring Hill, joined in 1983, and it has remained a 10-team league.
Richmond has become a bedroom community for St. Cloud and has a population of 1,425. Eight other league towns range in populations from 85 (Spring Hill) to 323 (New Munich). And Farming, which in days of yore would field teams made up largely of Schleper family members, is so small it’s not officially a village; it’s a township.
You want to know the uniqueness of town team baseball as it still exists in Minnesota? Spend a Sunday at a ballpark in the Stearns County League. In fact, you can drive about 10 minutes and see games in three ballparks.
In total, there are 29 town-ball teams in Stearns County. And here’s the twist: The county population is 152,000, and St. Cloud has 66,000 of those … and only one of the 29 teams.