Our Favorite Past time

McLeod County has an incredibly rich tradition on the diamond.  Not only does the sport have a long standing history in the area, but there have been some darn good teams, and some high caliber players to grace the park in the county.  Since the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Association began in 1923, A McLeod County team has been crowned state champ six times; Glencoe in 1998, Winsted in 1948, Lester Prairie in 1950, and Plato in 1996, 2007, and 2015.  An even greater feat, town ball teams from the area have appeared in the state tournament more than 40 times.  The most astonishing stat, however, are those seventeen players from the county who currently sit in the MBA Hall of Fame.  Makes you wonder what’s in the water around here, and if maybe the Twinkies ought to start scouting in the region.

Players and teams from the area are most definitely worthy of accolades, but what really put McLeod County baseball on the map was the 1964 State Amateur Baseball Tournament.  It wasn’t so much the teams that were playing in the tournament, but the location.  For the first time in MBA history the state tournament was held in a small town.

Prior to the 64’ season no town with a population less than two-thousand had ever hosted the big meet.  So, when Brownton, a town with a population of 698 was awarded the show, many people scoffed at the idea.  The old timers in the area thought that a mistake was made.  Many felt that Browntown was too small to handle an attraction of this size and feared that no one would attend the games for that reason alone.  In retrospect, Brownton hit a proverbial “homerun”.  The event was so successful that it reigned in over 13,000 baseball fans from around the state.  In the years to follow, fans reflected on the hospitality shown by the people of Brownton and McLeod County.  In the words of local Baseball great Chuck Warner, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog”.  Brownton would later go on to host the big show again in 1971, 1980, and 1987.  Score one for small town USA.

With the Amateur Baseball Regional Playoffs upon us, there’s no better way to celebrate the county’s long tradition of baseball than to go out and support your local squad.  Not only is it a great way to enjoy summer, but you’ll get to watch a game that is literally a piece of living history.

See ya at the ballpark.



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