Milroy Replaces New Ulm as Host of State Amateur Baseball
The Minnesota Baseball Association (MBA) announced this evening that Milroy will be joining Springfield in hosting the 2020 Class C state amateur baseball tournament. The MBA also announced the Class B state tournament will be held in Shakopee.
The 97th Annual Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament is scheduled for August 21-23, August 28-30 and September 4-7.
As recently as July 7th the New Ulm City Council voted to move forward as a host but a joint letter from local health care workers recommended they not host proved to be very influential.
The New Ulm City Council vote Friday was 5-0 to withdraw as a host site this year. They fear a spike in COVID-19 cases.
According to local numbers last week New Ulm experienced approximately a 20% increase in COVID-19 cases from the previous week.
Having people converge on the community from literally all corners of the state was something they apparently didn't want to happen in light of the increase in positives in the area.
The dilemma the Minnesota Baseball Association Board had was to find a field in close proximity to Springfield. According to Google maps by car the distance between Springfield and Milroy is 42 miles. Not ideal but this is the year of COVID-19. What has been ideal?
Will the tournament have to limit the number of fans at these games? Under the current Governor's Executive Order the largest crowd allowed outdoors for entertainment is 250. In 2018 the largest single session was 3,016 when the tournament was hosted by Shakopee and New Prague. The final day that year drew 1,275 fans the most since 2001 in Red Wing and Miesville.
Good luck social distancing that many people in the ballparks of Springfield and Milroy.
I love this tournament and hate to see it have a asterisk behind 2020. Not even World War II halted the boys of summer from taking the field to determine a state amateur champion. However I can understand why New Ulm and any other community for that matter would be concerned. It takes a lot of volunteers to pull off these tournaments. Will many people want to expose themselves and family members to getting the deadly virus with no vaccine?
New Ulm hosted the tournament in 1941 before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Owatonna defeated St. Paul Robert Recreation 5-4 for the AA title and New Ulm blanked Delano 3-0 for the A championship.
In 1942 Austin and Fairfax were state champions. 1943 it was Minneapolis defeating Albert Lea in a 2-1 13 inning thriller for the AA title. New Ulm won Class A. 1944 Albert Lea downed St. Paul in the larger towns class while Springfield crushed Monticello 13-0. The tournament in 1945 was held right at the end of the war. Albert Lea was the AA victor 1-0 over Minneapolis Honeywell. Excelsior was the A champion
Albert Lea was a superpower in the 1940's. Titles were earned in 1940, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948. A second place finish in 1943.