BASEBALL IN THE PARK

Baseball was an integral part of growing up in St. Louis Park.  In the Baby Boom years, hundreds of boys tried out for a precious few spots and games were avidly attended and reported on in the local paper.  There were many different ways to participate:

  • Little League:  ages 10-12
  • Babe Ruth:  ages 13-15
  • Cub (Recreation Department):  ages 7-9
  • Pee Wee (Recreation Department):  ages 10-12
  • Connie Mack:  ages 16-18
  • Pony-Colt
  • “Town” Team
  • American Legion

There have been many changes along the way, in terms of age groups, divisions, and of course the inclusion of girls in the programs.  This is only a bare-bones account based on sources at hand and is incomplete to say the least.  MUCH more information and photos are needed; please contact us if you can provide more information on teams, sponsors, or memories.

 

Information about the fields is at the bottom of the page.

Also see:  Sports in the Park,  and Skippy Field from the Re-Echo.

 


1951

Local Little League started with a meeting at the home of Warren (Tup) Way of Minnetonka. In attendance were Bob Reid and Howard Merriman (Edina), Carl Hensel and Harold Strot (Minnetonka), Paul Jorgenson (Hopkins), and Fred and Lou Johnson and Shorty Dale (St. Louis Park). Hensel had witnessed Little League on a trip to Williamsport, Penn., where it was founded by Carl Stotz in 1939 as a three-team league.

 

The Suburban Little League of Minnesota started in 1951 with four teams:

Edina, sponsored by Ewald Dairy

Hopkins, sponsored by Holsum Bread – Bill Zampel, coach

Minnetonka, sponsored by Dayton’s

St. Louis Park, sponsored by Skippy Peanut Butter – Louis and Fred Johnson, coaches.  The team was called “Skippy” after their sponsor.

 

Games were played at a temporary field in Hopkins. The first Little League game played by St. Louis Park was against Hopkins.


1952

The teams were essentially the same as in the 1951 season.

 


1953

The teams were essentially the same as in the 1951 season.  The 1953 season began on June 4 and festivities included the Hopkins High School Band, a flag raising by the Boy Scouts, the Aquajesters, and Park Mayor Carroll J. Hurd throwing out the first ball.  The opener was a double header on the new Skippy Field (see section on fields at the end of this page).  WCCO-TV filmed part of the game for re-broadcast.

 

The August 4, 1953 Dispatch has a photo of the team that represented Minnesota the previous week in the regional tournament at Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  All the players except four were from St. Louis Park’s Skippy team.  The team’s coach was Lou Johnson.

At the end of the 1953 season the representatives of the League met and it was decided that each of the suburbs would start a League of four teams in order to take care of the boys that wanted to play ball.


1954 LITTLE LEAGUE

St. Louis Park Little League was then formed in 1954 with Don Tuthill as President, Shorty Dale, Bob Sorenson and Bill Miller as vice-presidents. Ron Berthe was secretary and Walt Robilliard, treasurer.  The first four teams were sponsored by:

Skippy Peanut Butter – Lou Johnson, Bob Lindquist, coaches
Miracle Mile
C & C Realty Co. – Bill Storm, coach
Penny’s Supermarket – Willis “Ozzie” and Ronny Ostrem, coaches

John Froom posted the photo below on Facebook:  “In 1954 Minneapolis Millers manager Eddie Stanky visited SLP Little Leaguer (1963 grad) Butch Bakken after he lost three fingers and much of his right arm after he was run over by a train. Butch was my uncle and became a great golfer even with only seven fingers.”  Butch’s coach was Joe Borer.

ll1954butchbakken

 


1955 LITTLE LEAGUE

The Park Little League expanded to eight teams in 1955 – an American and National league with four teams each.  Don Tuthill was again president.  C & C Field was built in 1955 – see section on playing fields at the end of this page.

American League Teams – Skippy Field
Miracle Mile – Bill Peterson, coach
Skippy Peanut Butter – Lou Johnson, coach – Champions
C&C Realty – Ted Tangen, coach
Hull-Dobbs Ford (26th and Hennepin) – Joe Holzer, Pierce Rogers, Carter DeLaittre, coaches

National League Teams – C&C Field
Penny’s Supermarket – Will and Ron Ostrom, coaches
Northland Milk and Ice Cream – Bill Storm and George Nelson, coaches
Minneapolis Savings and Loan – Bob Mead and Bob Mueller, coaches
Humboldt Plumbing – Cal Ulrich and Bob Wilson, coaches

The Skippy team won the Suburban Little League Tournament, with a huge traveling trophy donated by Al Berman.

 


 

1956 LITTLE LEAGUE

The season opened on June 2.

American League Teams – Skippy Field

Bill Kellas Ford

Miracle Mile

Cusack & Carlson Realty

Skippy Peanut Butter – Champions

 

National League Teams – C&C Field

Northland Milk and Ice Cream

Penny’s Supermarket

Western Construction

Minneapolis Savings & Loan – Champions

 

1956 BABE RUTH

 

The Babe Ruth League was started for boys aged 13-15 years old.

 

D’Arcy Leck Construction

Citizens State Bank

Lions Club

Coca-Cola

Rothschild

Dairy Fresh

 


1957 LITTLE LEAGUE

 

400 boys were turned away from Little League and Babe Ruth for lack of adequate playing fields.  The Class A Teams were “Farm Teams” for boys who were not as skilled as the ones chosen for the major teams.  Players “remain the property of the parent major team and can be recalled at any time,” reported the Dispatch.

 

American League Teams (350 boys registered; only 120 could play) – Skippy Field

Skippy Peanut Butter – Bob Sorenson, Ken Lindquist, coaches – Champions

Miracle Mile – Campbell Keith, coach

Cusack & Carlson Realtors – Herb Steffen, Francis Brouwer, coaches

Norelco Little Shavers – Ray Crawford, Oliver H. Dunn, coaches

Bill Kellas Ford – Joe Holzer, Ed Grehl, coaches

SLP Rotary – Tom Dales, Brian Olson, coaches

 

American League Class A Teams

Yankees

Athletics

Senators

Indians – Bob Smith and Joe Holt, coaches – Champions

Tigers

Orioles

 

National League Teams (300 boys registered; only 120 could play) – C&C Field

Minneapolis Savings and Loan – Bob Mead, Jack Vogelsang, coaches – Champions

Penny’s Supermarket – Dick DeBonneville, Rollie Oppel, coaches

Western Construction – Ray Swenson, Pat Mooney, coaches

Ecklund & Swedlund Cconstruction – Marv Olson, Archie Burger, coaches

SLP Fire Department – Don Higgins, Tom Fleming, coaches

VFW Post 5632 – Warren Bartels, Lee Conradi, coaches

 

National League Class A Teams

Cubs – Tess Thuraldson, coach

Pirates – Dick Brown, coach

Cardinals – Al Munson, coach

Dodgers – Bob Peterson, coach – Champions

Giants – Phil Smith, coach

Braves – George Rigelhoff, coach

 

The Little League Suburban Tournament was won by Golden Valley.


 

1957 BABE RUTH (275 boys registered; only 120 could play) – Acme Field

 

Rothschilds – Robert Lindquist, Robert Berset, coaches

D’Arcy Leck Construction – William Peterson, Francis Cullen, coaches – Champions

Coca-Cola – James Hayes, Gene Sanford, coaches

Citizens State Bank Bankers – Oscar Rasmussen and Bob Sorenson, coaches

Britton Motor Freight – Dick Wood, Don Hofmeister, coaches

Paper Calmenson – Ron Ostom Henry Olson, coaches

Lions Club – Arlo Lindberg, Jim Grey, coaches

Parkites (sponsored by Ernie Jacobsen’s Pay Dump) – Fred and Lou Johnson

 

Vic Lewis posted this photo on Facebook of his Babe Ruth Baseball team coached by Lefty Wright and Mr. Peterson.  “Some of the guys I remember Paul Wellness , Denny Petterson ? Jerry Orbeck, Chuck Grover, John Zimmerman, Harvey Gross, Vic Lewis, Mike London.  I think the name of the team was Acme Lumber but don’t remember!1957”


 

1957 CUB

 

Cubs played at various playgrounds, including Center I and II, Minikahda Vista Field, and Bronx Field

 

Northern Division

Cubs – Champions

Eliot Senators

Park Knoll Little Millers

Eliot Lions

Park Knoll Yankees

Eliot Stars

 

Southern Division

Brookside Dodgers

Brookside Cardinals

Baston Red Sox

Baston Bears

 

Eastern Division

Lenox Tigers

Fern Hill Pirates

Lenox Braves

Fern Hill Giants

 

1957 PEE WEE

 

Reds – Champions

Trojans

Blues

Dodgers

Hornets

Bears

Yanks

Yankees

Indians

Panthers

Stars

White Sox

Whites

Jets

Millers

Greys

Orioles

Red Birds

 


 

1958 LITTLE LEAGUE

Gaylord Conn was President of SLP Little League.   Opening day was June 7 and Mayor Herb Lefler threw out the first ball.

American League Teams
Police Federation – Herb Steffens, Francis Brouwer, coaches – Champions
Norelco Little Shavers
Skippy Peanut Butter
Rotary Club
Kurt Manufacturing Kubs (Kurt Kuben) – Joe Holt, LaVern Dolton, coaches
Keller Bros. Sporting Goods

Keller Bros. team, 1958. Photo courtesy Charles Grisham (back row, second from right)

 


 

National League Teams

Ecklund & Swedlund Construction – Archie Burger, Don Schmidt, coaches

SLP Fire Department – Donald Higgins, Thomas Fleming, coaches – Champions

Minneapolis Savings & Loan – Bob Meade, Jack Vogelsang, coaches

VFW – Warren Bartels, Lee Conradi, coaches

Penny’s Supermarket – Al Anderson, Ernie Johnson, coaches

Gopher Glass – Bob Nechas, Frank Babcock, coaches

llgopherglass1957
Photo courtesy Ruth Conley

Hopkins won the Suburban Little League Tournament.


1958 BABE RUTH

 

The season opened on June 8.  Mayor Herb Lefler threw out the first ball and Citizens State Bank handed out Baby Ruth candy bars.

 

Southern Division Teams – Acme Field

Citizens State Bank – Oscar Rasmussen, Bob Hughes, coaches

Master Addressor – Bill Wilkinson, Tom Lescarbeau, coaches

Christy’s – Jim Hayes, Gene Sanford, coaches

D’Arcy Leck Construction – Bill Peterson, Frank Cullen, coaches

Parkites (Beltline Pay Dump) – Bill Erickson, Fred Johnson, coaches – Champions

Lions – Arlo Lindberg, Ken Bates, coaches

 

Northern Division Teams – Park Knoll

Hotel Maryland – Bill Norell, coach

Coast to Coast – Joe Witzman, coach

Britton Motors – Sol Schertzer, Dick Ward, coaches

Paper Calmenson – Ron Ostrem, Henry Olson, coaches – Champions

The Parkites and Paper Calmenson were #1 and #2 in the first Suburban Babe Ruth Tournament.


1958 CUBS

 

450 boys  registered to play.  Opening day was June 9.

 

Northern Division Teams

Tigers

Westerners

Braves

Wildcats

Woody”s

Sluggers

 

Eastern Division Teams

Bombers

Red Birds

Giants – Champions

Pirates

Dodgers

Midgets

Yankees

 

Southern Division Teams

White Sox

Millers

Orioles

Yanks

Peanuts

Bruins

Cowboys

Bears – Champions

 

Western Division Teams

Cubs – Champions

Parkers

Red Sox

Texans

Cardinals

Mighty-Mites

 

?  Allen Chapel


1958 PEE WEE  – Center I Field

 

Opening day was June 16.

 

Champs

Trojans

White Sox

Stars – Champions

Giants

Panthers

Braves

Tigers

 


 

1959 LITTLE LEAGUE

 

An article in the St. Louis Park High School Echo dated June 4, 1959 called Shorty “Little League’s Hero” and reported that in the coming summer there would be 795 boys playing on 41 teams in three different leagues.

Frank Shea was President of the Little League program in 1959.  Planned were 12 Little League teams, 12 Little League farm teams, 12 Babe Ruth teams, and 4 Babe Ruth farm teams.

American League Teams
Kurt Manufacturing Co. – Joe Holt and Bob Smith, coaches
Police Federation – Jim Dahl and Clyde Johnson, coaches
Norelco – Ray Crawford and Owen McNeary, coaches
Rotary Club – Ollie Dunn and George Plaisted, coaches
Skippy Peanut Butter – Ken Lindquist, Louis Reichel, coaches

Keller Brothers – Joe Holzer (left in photo below) and Ed Grehl (right), coaches

1959 Keller Bros. team. Photo courtesy Charles Grisham (first row, far right)

 


 

1959 BABE RUTH

Southern League opened at Acme Field in June, with Mayor Lefler pitching a perfect strike to start the game.  Teams were:
Citizens’ State Bank
Master Addresser
Lions Club
Christy’s Gas Station
Parkites
D’Arcy Leck Construction

 

Paper Calmenson won the State Championship

1959 CONNIE MACK

In 1959 there was a new league under consideration for boys that graduate from the Babe Ruth program (ages 16-18). This league, to be known as the Connie Mack League, would have one team from each of the suburbs that formulate the League and take care of the boys who don’t make the American Legion teams. Connie Mack was sponsored by the American Amateur Baseball Congress.

1959 CUBS

Northern Division Teams

Tigers

Bobcats

Western Division Teams

Smashers

Yankees

Eastern Division Teams

Sluggers

Redbirds

Southern Division Teams

Browns

Braves


1960 LITTLE LEAGUE

American League Teams

Skippy Peanut Butter – Louis Reichel and George Erickson, coaches

Hill Bros. Shoes – Ed Grehl, coach

Police Federation – Jim Dahl and Clyde Johnson, coaches

American Meats (American Provision Co.) – Ray Crawford and Owen McNeary, coaches

Fitwell Mens Store

Kurt Kubs (Kurt Manufacturing Co.) – Bob Smith and Ken Radde, coaches

Rotarians – Shorty Dale and Dick Brown, coaches

baseballrotary

Tom Seim:

This picture is of the 1960 Rotary major-league (vs. minor-league – there were both, in those days) team in the St. Louis Park American Little League. We played at Skippy Field. I’m on the team as a 10-year old. I don’t remember all the names but I do know many.

Front row, from left, Coach Bob Mayeron, ?, ?, Greg Gooselaw, ?, Tom Seim (me), and Howie Chanen.

Back row, from left, Coach Shorty Dale, Bob Gooselaw, Tom Fuzzy, Dave Plaistad, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, Coach Dick Brown.

Photo from the Fred Mutchler Collection


1960 BABE RUTH

Minnesota was chosen as the site of the 9th Annual Babe Ruth World Series, at Midway Stadium on August 22-27.  This was a big honor, and WTCN-TV began televising games starting on May 28.  Games to be televised were between teams chosen from the 22 teams in Minnesota.

In 1960 there were six Babe Ruth teams and two farm teams in St. Louis Park.  League play started on June 1.

Southern League Teams:

  • Acme Lumber

  • McDonald’s

  • Citizen’s State Bank

  • Lions Club

  • Master Addresser

  • Parkites

1960 Parkites Babe Ruth Team; coach Charles “Bud” Wiser on right. Photo courtesy Charles Grisham (first row, far right)

 


 

Northern League Teams:

  • Derickson

  • Dairy Fresh

  • Coast-to-Coast

  • Westwood Shopping Center

  • Minnesota Rubber

  • Pacal

 

baberuthbaseball300%20undated
The photo above dates from sometime around 1960. Gene Rasmussen lower far right and Jerry Kiernan, third from lower right graduated from SLP ’63. That might be Bob Copeland to the left of Kiernan.


1960 CONNIE MACK

Park had one team, with Marlowe Osman, Manager.  Other teams were:

  • Golden Valley

  • Richfield

  • Crystal


1961 LITTLE LEAGUE

Shorty Dale announced in January that the League was full and that Park needed another field for another League.  The result was Lion’s Field.  See section on playing fields at the end of this page.

President Bambury presided over the Little League.

American League Teams

Ewald Bros. Dairy – Bob Smith and Ken Radde, coaches  – Champions

Police Federation

Anderson Cadillac

Skippy

Rotary

Meyers Advertising

Reuter, Inc.

Fitwell Mens Store

 


 

1961 BABE RUTH

1961 Parkites Babe Ruth team. Coach Bud Wiser on right. Photo courtesy Charles Grisham (first row, far right)

 


1962 LITTLE LEAGUE

Jack Carlson was President of the Little League.

American League Teams
Police Federation – Jim Dahl and Clyde Johnson, coaches
Anderson Cadillac – Dick Brown and Manny Kohen, coaches
Ewald Brothers Dairy – Bob Smith and Ken Radde, coaches
Rotary Club – Glenn Omested and Willie Sewall, coaches
Meyers Advertising – Ray Crawford and Chet Peterson, coaches
Skippy Peanut Butter – Louis Reichel and George Erickson, coaches

National League Teams
Gopher Glass – Richard Jeffers and James Rude, coaches

Central League Teams
Fitwell Mens Store – Chuck Reuter and Art Wachutka, coaches – Central League champs

The Suburban Little League Baseball Championship Tournament began on August 4, 1962.  St. Louis Park teams participating were St. Louis Park Police Federation (American League), Fitwell Mens Store (St. Louis Park Central), and Gopher Glass (SLP National League).

In September 1962, the championship Police Federation Little League team was honored at an award ceremony at Skippy Field, attended by Minnesota Twin Bob Allison. The Ewald team was runner-up.


1962 BABE RUTH

 

1962 Police Babe Ruth team. Coach Eddie Grehl on left. Photo courtesy Charles Grisham (first row, third from right)

Some commentary from Charlie Grisham:

Eddie Grehl was a wonderful and supportive coach for us, both in Little League and in Babe Ruth.  He worked for the Minneapolis Gas Company and drove to practices and games in a bright blue Model A Ford (an old car even back then!)  The Kurt manufacturing team, coached by Joe Holt, was our arch-rival that year.  The two teams ended up tied for first place at the end of the season and we had a one-game playoff to see which team would go to the State tournament.  Eddie planned to pitch his son Paul, who was a masterful pitcher with an unhittable fast ball.  However, Joe Holt wwent to the State Babe Ruth commissioners and convinced them that Paul would be pitching without enough rest from his previous game.  Paul was not alled to pitch for Polic and we knew we would have a tougher time without him.  I was usually an outfielder but played third base for that playoff game.  I still remember my friend Bruce Tinkham (whose father was a local children’s photographer) hitting a homerun over my head in the 6th or 7th inning to put the game awy for Kurt.  I knew when the ball went over my head that it was over the fence and the game was theirs.  I didn’t even need to look behind me to see it going over the fence.

 

 


1963 LITTLE LEAGUE

1963 American League Teams
Police Federation – Jim Dahl and Robert Standal, coaches
Ewald Brothers Dairy –
Rotary Club –
Meyers Advertising –
Skippy Peanut Butter –

Police Federation won the American League Championship.

Front Row:  Larry Rosen, Doug Standal, Jerry Griffin, Steve Kleineman, Kevin Hawkinson, Bob Levine, Bob Huggins, Steve Johnson, Gary Dahl.

Back Row:  Sgt. Robert Standal, Paul Johnson, John Nelson, Greg Matz, Kim Anderson, Scott Smith, Niel Agness, Chris Gears, Lt.  James Dahl.

Team Mascot in center is Mark Dahl.  Photo courtesy Scott Smith


1963 National League

llvfw1963web

The VFW team won the 1963National League championship.  Front Row:  Johnn Keen, Al Beal, Kevin Sasse, Doug Johnson, Tim Lamb, Walt Bush, Kevin Ringham, Jim Hanks, John Rounds.

Back Row:  Coach Alf Nelson, Gary Koehler, Stu Alexander, Terry Barnes, Mike Burke, John Lamb, Don Ouelette, Coach Kirby Bevans.


1963 Central League Teams
Fitwell Mens Store – Al Mayeda and Del Norstrom, coaches

llfitwell1963web

The Fitwell team won the Central League championship.

Front Row:  Wally Obinger, Gary Hansen, Bruce Wachutka

Middle Row:  Del Nordstrom, Jerry Timian, Tom Jance, Larry Long, Mark Nordstrom, Blair Wachutka, Stevie Potratz, Al Mayeda

Back Row:  Ron Streitman, Steve Miller, Garth Wilson, dan Haben, Glenn Mayeda, Don Marth.  Photo from Dispatch courtesy Scott Smith


The Suburban Little League Baseball Championship Tournament began on August 4, 1962.  St. Louis Park teams participating were St. Louis Park Police Federation (American League), Fitwell Mens Store (St. Louis Park Central), and Gopher Glass (SLP National League).

In September 1962, the championship Police Federation Little League team was honored at an award ceremony at Skippy Field, attended by Minnesota Twin Bob Allison. The Ewald team was runner-up.


1963 LITTLE LEAGUE FARM TEAMS

The VFW Cardinals won the Park National Farm Team championship.

llvfwfarm1963

Front Row:  Dave Hohle, Ricky McEachren, Don Killian, John Skarin, Dean Norcotte, Craig Strom.  Back Row:  Coach Al Hyster, Steve Alpert, Max Holzhea, Tom Riemann, Tracy Paulson, Maark Robitz, Sam Schmeling.  Not pictured:  Head Coach Don Killian, Sr.


1963 CONNIE MACK

Park’s Connie Mack team defeated Richfield in the State Tournament.


 

1964

 

 


1965 LITTLE LEAGUE

Citizens State Bank

 

 

Fitwell Mens Store


1966 LITTLE LEAGUE

Park Central – Lion’s Field

Rodgers Hydraulic

Fitwell Stores

Knollwood Plaza Merchants

National Lead Co.

Reilly Tar and Chemical

Garrison Construction

Lion’s Field Billboard Sponsors:

Modern Floors

Shoppers City

Harry’s Pure Oil

Beek’s Pizza

Bohn Welding

Park Plaza Bank

Totino’s Pizza

Star Bowling Supplies

Wittman’s Marine

Stewart’s Infra-red

Yamaha

Carlson Electric

Robinson Rubber

James Heltzer

Standard Plumbin

Weber’s Standard Service

Don’s Market

Park Music Center

Anderson Furniture

Christy’s Gas Station

McGown’s Standard Service

Lion’s Club – Ray Racette and Bob Hayes, coaches


stephensbuilck3web
Team sponsored by Win Stephen’s Buick in the mid 1960s, courtesy Janet Balej

Babe Ruth Northern 1966

Coast to Coast – State Champions

coasttocoast1966br
Posted on Facebook by Barry Riven and Vivien Burstein Riven

Westwood Shopping Center


1967 LITTLE LEAGUE

Park Central – Lions Field

Major Teams

Rodgers Hydraulic – Lowell Anthony, Coach; Rick Nelson, Asst. Coach; Norman Hunter, Director

Republic Creosote – Cal Welch, Coach; George Yanagita, Asst. Coach, Tom O’Meara, Donald Shapiro, Directors

Knollwood – Frank Miller, Coach; Ed Wyner, Asst. Coach; Bruce Jonell, Marvin Nelson, Directors
Garrison Construction – Larry Strand, Coach; Warren Olson, Asst. Coach; Ed Scharnweber, Ray Lowrie, Directors

Fitwell Mens Store – Gerald Petterson, Coach; Frank Walker, Asst. Coach; Myron Biros, Director

National Lead (Dutch Boy) – C.J. Ahlstrand, Coach; Farrell Roser, Al Pooler, Asst. Coaches; H. John Olson, Director

dutchboylionsfield1967
Dutch Boy team photo courtesy Randy Kirihara. Participants include Randy, Lloyd Arnovich, Greg Arnovich, Chris Halden, Bradley Chazin, Marc Cohen, Larry Suckerman, Jeff Janssen and Greg Haeg

Park Central Class A:

Rodgers Twins.  Coach:  Leon Frankel; Asst. Coach:  Richard Anderson; Director:  Frank Babcock

Dutch Boy Giants.  Coach:  Lloyd Arnovich; Asst. Coach:  Paul Nathanson; Director; Jim Kirihara

Fitwell Dodgers.  Coach:  Bruce Ward; Asst. Coach:  Walter Schleicher; Directors:  Gunnar Wick, Fred Huber

Knollwood Tigers.  Coach:  Andrew Johnson; Asst. Coach:  Alan Stein; Director:  Jon Papas

Republic Orioles.  Coach:  David Martin; Asst. Coach:  Ronald Mogelson; Directors:  Ben Porter, Miles Silbert

Garrison Cubs.  Coach:  Stan Wignes; Asst. Coach:  Bob O’Brien; Director:  Malcolm Liepke


1968 LITTLE LEAGUE

Park Central

Fitwell Mens Store.  Manager:  Jerry Petterson.  Coaches: Jerry Petterson, Frank Walker, Bill Hellendrung.  Played in Championship tournament.


Republic Creosoting

llRepublicCreosote1968web
Courtesy Doug Platt

Park National

Park National Bank.  Coaches:  Paul Goldetsky, Marshall Lifson, Dave Himmelman.  Played in Championship tournament.

Park American

Miracle Mile.  Manager:  Lyle Hanks.  Coaches:  Don Flies, Bill Seestrom

Other 1968 teams:

The Knollwood Tigers – Al Stein, coach
Rodgers Hydraulic
Dutch Boy (National Lead)
Garrison Construction.


1969 LITTLE LEAGUE

Garrison Construction

VFW – Mickey Kirshbaum and Bob Barnett, coaches

Shoppers’ City Furniture


1970 LITTLE LEAGUE

Garrison Construction


1971 LITTLE LEAGUE

Shoppers City Furniture

shopperscityfurn1971brucehope10-22-16web
Bruce Hope donated his uniform from his Shoppers City Furniture team! Photo by Emory Anderson

 


 

 

1972

Arctic Cat


1973 LITTLE LEAGUE

Arctic Cat


1974 LITTLE LEAGUE

Arctic Cat


1975 LITTLE LEAGUE

1975 American Little League – Skippy Field.  First pitch thrown by Abe “The Candy Man” Weisman.

Majors:

Maxim’s

McDonald’s – Champion

Miracle Mile

Big B’s Pizza

Skippy

Meyers Advertising

Class A:

McDonald’s – Champion

Miracle Mile

Big B’s Pizza

Skippy

Meyers Advertising


1975 Central Little League

Majors:

Barrett Moving and Storage – Champion

McCoy

Fitwell Men’s Store

Dutch Boy (National Lead)

“Association:”

Jobbers

Leaning Post

Dutch Boy (National Lead)

Barrett Moving and Storage


1975 National Little League

Majors:

Park National Bank – Champion

Stephens Buick

Penny’s Market

Harris Industries

Fischbein, Bolter and Brown Insurance

Shoppers’ City Furniture Dept.

Class A:

Park National Bank

Penny’s Market

Harris Industries

Fischbein, Bolter and Brown Insurance – Champion

Shoppers’ City Furniture Dept.


1975 PONY

Char Mar Cleaners, Rick Johns, Manager – tied for Champion

Shinders News, Lee Pelton, Manager

Fountainebleau Salon, Bob Linell, Manager – tied for Champion

First Western State Bank, Bob Lehner, Manager

Leaning Post, Jack Papas, Manager

5th NW Bank, Greg Frank, Manager

Fidelity File Box Inc., Roger Nyberg, Manager

Optimists Club, Greg Maisel, Manager


1975 COLT

Lupient Olds, Gene Gustafson, Manager

Knights of Columbus Council, Wes Polley, Manager

Park National Bank, Bob Stahl, Manager

Abrams Metals, Leo Carlin, Manager

Korner Plaza, Mort Levinson, Manager

Shelard National Bank, Wally Ekdahl, Manager

Gambles – Champion


1975 SENIOR COLT

Gambles, Sam Peltz, Manager

Homedale Nursery, Jim Pass, Manager

VFW #5632, Bob Brown, Manager

Fluidyne Engineering, Al Golan, Manager


1975 BABE RUTH

Northern Division:

Hoglund Plumbing – Champion

Minnesota Rubber

CBM

Korner Plaza

Eaton

Westwood

Southern Division:

Electro Sensors, Inc. (ESI), Terry McNellis, Coach.  Featured Sue Kragseth, starting shortstop, age 14 – first girl in league – won Championship

Duff’s

Fire Department

Lion’s Club

Citizens State Bank

VFW #5632


1975 SENIOR TEAM

Underclassmen from Park High: – played at Peter Hobart

Tom Holzer and Chuck Bohlig, coaches


1976 LITTLE LEAGUE

1976 American Little League – Skippy Field.

Majors:

Skippy Peanut Butter

Big B’s Pizza

McDonald’s

Miracle Mile

Jenning’s

Meyer’s Advertising

Class A:


1976 Central Little League:  Lion’s Field

Majors:

McCoy

Dutch Boy

Fitwell Men’s Store

Barrett Moving and Storage

Leaning Post

Jobber’s Warehouse


ll1976parkcentralweb
Park Central All Stars 11-12 year olds. Back row L-R. Paul Swiggum, Glen Nesheim, Steve Hartwick, Dave Myers, Lane Yeager.

 

Middle row L-R. John Haugen, Jerry Pietz, Dale Yohnke, Mike Petersen.

Bottom row L-R Jeff Daniels, Scott Fisher, Randy Welch, Sean Soderberg, Donny Damborg and Jeff Torgeson


1976 Central Little League Class A (new this year)

Dutch Boy

Jobber’s Warehouse

Skippy Peanut Butter

Barrett Moving and Storage

McCoy

Leaning Post


1976 National Little League

Majors:

Fishbein, Bolter, and Brown

Burger King

Win Stephens Buick

S.R. Harris

Park National Bank

Lupient Olds

FBBK (?)

Class A:

Burger King

Jim Lupient

S.R. Harris

Park National Bank

Win Stephens Buick

FBBK

Gary Perna at Bob Lurtsema Day, June 1976!

St. Louis Park won the State Little League Championship in 1976, held here at Skippy Field.


1976 PONY – Paul Frank Field

Char Mar – Manager Rick Johns

Dave’s Shoe Repair – Manager Bob Shapiro

Fidelity File Box – Manager Chuck Mark

5th Northwestern National Bank – Manager Joe Strauss

1st Western State Bank – Manager Bob Lehner

Fountainbleau Salon – Manager Willy Arnold

Leaning Post – Manager Neil Johr

Optimist Club – Manager Rick Fey


1976 COLT – Dakota Park

Abrams Metals – Manager Marv Lieberman

Knights of Columbus Council #3949 – Manager Wes Polley

Korner Plaza – Manager Jeff Petrie

Lupient Olds – Manager Greg Frank

Park National Bank – Manager Bob Stahl

Shelard National Bank – Manager Dave Frieberg


1976 SENIOR COLT  (Ages 17 and 18, Paul Frank Field, Dakota Park)

Played Edina and New Hope

Fluidyne Engineering – Manager Al Golan

Homedale Nursery – Manager Jim Pass

Ribnick Insurance – Manager Sam Peltz

VFW # 5632 – Manager Howard Stryker


1976 BABE RUTH

Northern Division:

Teams with Managers and Coaches:

Coast to Coast (Westwood Shopping Center) – Dave Barry, Frank Tsuchiya, Gary Willey

Pic-A-Pop – Paul Stevens, Tom Stone

Eaton – Carl Hartman, Lyle Hunter, Bruce Humphrey

Hoglund Plumbing – James Gray, Greg Kleven, Bill Scholl

Minnesota Rubber – Roger Schumacher, Ray Larimore, Ev Rosen

Westwood Shopping Center – Ron Schoen, Bill Skewes, Bob Evenson

Southern Division:

Duff’s in the Park

Fire Department

Electro Sensors, Inc. (ESI)

VFW #5632

Citizens Bank

Lions Club


1976 SENIOR TEAM

[Underclassmen from Park High: – played at Peter Hobart]


1977 LITTLE LEAGUE

Jennings Red Coach Inn

National Lead


1978 LITTLE LEAGUE

Park National Bank
Jennings Red Coach Inn
Roto-Rooter
Win Stephens Buick
Jim Lupient Olds
Burger King

Rudolph’s Barbeque


1979 LITTLE LEAGUE

Jennings Red Coach Inn


The Park National Bank team (below) won the state championship and came within one game of going to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn.  Photo below posted on Facebook by Christ Parrington.

Coaches Bernie Parrington and John Divinski. Players front row left to right: Gus Nickalow, Matt Goldberg, Jim Yarosh, Dave Solseth, Bob Albers, Steve Hodek, Brian Effertz. Back row: Dan Lind, Dave Musolf, Scott Brietkrietz, Andy Stang, Jeff Stenson, Marty Marion, Chris Parrington.


1981 BABE RUTH

Park’s 13-year old Babe Ruth team, pictured below, won the State Championship, beating Apple Valley 8-2 in Moorhead.  Vic Lewis was the coach, and players represented teams sponsored by Minnesota Rubber, Kowloon Cafe, the Lions Club, and Transcontinent.


1994 LITTLE LEAGUE

Minnesota Rubber – Dave Bissonette, coach

 


2007 LITTLE LEAGUE

AAA League is machine-pitch for kids ages 6 to 8.  Teams had 14 kids each.

Apple Automatic

State Farm

Costco

Wellington Windows

Novartis

Clear Blue Mortgage

Linsk Flowers

Harmon Auto Glass

Citgo

St. Louis Park Kiwanis Club

Family Orthodontics

Minors is for kids 8 to 10.  Teams had 12 kids each.

Miracle Mile

Santorini

General Sports

Park Tavern

Jobbers Warehouse Supply

UBS (Bill Aaker)

St. Mane’s Sporting Goods

Cub Foods

Laukka-Rempfer

Rotary

Majors is for kids ages 10 to 12.  Teams have 12 kids each.

Citizens Bank

Almsted’s SuperValu

Miracle Mile

Masons Ark Lodge 176

Jiffy Car Wash

Rotary Club of St. Louis Park


2012

Over 400 kids participated in Little League.


2013

New Cal Ripken League Development Teams were formed with the purpose of promoting the skill development and teamwork of top players in the 8-12 age brackets. The organization will be lead by non-parent organizers who will select the players and coaches for each team. Cal Ripken Teams are designed to be a compliment to the Little League experience, taking advantage of the natural breaks in the Little League schedule. “We’d like to have at least 2 teams at each age level,” said [program leader Charlie] McChesney. “we’ll just have to see how we can balance the talent and demand for more baseball.”  Read more on the Patch.


PLAYING FIELDS

These are the fields that hosted Little League, Babe Ruth, and other youth baseball games.  Charlie Grisham noted that one tradition that at any such game, “if you recovered a foul ball in the stands or nearby, you could return it to the concession for a free drink or sno-cone.”

 

ACME FIELD

In 1956 the Village Recreation Department again cooperated by leasing the land for the Acme Babe Ruth Field. The field was built at a cost of $7,000 with material given the league by the Acme Stone and Lumber Co. and was located at the site of the present-day Rec Center (then Princeton and 36th Street).

Charlie Grisham remembers:

At Saturday games at Acme Field, the PA system would play marches and such.  One song I distintly remember being played a lot was “It’s a Beautiful Day for a Ballgame,” recorded by the Harry Simeone Songsters.  This YouTube recording is the very same one that was played back then.

 


C & C FIELD

In 1955 the need was seen for more playing facilities. Again Shorty was instrumental in obtaining land from the Village, and the Cusack & Carlson Realty Co. was obtained as a field sponsor for a new Little League field to be known as the C & C Field, located at Louisiana Ave. and Cedar Lake Road and built at a cost of $3500.  This field is now called Rotary Field.


CARLSON FIELD – 2541 Nevada Ave. at Louisiana Avenue

Early in 1959 land was obtained from the City Recreation Department for a new Babe Ruth field.  Carlson (Minnesota Rubber) funded the original construction costs. 3.5 acres were acquired as tax forfeited land in 1978 and that year the park got lights, irrigation, a new fence, park sign and scoreboard. A shelter and concessions stand were put in in 1992. Current acreage is 10.55. Facilities include a concessions building, sun shelter, lighted baseball field with scoreboard, dugouts and batting cages, and a soccer field.

Carlson Field, 1989. Photo by Emory Anderson

 


CENTER FIELDS

 

There were apparently three fields located at 37th and Wooddale in 1958, used by the Pee Wee League.  This is probably where Burlington Coat Factory is now.

 


CLASS A LEAGUE FIELD

 

Little League Class A (Farm) teams played at this field in 1958 – the Dispatch failed to disclose its whereabouts, however.

 


LIONS FIELD

Shorty Dale announced in January 1961 that the League was full and that Park needed another field for another League.  The result was Lion’s Field.  It was bounded by the Minneapolis Northfield and Southern Railroad tracks on the east, the Milwaukee Road/M&SL tracks on the south, and the service road for Highway 7 on the north. The land belonged to National Lead, which leased it free of charge.  Ted Dietrick described in detail how the St. Louis Park Lions Club raised money within its membership for building supplies, and Jerry Holt, owner of Holt Construction and a Lion member, had his crews build the two covered dugouts and concession stand and rooftop announcers and scorekeepers’ area.  Another Lion member donated backstop and sideline fencing and installation.  The material for the bleachers was donated.  Moms and dads worked to get the field laid out and sod installed, bases and outfied fens laid, advertising sold, eight sponsors found at a rate of $400 per sponsor, paint everything, raise money for concession machines, organize tryouts (limited to a specified geographical area within the Park), order equipment, uniforms and supplies, recruit coaches and assistants, hold coaches’ clinics, set up rules, “well, the list seemed to be endless.”  It later had to be abandoned because of the pollution that came from National Lead.  Archie Burger was elected President of the new League (while he was away making a phone call); he resigned to become a coach of one of the teams, so Ted Dietrick became President.  With mounting fears of the effects of lead, the field was shut down in 1981.


These photos, courtesy of Jerry Pickle, show that Lion’s field had any number of hazards:

lionsfieldknollwood2pickle
… nearby trains

 

lionsfieldknollwood4pickle
… a lead factory

 

 

lionsfieldknollwood8pickle
… and the NSP power lines!

 


PARK KNOLL

This field was used by the Northern Division of the Babe Ruth League in 1958.

 



PONY-COLT FIELD

Located behind the library.  Photo below is from 1970.


SKIPPY FIELD

During the first season in 1951 all games were played in Hopkins.  In 1952 the League started looking for a field of its own and Shorty Dale, who worked for the Village’s Parks Department, was instrumental in helping to obtain the use of the land that is now known as Skippy Field. This land was leased by Little League Baseball of Minnesota, Inc. from the Village Recreation Department. Shorty was again the main cog when he persuaded Jack Kuehn of Skippy Peanut Butter to sponsor the building of a Little League Field. The $4,000 field was named Skippy Field in honor of its sponsor and was completed in 1952.

A minor league field was constructed at Skippy Field in 1959 and dedicated to Shorty Dale.

Save

Save

Save