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.





Little League was founded by Carl Stotz in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1939 as a three team league.




Local Little League in the western suburbs was inspired when Carl Hensel of Minnetonka witnessed it on a trip to Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  It began with a 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).




A non-profit organization called Little League Baseball of Minnesota was established, with Carl N. Hensel as president.  (Minneapolis Star, June 19, 1951)




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

  • Edina-Morningside, 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.


The new league was announced in the Minneapolis Tribune on June 12, 1951 in Sunny Jim’s “On the Route” Column – this was an informational/advertisement for Golden Guernsey products.  The column reported that each of the four districts would have a team, with two games a week and “probably” an 18 game schedule.  Each district would also have a 6-man reserve squad as well.  At the end of the season, the best players would be picked to play against other leagues, at Chicago, Indianapolis and Cincinnati, and if they win they would go on to the Little League World Series at Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where Little League began.


At first boys had to be between 8 and 12 years old, live in one of the four school districts, and send a penny postcard to president Carl N. Hensel.


Little League fields had specific dimensions.  Outfields had to be enclosed with a semicircular fence 180 feet from home base.  Games lasted for six innings instead of nine.  Bases were 60 feet apart instead of 90 as in regulation baseball.  Intentions were for the league to have its own field along Highway 7, behind the St. Louis Park Theater (the present City Hall had not been built yet), but it would not be ready for some time.  Initial games were played at a temporary field in Hopkins, four blocks south of Highway 7, behind the Hopkins High School athletic field. (Minneapolis Star, June 29, 1951)


About 250 players were involved in the league’s first year in action, as estimated by Shorty Dale.


The first Little League in our area was played on July 9, 1951, when Minnetonka met Hopkins on the temporary field in Hopkins.  The first game for the St. Louis Park team was against Hopkins, on July 13, 1951.  (Minneapolis Star, July 9 and 13, 1951)





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





The teams were essentially the same as in the 1951 season.  The age limit was 10 – 12 year olds.  The 1953 season began on June 6, 1953, 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.






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


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. A benefit game day was held for Butch’s medical expenses, and he was back playing baseball the next season.  Butch became a great golfer even with only seven fingers.  Butch’s coach was Joe Borer.









The Park Little League expanded to eight teams in 1955 – an American and National league with four teams each.  Don Tuthill was again president. Approximately 1,800 players were involved with the program, according to Shorty Dale.


C & C Field was built in 1955 – see section on playing fields at the end of this page.  In an article about Little League (Minneapolis Star, July 4, 1955), Jim Byrne wrote:


St. Louis Park still has the model Little league baseball park with its fenced in fields, bleachers, dugouts, press box and concession stands.  When Park had its registration day for the 1955 Little league baseball program on April 30, there were 549 boys of Little league baseball age who signed up for tryouts.  Over 50 more have fallen in the ranks since.  Regular practices have been going on since the first of May and boys cut from Little league squads have been immediately assigned to recreation department teams in the community.  Right now St. Louis Park has a National and American loop as its “major leagues.”  Fifteen players are carried on each team to account for 120 boys.  By midsummer some 600 other boys from 9 to 12 years of age are expected to be engaged in “kid” baseball in the Park alone.


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.








The season opened on June 2, 1956.


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




The Babe Ruth League was started for boys aged 13-15 years old.  There were six teams with 15 players each.


  • D’Arcy Leck Construction
  • Citizens State Bank
  • Lions Club
  • Coca-Cola
  • Rothschild
  • Dairy Fresh







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.





275 boys registered but only 120 could play.  Acme Field was established (see the end of this page for playing field histories.)


The Babe Ruth season opened on June 8, 1957.


  • 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







Park’s Shorty Dale was the State’s Little League director.  He predicted that the Little League program would break all records that summer. The Minneapolis Star  (April 22, 1958) reported that there were 22 major leagues in the local area:

  • St. Paul: 4
  • Richfield: 2
  • Edina: 2
  • St. Louis Park:  2
  • Minnetonka:  2
  • West St. Paul
  • Hopkins
  • Groveland-Deephaven
  • Excelsior
  • Mound
  • Golden Valley
  • Robbinsdale
  • Brooklyn Center
  • The Sunset Loop (Anoka)
  • North Star Loop (Alexander Ramsey Area)


This marked the addition of seven new communities.


Gaylord Conn was President of SLP Little League.   Opening day was June 7, 1958,  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 1958


  • 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


Photo courtesy Ruth Conley


Hopkins won the Suburban Little League Tournament in 1958.





The season opened on June 8, 1958.  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



The photo below was donated to the St. Louis Park Historical Society, identified as the Citizens State Bank Babe Ruth team, Southern Division, coached by Oscar Rasmussen, far right.  The sponsoring bank president, Clarence “Jinx” Holberg, is pictured on the far left.  Next to him is the league president, Jim Devine.  There was no year given, but consensus on Facebook seems to lean in favor of 1958.  There were the same divisions in 1959, but the lack of the team name on the uniforms seem to hint of the earlier year.






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, 1958.


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







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
  • 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)





Southern League opened at Acme Field in June 1959, 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



In 1959 there was a new league under consideration for boys that graduated 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
  • Bob Cats


The photo below may be that of the 1959 Bob Cats.  James von Arx names the players as:

Back row: Chuck Hiekenin, Lee Kaman, Steve Wilson, Stu Alexander, Larry Seman, Bob Gold, David Thorbeck
Middle Row:  Craig McNulty, Duppy Lamb, Unknown, Jimmy von Arx, Tim Lamb, Unknown, Mike Gardner, Roger Barr
Front Row:  Unknown, Steve Graybow, Phil Bummel, Alan Beal, Beckeus, Dulebohn, Dennis Vitoff, Unknown
Unknowns may include Craig Larsen, Lee Cornell, and Jim Kumpula


Photo courtesy James von Arx



Western Division Teams


  • Smashers
  • Yankees


Eastern Division Teams

  • Sluggers
  • Redbirds


Southern Division Teams


  • Browns
  • Braves






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

    Photo courtesy Fred Mutchler


Tom Seim:


The picture above 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.





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


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.




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

  • Golden Valley

  • Richfield

  • Crystal





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





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


SLP Fire Department


Photo of 1962 Fire Department Little League team courtesy Steve Stein via Facebook



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 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 American League Teams

  • Police Federation – Jim Dahl and Robert Standal, coaches – Champions
  • Ewald Brothers Dairy
  • Rotary Club
  • Meyers Advertising
  • Skippy Peanut Butter



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




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


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.



The VFW Cardinals won the Park National Farm Team championship.



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.




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








Citizens State Bank


Fitwell Mens Store




The photo below, described as a Little League minor division all-star team, shows players from teams such as the Rotarians and Miracle Mile.


Photo courtesy Jim Kordaris via Facebook



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



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



Babe Ruth Northern 1966


Coast to Coast – State Champions



Posted on Facebook by Barry Riven and Vivien Burstein Riven



1966 Babe Ruth Lion’s Club.  Played at Acme Field, now the Rec Center.


Back Row:   Coach Ray Racette, Cris Gears, Fred Rogers, Chuck Immel, Rick Bohn, Brian Racette, Dave Klumpner, Mike Siewert, Coach Bob Hayes, player agent M. Runmark

Front Row:  Brian Gottlieb, Pete Racette, Dan Rogers, Brian Immel, Brian Grover, Jack Runmark, Mike Perlman



Westwood Shopping Center





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



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



1967 Dutch Boy team photo courtesy Randy 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


Names of the 10, 11, and 12-year-olds on these teams are on file at the St. Louis Park Historical Society.



Park Central


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



Republic Creosoting


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:

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


1968 National Lead team at Lions Field. Photo courtesy Randy Kirihara via Facebook.






  • Garrison Construction
  • Shoppers’ City Furniture
  • Gopher Glass
  • Stephens’ Buick


VFW Post 5632 Little League baseball team played at C&C Field (also known as Northside Park), located behind Sol’s on Cedar Lake Road. This is their 1969 team!



Jim Kirshbaum provided the photo and these names:


From left to right, front row:  Jimmy Engler, Tommy Pierce, Judd Larson, Harvey Reiser.
Middle row:  Steve Kirshbaum, Keith Block, Howard Millstein, Dan Gruenberg, Kurt Hyster, Ted Cook, Mike Gould, Bruce Humphrey.
Back row Ed Javinski, coach Bob Barnett, Jim Kirshbaum, coach Mickey Kirshbaum






Southern League Teams:


  • Shoppers City
  • Citizens State Bank
  • Police
  • Volunteer Fire Department
  • Lions Club


The Southern League played at Acme Field at 36th and Princeton.  The League president was John Burke.




Garrison Construction


Shoppers City Furniture


Bruce Hope donated his uniform from his Shoppers City Furniture team! Photo by Emory Anderson




Arctic Cat





Arctic Cat


Below:  Penny’s Super Market at CC Field.


Photo courtesy Scott Winer via Facebook





Miracle Mile was St. Louis Park’s champion team in the age 10-11 group.  The photo below was taken at Skippy Field.


Image courtesy Daniel Gary via Facebook




Arctic Cat



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




  • 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




  • Barrett Moving and Storage – Champion
  • McCoy
  • Fitwell Men’s Store
  • Dutch Boy (National Lead)



  • Jobbers
  • Leaning Post
  • Dutch Boy (National Lead)
  • Barrett Moving and Storage


1975 National Little League




  • Park National Bank – Champion.  Gary Perna, a member of this team, said this about his experience:

Little League Base Ball in SLP was the best!  By the way, the photo of this team I played on reminds me of the movie “Bad News Bears,” back from about this year, lol.


Photo of the Park National Championship team courtesy Gary Perna via Facebook.  Gary is sitting right behind the sign.


  • 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




  • Gambles, Sam Peltz, Manager
  • Homedale Nursery, Jim Pass, Manager
  • VFW #5632, Bob Brown, Manager
  • Fluidyne Engineering, Al Golan, Manager




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




Underclassmen from Park High: – played at Peter Hobart

Tom Holzer and Chuck Bohlig, coaches




1976 American Little League – Skippy Field.




  • Skippy Peanut Butter
  • Big B’s Pizza
  • McDonald’s
  • Miracle Mile
  • Jenning’s
  • Meyer’s Advertising




1976 Central Little League:  Lion’s Field




  • McCoy
  • Dutch Boy
  • Fitwell Men’s Store
  • Barrett Moving and Storage
  • Jobber’s Warehouse
  • Leaning Post – Champions


Below is the team photo of the winning Leaning Post team.  Team member Denny Ball reports that the team was undefeated in 1976, beating Barrett in the Championship Game.  They also won the championship the next year as well – “We were unstoppable! We had team parties at The Leaning Post,” their sponsor and a notorious singles bar!


Photo courtesy Denny Ball


Top row: coach Evan Ball, Kevan Ball, Bill Bosley:  Denny Ball remembered that Bill “was the best pitcher in the league.  No one could hit on him – he brought the heat.  We were always confident we would say Bill if is pitching we are going to Win!”

Middle left: Head coach Denny Monson

Bottom left:  Denny Ball. Larry Osmic is sitting on the ground, second from the right.

Other players: Jeff Langben, Todd Blom (our best player), Brian Berg, and Shawn Murray.





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 National Little League




  • 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
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





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





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




  • Jennings Red Coach Inn
  • National Lead



National Lead Little League team at Lions Field, courtesy John Froom via Facebook



Park National Team Sponsored by Win Stephens Buick:


Photo courtesy Dave Goldman via Facebook








1978 Kowloon Babe Ruth Team, courtesy Jeff Bolter




  • Park National Bank
  • Jennings Red Coach Inn
  • Roto-Rooter
  • Win Stephens Buick
  • Jim Lupient Olds
  • Burger King
  • Rudolph’s Barbeque


Park National Team at Northside Park, 1978




Jennings Red Coach Inn


The 1979 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.



From 1959-1981 there were three separate LL programs in St. Louis Park.





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.


Minnesota Rubber – Dave Bissonette, coach




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




Over 400 kids participated in Little League.



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.”



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.”




In 1956 the City’s 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 remembered:

At Saturday games at Acme Field, the PA system would play marches and such.  One song I distinctly remember being played a lot was “It’s a Beautiful Day for a Ballgame,” recorded by the Harry Simeone Songsters.



In 1955 the need was seen for more playing facilities. Again Shorty was instrumental in obtaining land from the Park Board.  The Cusack & Carlson Realty Co. sponsored the new Little League field to be known as the C & C Field, located at 22nd Street and Nevada Ave. Cusak and Carlson contributed sodding, a press box, backstop, dugouts, bleachers, fences, a public address system, and an electric scoreboard.  The cost was $3500.  This field became known as 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





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.





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





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 outfield fence laid, advertising sold, eight sponsors found at a rate of $400 per sponsor, painted everything, raised money for concession machines, organized tryouts (limited to a specified geographical area within the Park), ordered equipment, uniforms and supplies, recruited coaches and assistants, held coaches’ clinics, set up rules, “well, the list seemed to be endless.”


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:


… nearby trains


… a lead factory



… and the NSP power lines!




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




Located behind the library.







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.