Saints Barnstorm Cold Spring (MN) (w/PHOTOS)

We dropped by historic Cold Spring Baseball Park in Cold Spring (MN) on Saturday to watch the indy pro American Association’s St. Paul Saints take on the Central Minnesota Amateur All-Stars in an exhibition game.  The event, which was presented by Killebrew Root Beer, was part of the Saints’ 2011 pre-season barnstorming tour.

The All-Stars team was made up of top players from the adult amateur teams from the Cold Spring area, including the Cold Spring Springers, which have won seven Minnesota adult amateur baseball titles.  (Townball, as it’s known, has an incredibly rich history in Minnesota.  Enjoy a Field of Dreams-feeling Minnesota townball video here.  Check out the 400-page book Town Ball here.)  Making an appearance at the the game was the Saints’ pink girly pig mascot, Mudonna, and Northern Brewing Co.’s nifty mobile bar wagon.  Oh, and the Saints beat the All-Stars 8-1.

The Saints began their barnstorming tradition in 2008, when the club played the Miesville Mudhens, one of the most popular townball teams in Minnesota, at 100-year-old Jack Ruhr Field in tiny Miesville (Pop. 135).

Professional Salute to Amatuer Baseaball

ST. PAUL, MN (April 1, 2011) – Cities dating back more than 100 years, so too does the rich tradition of amateur baseball.  Amateur ballplayers in cities large and small have been playing for the love of the game dating back to the early 1900s.  The community support in these areas brings pride and tradition to some of the greatest amateur teams the state of Minnesota has to offer.  It was with this in mind that the Saints began their barnstorming tour in 2008 and will once again continue this season.  The Saints will play two exhibition games against amateur teams, one in St. Paul and one in Cold Spring, MN.  These games highlight a busy preseason schedule as the team prepares for the 2011 American Association season.

 
In a span of 10 days, beginning May 1, the Saints will play six exhibition games at four different ballparks in two different countries.
 
On Sunday, May 1 the Saints will travel less than three miles for a 2:00 p.m. contest at Toni Stone Field at Dunning Sports Complex to take on the St. Paul Amateur Leagues All-Stars.  The field is named after Toni Stone, an African-American woman who grew up in St. Paul in the 1930s.  Her desire to play professional baseball led her to take the place of one of the greatest hitters of all-time, Hank Aaron, on the Indianapolis Clowns in the Negro Leagues, when Aaron entered Major League Baseball.  She batted .364 in 1953, the fourth highest batting average in the league.  The field plays host to many teams, from 14-year-old games to men’s leagues.
 
The other exhibition game on an amateur field will take the Saints nearly 90 miles away to Cold Spring Baseball Park in Cold Spring, MN.  On Saturday, May 7 at 3:35 p.m. the Saints will take on the Cold Spring Springers, one of the most successful amateur teams in the state.  They are a seven-time state champion, with their last coming in 2001, hold a record 49 state tournament appearances and have finished in the top-three at the State Tournament nine times in the last 16 years.
 
Cold Spring Baseball Park was built on farmland in 1922 as area farmers and horse-drawn scrapers leveled the field.  In 1923 Cold Spring played its first game on the field. 
 
Each of the games against amateur teams will help raise money for historic amateur leagues and ballparks. 
 
The Saints began their barnstorming tradition in 2008 when they celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Jack Ruhr Field in Miesville, taking on the Miesville Mudhens.  In 2009, they played at the same field against the Cannon Valley League All-Stars.  Last season, the Saints played the River Valley All-Stars at Athletic Park in Chaska and the Riverview League All-Stars at Minnetonka’s Veterans Field.
 
The remainder of the Saints exhibition games will take place against a familiar foe, the Winnepeg Goldeyes, who make their American Association debut in 2011.  The Saints and Goldeyes were rivals prior to 2006 as members of the Northern League.  Winnipeg visits Midway Stadium in St. Paul on Thursday, May 5 (7:05 p.m.) and Friday, May 6 (10:35 a.m.).  The Saints will head to Winnipeg for two games on May 9 (7:00 p.m.) and May 10 (12:00 p.m.).
 
Tickets for the exhibition game at Toni Stone Field are $5 for adults and $3 for kids 13 and under.  For more information on how to purchase tickets or other event information visit http://www.friendsofstpaulbaseball.org.  Tickets for the exhibition game in Cold Spring are available for $5 and can be purchased at the Saints Box Office or on the day of the game at Cold Spring Baseball Park.
 
Tickets for all Saints exhibition and regular season home games are available now in person at the Saints Box Office, by phone at 651-644-6659 or online at saintsbaseball.com.

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