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Build it, and they will play: In Milroy, amateur baseball holds a special place

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

By Gregg Aamot | 05/13/16

The view from right field at Irish Yard. MinnPost photo by Gregg Aamot

The view from right field at Irish Yard. MinnPost photo by Gregg Aamot

MILROY, Minn. – On the first Sunday in May, the Milroy Irish opened their fifth season of play at Irish Yard, a baseball diamond carved into a soybean field on the outskirts of this southwestern Minnesota town.

About 60 fans showed up – a small weekend crowd by Irish standards, but decent considering the breezy, high-50s weather – to watch the Irish hold on for a 6-5 win over Stark, a tiny township that also fields a team in the state’s Class C amateur baseball division.

“It’s such a relaxing time to come out here and watch baseball,” said Caleb Krause, a college freshman whose family farm sits within view of the ballpark. Krause – home for the weekend and helping his younger brother, Amos, run the 20-foot-high, Green Monster-like scoreboard in left field – said he expected to attend many games this season. “There’s not much else to do in the summer except watch baseball,” he said. “Besides, it’s still America’s pastime, isn’t it?”

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Remembering the Killer and his tape measure home runs

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Bob Otto and Harmon Killebrew have their picture taken at Quakes Stadium in Rancho Cucamonga.

YUCAIPA, CA – Late into the night, lying on my bed in my upstairs farmhouse bedroom, I would listen to Twins games on the old Motorola. Listening and hoping the Killer would crush another of his tape measure home runs.

Back in the early 1960s I was a true Minnesota Twins fan. And my favorite ball player was Hall of Famer, Harmon Killebrew.

But we – his loyal fans – preferred to call him Killer.

Killebrew swung a bat harder than anyone in the game. Killebrew didn’t just hit home runs, he crushed them.

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