Sherburne History Center

Sherburne History Center
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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Baseball Memories in Sherburne County

from Clear Water Times 1920
October means World Series Baseball, and this year with the Minnesota Twins in the playoffs, the game take a special importance throughout the state.  However, baseball has a long tradition beyond the professional level that has flourished in the late 1900s.  In Sherburne County, the game hearkens back more than 100 years as the sport of choice for so many young men.  The memories about baseball abound throughout the small communities of Minnesota.  Sherburne County is no exception.

Archie Larson, from Orrock, remembers, in the book Boondocks Baseball, back to the time of semipro teams throughout the area.  “Back in the summer of 1917 a couple of us players from Orrock were asked to come and play for Glendorado.  If we won, we’d get $5, if we lost we’d get nothing,” he said.  “We got in trouble and were losing as we went into the ninth inning.  Then our luck changed and we managed to go ahead and we won the game at the last minute.  After all the hoorays and shouting we went over to the manager to pick up our money.  ‘Oh heck!’ he exclaimed, real embarrassed like.  ‘I thought sure we were going to lose, and I plumb forgot to take up the collection.’”  Archie never does mention whether he ever got his five dollars.

But the baseball tradition goes back, beyond the century mark, beyond the semi-pro games in Sherburne County.  Men and boys have been playing the game, for fun and profit, for many years.  And, many of the communities organized fine teams during those times.  In his book Boondocks Baseball, Cliff Sakry remembers many skillful teams in the communities in and around Elk River.  Monticello, Rogers, Orrock, Santiago, Zimmerman, Clear Lake, and Forest Lake are just a few of the teams that gave Elk River stiff competition on the baseball field.

Beyond the professional level, baseball has clearly been an important tradition in Sherburne County for many decades.  In a time before professional ball, the team of nines has entertained many generations of county residents.

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