“It is the life-affirming genius of baseball that the short can pummel the tall, the rotund can make fools of the sleek, and no matter how far down you find yourself in the bottom of the ninth you can always pull out a miracle.”Bill Vaughn
On our way back up I-35 from Texas we decided to postpone our Kansas City stop. The game ended up getting rained out and we wanted to lump the Negro League Museum in with a Royals game to get the full KC baseball experience. We opted to head for home.
We spent a couple of days home in Minnesota, enjoying the opportunity to see family and friends after 42 out of 43 days on the road. We knew that we’d pick up right were we left off with these relationships, and we were happy to see their faces in person.
We had baseball today! I had felt a bit of withdrawal as we’d gone a few days without a game. We are continuing the I-35 portion of The Great Baseball Ride, which includes all that we love about Minnesota baseball.
Today’s game is our first Town Ball game on our schedule. Town ball is a big deal in Minnesota. For some reason, Minnesota has the most town ball amateur baseball teams of any state in the entire country. Your typical team will be made up of players that played at the high school or collegiate level and just want to play a bit more. Some teams will have players that played minor league baseball, and occasionally you’ll find ex-MLBers on a team; former MLB All-Star Terry Steinbach having been one of them.
Today we see the Cannon Falls Bears vs. the Miesville Mudhens at Jack Ruhr Stadium in Miesville. The Miesville Mudhens are one of the best baseball experiences that we have ever been to (at any level). We typically go to a game our two a year. Miesville is usually one of the better teams in Minnesota as they have won multiple State Class B titles, and were runners up last year.
The town itself is about 125 people strong with a tractor dealership, two gas stations, two churches, two restaurants, a number of houses, all surrounded by farms. The stadium itself is set into a corn field, which was being planted as we watched our game.
One of the above mentioned restaurants is King’s Place and it is a must visit if you go to a Mudhens game. It is a burger joint through and through, with approximately 80 different kinds of burgers. If you have ever thought of putting it on a burger patty, they serve it. Since we are not new to Miesville, we opted out of Kings for the day and decided to enjoy the food at the stadium.
Memorial Day weekend at Jack Ruhr stadium, playing a team that is within a 20 minute drive is a guaranteed busy day. We parked just outside of the parking lot, basically in a playground. Not actually in it, but if there is a grassy area that is next to a playground and thought to be part of it, that is where we parked. It seemed fine at the time, but seems less fine now that I try to describe it in writing.
Admission to the game is $3 per adult and kids under 12 are free. Beers are strictly domestic and are $3 each. I enjoyed the Champagne of Beers, a Miller High Life. I am no connoisseur of beer, but I will say it was — very different — from all of the craft beers I have been drinking. Burgers, hotdogs, candy, etc are all priced low as well, and it is one of the cheapest ways for a family to go out for a night.
There is a nice grandstand to sit in, but one of the parts we love about Miesville games is the opportunity to sit along the grassy area along the left field line. It’s a perfect place to set up a picnic, or bring your own chairs to sit an watch the game. The added benefit is that it is also a perfect spot for energetic young kids to be able to run around. Parents get to see the game, and kids get to not have to sit still for three hours; win/win.
We had a big crew this game as not only Keke, Soren, and I attended, but we also had Keke’s dad, our Godson, and our niece all along as well. After over a month away from our family it was our hope that the we could do spend as much time with our family at the remaining Minnesota games of our trip.
We really enjoyed the game, but that really isn’t what the day, and, for that matter, the entirety of our trip, is really about. It’s about the wonderful time spent with loved ones at the games, and on the road. This day was perfect as we got to spend a beautiful day at a beautiful field with beautiful people.