Springfield picked as the 3rd site for tourney

NEW ULM — In 2020, both Johnson and Mueller Parks will host 63 games for the Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournaments.

And Springfield has been chosen to the third site for the tournament.

“We had also considered Sleepy Eye as the third site,” said Al Flor, the Chairman of the 2020 State Tournament. “But we chose Springfield because they are going to be doing more capital improvements to their park. And they are not in as close proximity to New Ulm in case of rain. Those were probably the two main reasons.”

Dale “Lumber” Lindmeier of the Springfield Baseball Association said that they have raised $400,000 for projects that include a new concession stand with new bathrooms and a new press box.

“We are also looking at adding new bullpens, one down the rightfield line and the other down the leftfield line,” he said. “We are also doing on-field improvements. The Park and Rec board here are working with FEMA because of the floods and they are also going to meet again. We are looking like we will get projects going in the spring. We have replanted all of the grass in the outfield and the infield is the only thing that we re-sodded. I looked at the infield on Saturday and it looks very nice.”

Lindmeier said that the City of Springfield “has been fantastic and receptive. Having a state tournament is going to be huge for Springfield. We want to thank the New Ulm Baseball Association for putting their trust and faith in us.”

And speaking about Johnson and Mueller Parks, usually in the spring, Mueller Park has been the first park to host high school games.

But that will not be the case for this spring as Johnson Park will host the early high school games this spring.

“The way that the schedule is playing out right now with some of the things that have come up, the plan now is to utilize Johnson for the spring season and Mueller Park partially with the spring season depending on project completion and availability,” said Ryan Weier, New Ulm Park and Recreation Facility Maintenance Supervisor. “There have been some challenges with some of the subsoil conditions at Mueller and some of the projects. Also this fall the cold weather came in prematurely has also hindered that project.”

Perhaps the biggest news about work at both parks is from the RENU project. Following the Section 2AAA Baseball Tournament that will be played at both parks, there will be no more baseball played at Johnson Park this year after June 3.

That is going to throw some curves to baseball here. Mueller Park can be used but it is going to cause some scheduling concerns for Legion and VFW baseball and especially for the Junior and Upper Midwest Classic Tournaments.

HOFFMANN CHOSES CONCORDIA-ST. PAUL: Following this upcoming baseball season at Century College, J.T. Hoffmann will be playing for Concordia College.

“I felt Concordia was the best fit for me,” said Hoffmann, who hit .377 in 24 games for Century. He also had 10 RBI and 15 stolen bases.

Concordia coach Mark McKenzie likes Hoffmann.

“He has tremendous speed, said. McKenzie. “We spent some time with and I know his family from playing against his older brother — they are a baseball family. I am convinced that with his great work ethic that he will be a solid contributor in the outfield for us.”