City Field in Wabasso plays unique role during state baseball tournament

Josh Guetter
Redwood Falls Gazette

Like most aspects of life in 2020, the start of the Minnesota amateur baseball season was met with uncertainty.

Through several twists of fate, the amateur baseball season not only was able to proceed, but City Field in Wabasso played a key role during the state baseball tournament. City Field, along with Francis Manderscheid Field, hosted batting practice for a variety of different teams.

As a result, some of the best amateur baseball talent in Minnesota was able to participate on Wabasso’s field prior to their game.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the beginning of the amateur baseball season was delayed.

As June approached, the fate of the 2020 season was still up in the air.

Eventually, teams across the state began playing each other in exhibition games.

By late June, some teams were playing each other in official league games.

By July, the season looked to be back on track with the state tournament scheduled for late August.

That’s when the sport was thrown a curveball.

Before the delay of the season, the state tournament was scheduled to be hosted by New Ulm, with Springfield as a co-host. That was still the plan until late July, when the New Ulm City Council voted to not host it.

That left a vacancy that was filled by Milroy and Yankee Field, which was chosen as the new state tournament host site, along with Springfield.

This unconventional journey marked the first time in the history of Minnesota amateur baseball that the state tournament would be played in Redwood County.

That is where City Field came into the picture. During all three weekends of the state tournament, the teams that would play in Milroy would first take batting practice in Wabasso.

The higher seeded team would hit at City Field, where they were treated to music and a well-kept field.

The lower seeded team would travel across town to hit at Francis Manderscheid Field.

This presented Wabasso with a unique opportunity to host teams across the entire state of Minnesota.

The tournament itself proved to be very successful.

In the championship game played on Labor Day in Springfield, the Fairmont Martins defeated the St. Patrick Irish 12-0 to claim the title and put the finishing touches on a very strange season.

The unique circumstances surrounding the state tournament allowed Wabasso to showcase its own baseball community.