The opening day attendance record for the Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament is 4,456 spectators at the 1949 state tournament in Detroit Lakes.
How close will Waconia-Chaska-Hamburg get to that figure in 2021? Mother Nature certainly put a damper on the opening night scene, keeping many folks home.
Chaska and Miesville played into the fourth inning; the Mudhens leading 5-0.
Over in Hamburg, the Milroy Irish-Maple Lake game never got started, while in Waconia a long delay was for naught as heavy rain started during the fourth batter of the game between Young America and St. Clair.
All three games will be resumed at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 22.
The state board clearly set its sights on that number, or the very least becoming only the third state tournament to open with more than 2,000 fans dating back to 1953.
Tickets from Friday's games are good for the resumed contests on Sunday.
Athletic Park: host Chaska Cubs vs Miesville Mudhens
- A Friday night, $5 entry, the city of Chaska hopefully will show up in droves to the park to catch the hometown Cubs, check out the field, and enjoy a beer and burger.
- Miesville, one of the best traveling B teams in the state, should also draw well. The Mudhens were state champions in 2016 and 2017, and played in the championship in 2018.
- A key bat in Miesville's championship years, Ronnie Sweeney, has returned. The Mudhens still have former MVP Deryk Marks and former minor leaguer Matt van der Bosch, who is playing in his final year of his 30s.
- The Chaska Cubs will honor the 1971 state championship team before the game with Dale Welter throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
Lions Field: Young America Cardinals vs St. Clair Wood Ducks
- If 500 or so fans showed up on a Friday night in Hamburg for a Region 7C state qualifier game between Young America and Brownton, can you imagine what the scene will be in Waconia tonight? Western Carver County should be well represented in the stands.
- Young America is a post-season tested squad. The younger guys have matured, Josh Lenz looked nasty last weekend on the mound, and they have state championship pedigree in veteran Matt Mann.
- St. Clair, south east of Mankato, is making its second state tournament appearance, having now appeared in back-to-back years. The Woodies won three games last weekend to advance to state, and along the way picked up Garrett Anderson of Blue Earth, who started in the 2019 championship game as a draftee for champion Jordan, as well as veteran ace Lee Hodges.
Hawk Park: Maple Lake Lakers vs Milroy Irish
- I'm hard pressed to find a first-round match-up with more storied baseball town history than these two. Milroy, with a population of 222, boasts two baseball teams, and they are both in the tournament.
- Don't yell Dolan into the Irish dugout, otherwise you may have eight sets of eyes looking your way. That's right, there are eight players with the last name Dolan on the roster for Milroy.
- Year in and year out, Maple Lake has been a team battling for a state title, winning one in 2012. The Lakers are making their 10th trip to state in the last 11 years. Shoe beer anyone?