Although the traditional gift for a 40th anniversary is the ruby, the Minnesota Senior Men’s Amateur Baseball Association will mark that milestone on Friday, Aug. 16 with a baseball as the 35 and Older league celebrates its 40th year.
In 1979, founding fathers Duane and Dave Gaulke came up with the idea of a league where older players could continue competing against other community teams.
Duane started the Jordan Alers and Dave founded a team in Savage. Joined by a couple other teams, the league was underway. Their vision continues to thrive across the state with 21 teams in the River Valley League and nine teams in the Northwest Minnesota League. Additionally, the 35 and older Federal League has over 20 teams.
On Friday night, the Jordan Mini Met will host and honor almost every member of the MSMABA Hall of Fame, kicking off the 2019 State Senior Men’s Tournament.
The Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will kick-off the evening at 5:30 p.m. as four new members are enshrined. Bob Britz from Shakopee, Pete Moulten from St. Peter, Ollie Woida from Urbank and Jim Dyvig from New Hope will be honored for their play and commitment to the league.
Their plaques will join the others that hang in Clancy’s Bar in Jordan, the longtime home of the MSMABA Hall of Fame.
Following this ceremony, a 40th anniversary program will lead into the opening game of the state tournament, a classic showdown between the Jordan Alers and Jordan Millers.
The Millers are 12-2 on the season, earning the overall No. 2 seed. The Alers have put together a strong season as well, going 9-6. On Jordan Baseball Day in June, the Millers won 10-5 over the Alers.
The remainder of the teams from the River Valley League and the Northwest League will come together Aug. 17-18 and Aug. 24-25 for their annual state tournament. Games will be played in Jordan, St. Peter, Belle Plaine, Union Hill, and Le Center.
Admission is free and a full concessions stand is available at all parks.
Full schedules for all games can be found at www.msmaba.com, @MSMABA79 on Twitter and Minnesota Senior Men’s Baseball on Facebook.