Belle Plaine Baseball Association
by Gerry Meyer 10/7/07
The great game of amateur baseball has been a part of the Belle Plaine Community since the early 1880's. The earliest organized teams can be tracked to about 1885. Today, the Belle Plaine Tigers are well recognized across the State of Minnesota in most circles of amateur baseball conversation as a proud and top class baseball operation. Always competitive on the field and always examples of sportsmanship off the field. We are proud of our heritage.
Prior to 1923 when our present mascot the Tiger was thankfully chosen, Belle Plaine teams were known by a variety of names. The White Lilies, Red Caps, Red Stockings, Governors, Juniors, Giants, etc. were our hardball representatives on area diamonds. Games played in Belle Plaine were played for this entire time in the area of our present Tiger Park. The park in early days was known as Union Park and featured several configurations. The present layout was of recent design dating back only to 1991 when the present grandstand was built.
For approximately the first 62 years of Belle Plaine Baseball was supported for the most part by flour mills, cigar factories, and a cross section of local merchants. Teams flourished, uniforms and equipment were always there for our early players.
After W W II and our boys were home and looking for baseball action. It took until 1947 for the first version of the present Baseball Association was organized. At that time Class "A" baseball was running with a high fever pitch across the Minnesota river valley. The intent of this organization was to promote and provide basic support for baseball in Belle Plaine. The original officers and directors of the initial Association were: Fred Keup Sr. Pres., Emil Rusch VP, Lloyd O' Brien Sec., Maurice Gaffney Treas. & Eugene F. O'Brien Gen. Mgr. Original Directors were Jack Newell, Arnie Stier, Leo Engfer, Chas. Townsend, Joe Mohrbacher, Jim Daly Sr., Tony Schultz, N. Thomton, Doc Bromaghin, Jerry O'Connell and Loren Gibson.
This group guided the great game in Belle Plaine from 1947 until the late 1950's when this initial edition of the Belle Plaine Baseball Association was dissolved.
For the next 21 years, baseball support was once again carried by individuals and several community clubs (Veteran's Club, Jaycees). This remained the primary means of support until 1986 when a group of boosters decided it was once again time to organize an Association. Thus, in November of '86 the Belle Plaine Baseball Association was revived and the precursor of the present extremely successful organization. The officers and directors in 1986 was filed as follows: Wayne Hagerman Pres., Vern Nyblom Sec.-Treas., with Directors Gerry Meyer, Gary Lockrem, Lloyd Schultz, & John Bailey.
The 2007 Association was comprised of ten (10) members: Gerry Meyer Pres., Brad Schultz VP, Brent Meyer Sec-Treas. Directors are Dave Hartman, Kevin Studnicka, Dennis Lawson, Brett Kruschke, Shane Hofmann, Ross Zellmann, & Jeff O'Brien. There are 40 registered/voting members of the Association.
Others serving terms since '86 and retired (not mentioned above): Marv Hartman, Gary Trost, Orin Kruschke, Bruce Schmidt, Larry Benson, Tom Schuneman, & Paul Creighton.
The on going objective of the Belle Plaine Baseball Association remains: "Committed to the Support of Amateur Baseball".
Play Ball! GJM 10/7/2007