Blyleven headlines ‘Circle Me History’

Celebration of baseball to raise funds for Stearns History Museum

On Wednesday, April 24, former Minnesota Twin Bert Blyleven will headline the Stearns History Museum’s spring event, “Circle Me History,” at the Gorecki Center in St. Joseph. He’ll talk about his own journey “From Small Town to the Big Leagues.”

Social hour will be from 5:30-6:30 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the program at 7:30p.m.

Blyleven, for over 20 years in the major leagues, threw a mean curveball. He pitched his first game before he was 20 and his last game after he was 40. He threw for two winning teams in the World Series, the Minnesota Twins in 1987 and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011.

He’s currently a color commentator for the Minnesota Twins and has perfected the “Circle Me, Bert” machine, to entertain fans at all home games.

“Circle Me History” will also feature exhibits by two historians of local baseball as well as memorabilia from the St. Cloud Rox ,drawn from the Museum’s collections.

Baseball has a long history in Stearns County and has involved thousands of people. On one day, June 8, 1936, for example, the St. Cloud Daily Times and Daily Journal-Press, reported that despite Richmond’s early lead, the St. Cloud Merchants got five runs in the seventh and eighth.  Lastrup beat St. Wendel; Buckman lost to Bowlus.  Melrose gave Cold Spring a shellacking at 10 to 0.  In other lopsided games Holdingford beat Avon 15-3, Watkins beat Albany 12-3 and Royalton took St. Stephen 14-2. Kimball defeated Kingston and Dassel beat Eden Valley.  Cokato beat Darwin. In the upset of the day, the Rockville team took undefeated St. Martin’s 3-1.

There were other games in the Northern League ,in the Morrison County League and the Meeker County League. All of these games — and others — got full coverage in the newspaper — and this was in early June, not yet the height of the season.

The diamonds in area communities have long been alive with the sounds of bats and balls, cheers and boos. The St. Cloud Rox and the River Bats, local games and intertown rivalries provided entertainment, happy family afternoons (especially for the winners), as well as community building momentum all over Stearns County.

Softball, Little League, pick up games, women’s teams, college teams, American Indian teams all have played a part in the history of Stearns County.

The event commemorates all of these teams and these players — even the wannabes.

The Stearns Museum will also take the opportunity to present its Zapp Historian Award to Professor Bill Morgan, local historian, retired Saint Cloud State professor, and author of several books on Stearns County history. The event will include dinner and silent and live auctions

Blyleven will sign one item per person and dinner guests will also have the opportunity to have their own photos taken in front of a historic photo of the old Rox stadium.

“Circle Me History” tickets can be purchased on line at www.stearns-museum.org, over the telephone at (320) 253-8424, or in person at 235 South 33rd Avenue, St. Cloud.

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