I moved from Gaylord in late summer of 1950, an eighth-grader, looking forward to going back to school. This past week I returned to Gaylord to root for Shakopee in the state tournament. What a nostalgic trip!
Before the game started, I took a walk down by the lake where I fished for bullheads. I walked around the roller skating rink where my sister Rene and I spent many hours going round and round.
I was the batboy for the Gaylord town team in 1947 and 1948. I recall vividly my wool uniform and trip after trip into those oak trees behind the stands to retrieve foul balls. I remember a lot of brush between the trees. The grandstand was much smaller then. Mr. Oldenburg was the manager.
There was no fence back then and everyone waited for Robbie Heideman or Wally Zachow to hit a rocket that landed and rolled over the road to New Auburn. I dreamed that one day Allen Zachow and I would hit like that.
Harold Wendorff was the pitcher who ran the Green Lantern, where Tommy Hommy, Bobby Borchert, Jackie Heyzer, and I gathered to play the pinball machine on Saturday mornings. I tried to take Harold’s advice on how to control my fastball but never really succeeded at that.
I played my first baseball games on the Gaylord field with all my buddies. At the tournament I sat in the grandstand with my son and grandson and said, “Look there in front of the third base dugout. That’s where I stood when the public address announcer said, ‘Let us have a moment of silence for Babe Ruth, who died today.’” Good memories.
Congratulations to all Gaylord and Arlington folks for a great tournament.