There was no shortage of high praise for Gaylord and its Walsh Field following the 2009 state amateur baseball tournament and the latest compliment proves that the City truly left its mark.
A “major league” facility.
I have never seen a better “groomed” field.
It was a real pleasure to see your ballpark.
Those were just a few of the comments in a letter written by Jerry Raddatz, a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers scouting department.
Although he deflects the credit, the letter was addressed to Bill Walsh, long-time caretaker of the baseball field.
The letter read:
I want to take this opportunity to share a few comments with you after spending several days at the Minnesota State Amateur Baseball tournament in Gaylord recently. I have been involved in professional baseball for more than twenty-five years and so have spent quite a few days in many ball parks from high school, college and minor league facilities, so do have a “pretty good” idea when I see a quality baseball field.
I can without any doubt in my mind state to you that I have never seen a better “groomed” infield and such a plush and level outfield in all my days of spending time at the ballpark. I am told by all in Gaylord that you are the person responsible for this accomplishment that I observed in Gaylord the other day, and just had to pass on my feelings on the subject.
It was a real pleasure to see your ball park and to see the play that was able to take place because of what you had done with this baseball complex. I know that I will never forget my trip to Gaylord and know that all people involved in professional baseball extend their thanks to you for the time and efforts that you have spent to provide the young and old to play baseball on a “Major League” facility in your hometown.
I wish you the best and hope that my travels can take me back to Gaylord some day, and maybe have the opportunity to meet and thank you for all your efforts in this area.
– Jerry Raddatz
For more than three decades, Walsh has spent countless hours manicuring the diamond which now carries his family’s name. He gave the field a little extra care this year and what followed was rave reviews from state tournament players and fans.
According to Walsh, the letter and all the compliments are a tribute to the groundscrew that worked “tirelessly” throughout the tournament. “A big reason why the field was so good was the extraordinary dedication and hard work of the groundscrew,” Walsh said.
Gaylord co-hosted the 2009 state amateur baseball tournament with Arlington. The eleven days of baseball featured 30 games in Gaylord. It was the first time Gaylord has hosted a state baseball tournament.
Walsh believes the tournament was a big success and all the reviews he has heard have been positive. A lot of great help from the community made this a great event and all involved were busy but they seemed to be enjoying their time at the ballpark, Walsh said.
The three weekends of baseball produced a paid attendance (both Gaylord and Arlington) of 13,776. It was nearly an equal split between the two sites.
Another state amateur baseball tournament will not return to Gaylord for at least ten years. But, the Gaylord Baseball Association is hoping to host other tournaments at different levels.