The American Legion Division I Tournament kicked
off with the annual banquet at the Airport Hilton on
Over 500 attended the event, put on b Burnsville, the
host of the 2008 tourney.
The baseball will begin today, with games at four fields
in the Burnsville area.
Action today will be at four fields in the Burnsville
area. The other two fields are at Haddox Field in
Bloomington and Memorial Park in Prior Lake.
All the action after today will be at Alimagnet, and the
championship games on Sunday will be at Rich VanderLaan
The main speaker at the banquet was Dean Bowyer, the
longtime coach at Minnesota State University at Mankato.
Bowyer told the players to practice the five
"C's": Competitor, Character, Confidence,
Concentration, and Christianity.
"Winning isn't everything, but trying to win
is," he said. "Only
two teams will go on from this tournament, but
they're not the only winners."
Bowyer recounted stories from his life to illustrate his
points. He urged the Legion players to have confidence.
"Think about how great it's going to feel when you
win that game tomorrow. Get it into your head."
The Legion honoroed two award winners at the banquet.
Tink Larson, the longtime coach at Waseca, was given the
plaque for entering the Legion Baseball Hall of Fame.
Keith Kangas, longtime coach of the Rochester A's was
honored as Coach of the Year.
Also honored but not present were Robb Quinlan, who now
plays for the Los Angeles Angels, as Graduate of the
Year; Robb played Legion ball for North St. Paul, who is
a participant in this year's state tourney. The other
awardee was Marshall Post 113 as Post of the Year.
Craig Stoneberg was the master of ceremonies for the
event, which also featured Baseball Director Darwin Berg
and American Legion State Commander Jim Copher.
Minnesota American Legion Baseball Tournament kicks off
Eden Prairie has won the last four state Division I
tournaments, and is once agian ranked number one in the
final state Legion poll.
An interesting first day marquee matchup will have Eden
Prairie taking on northern powerhouse, Grand Rapids, in a
1 p.mm. game at Red Haddox Field at Bloomington. Grand
Rapids is ranked second in the state.
First place votes ( ) is followed by total points awarded
by Legion pollsters.
1. Eden Prairie* (13), 137
2. Grand Rapids* (2), 110
3. Richfield*, 94
4. Apple Valley*, 73
5. Rochester Patriots*, 66
6. North St. Paul*, 58
7. Burnsville**, 45
8. Maple Grove*, 41
9. Edina*, 39
10. Tri-City Red, 37.5
11. Rochester Redhawks, 22
12. Eastview*, 21
13. Cold Spring*, 20
14. Oakdale, 15
15. St. Paul Hamline Purple, 12
16. Coon Rapids, 9
17. Hopkins, 8
18. Centennial, 6
19. Moorhead*, 5
20. Eagan, 2
20. Thief River Falls, 2
20. New Ulm Gold*, 2
23. Excelsior, .5
Points, (First Place Votes)
For a list of voters and week-by-week poll results, take
this link to the MN Statewide American Legion Coaches & Media