Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame at River’s Edge

Summertime has a different meaning to baseball fans. The smell of a freshly mowed grass field. The heat of the sun warming the stadium seats. The comradery that joins fans as they cheer on their team.

If these are things that excite you, did you know that we permanently host the Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame Museum at River’s Edge Convention Center?

We take great pride in our museum that commemorates and celebrates Minnesota’s long-lasting history of baseball. Our museum holds an assortment of artifacts collected throughout the state’s baseball history: uniforms, balls, gloves, caps, bats, photos, game day programs, and much more. We feature baseball teams at all levels, including minor league, college, high school, American Legion, VFW, amateur, town-team, and Major League players born in Minnesota.

The St. Cloud Times reports on one excerpt from our archives that you may find interesting: the Municipal Stadium which was right here in St. Cloud.

What is now a strip mall on Division Street was the home of the St. Cloud Rox just over 45 years ago. Municipal Stadium, as it was called in its heyday, was the place to be on any given game day. The stadium sported 60 pro home games in the summer, plus local amateur, college, and high school baseball teams in the off season.

Creating the stadium was a labor of love spearheaded by volunteer group Sports Incorporated. They gave their time and resources to drive the building of this concrete temple to baseball on what used to be a bare field. At the time of its completion, the community and local media were abuzz, praising its excellence.

"The new stadium is a modern, concrete structure," Dick Cullum wrote for the Minneapolis Tribune. "Which is regarded as one of the best to be found in a Class C league."

Robert Statz, the oldest son of the runner for the announcer and scorekeeper of the St. Cloud Rox, looks back on fond memories of Municipal Stadium, where he assisted the team back in the 60s.

"What I remember most is that it was one of the higher places in town then,” Statz recalls. “And you could stand up there on a hot night and see the whole city. It was really something to behold."

This stadium came to a crushing end in 1970 as it was demolished, but it’s legacy lives on in the community. Local baseball enthusiasts keep the history and memories of this place alive through visiting our collections and reminiscing on the highlights of baseball in Stearns County and in the state of Minnesota.

The Rox continue to thrive as a minor-league team here in St. Cloud. Their season opens May 29th with the first home opener on June 1st. Grab some tickets for this season on their website.

Not sure what to do on an away game day? Stop by our museum! Admission is free when you visit Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm. If you can’t make it on a weekday, call our Administration Office at 320-255-7272 to check our hours on any given weekend.