WASECA, Minn. (KMSP) - A blaze brought down the grandstand at Tink Larson Field in Waseca on April 6, marking the end of a Minnesota baseball icon since 1938.
Step one to rebuilding the Waseca baseball facility started on Friday night. The Waseca Blue Jays’ baseball team took the field for the first time since a fire brought down the historic venue.
“This will be a memory for our seniors, just the fact that they get to play a game here this season,” Waseca head coach Joel Hayford said.
The loss of a local landmark sent shockwaves through entire community, but Waseca players say that it is no surprise that people put on their rally caps to ensure this “re-opening”.
“It shows how resilient this town is,” Waseca catcher Jacob Walter said. “We have been through a lot in this town and it shows how everyone can come together to get us back out here.”
The Minnesota Twins also pitched in to help out the Waseca community. The Twins installed a new backstop at the field with the old netting from Target Field, and also placed new sod around the home plate area.
A new grandstand is in the works for Tink Larson Field. The town hopes to have it completed in the fall of 2017 and ready for the 2018 baseball season.
“I don’t think (the new stadium) will be the same without the old grandstand, but I do think they will make it pretty nice,” Waseca first baseman Dakota Williamson said.
Fire took the old seating at Tink Larson Field, but the flames also created a burning desire to make many more new memories in Waseca.
“The people are so supportive of baseball in this community,” --- said. “It will be a big process to put together a new design of the grandstand, but I think people will work together to get that done.” Hayford said.