(KMSP) - Baseball at Saints Field is a time-honored tradition in Dassel, Minnesota, a site that’s been filled with the sights and sounds of the game for over a century.
The town first played baseball here in 1901, and in more than 100 years, it’s gone from a sandlot to a venue that has a lot of people talking.
The stadium added a new grandstand, new porch-type bleachers and even a beer stand over the last decade or so. But after so many additions, the field still gets a massive make-over every few weeks thanks to Cole Flick, Minnesota town ball’s turf master.
"It was just not a nice place and everybody is kind of doing their own little thing, adding to the ball park," Flick said. "I was watching baseball on TV and seeing Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, the checkerboard field, thinking 'I can mow that.' I might draw something out on paper and see what does the pattern look like and mow it. I used to mow the grass because they needed it and I had time," Cole said.
Every passing blade is like a stroke of the brush, as Cole cuts beautiful creations on the diamond all season long.
Cole played for the Saints for 16 years but said his mowing is much more solid on the sod. He takes care of the grass roots on a daily basis and Cole’s family roots are also firmly planted on Saints Field.
His sons Jordan, Cy and Gus are all on the current roster.
"We know how hard he works," Jordan said. "We consider this our second home."
Even Cole’s 8-year-old son Jacob lends a hand to take care of the field, a process that takes at least three hours of dedication per day in the summer.
It takes an entire family to keep up the field, but this year is the Flick’s first without one member, as Cole’s wife Beth taken by cancer in October.
"It wasn't too long after she passed I thought, 'I gotta go down to ballpark, sit on the mower for a while,'" Cole said. "I named a pattern the Diamond Darling for my Diamond Darling."
She’s now looking down at each and every pattern this year as Cole and his crew continue to make memories by creating memorable designs in Dassel.