Minnesota Town Ball: Miesville Mudhens are everything great about amateur baseball

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Nothing signals summer in Minnesota quite like the start of Town Ball, the conglomeration of amateur baseball leagues that often become the pride and joy of small towns from International Falls to Albert Lea and almost everywhere in between. 

Perhaps nowhere is this tradition, dating back to the late 1800s, more sacred than Miesville, Minn. Though the town boasts just 136 permanent residents, it never fails to field a quality baseball team in the Mudhens—and plenty of fans to cheer them on. 

"You've got kids asking us for autographs and they think we're the greatest thing ever," said Deryk Marks, the Mudhens' shortstop. "We're just out here playing Town Ball."

It's a byproduct, people say, of a winning formula that includes civic pride and an atmosphere where everyone is welcome at the ballpark.

“You could be sitting here next to a judge from Hastings and then a pig farmer next to him," said Terri Lawrence, the owner of Miesville staple King's Bar & Grill. "We get everything here. It’s crazy.”

Miesville is just the first stop on Fox 9's Town Ball tour—don't forget to tune in all summer long as we crisscross Minnesota to show you the small towns and city parks where amateur league baseball lives.