(FOX 9) - As your Town Ball station, FOX 9 is very excited about the kickoff of the WCH Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament on Friday.
Players will take the field in Waconia, Chaska, and Hamburg this weekend for the tournament that has been years in the making.
WCH Executive Director Chris Ohm points out starting Friday night the work and patience in large part through a pandemic pays off.
The state amateur baseball tournament started 98 years ago, but this is the first year Waconia is among the three fields hosting. Dozens of Class B and C teams -- along with their fans -- are coming from all over the state.
"We are super excited to have both because you think, 'Oh small community, we could get the largest crowd from that community because they bring everybody,'" said Ohm.
Over the next three weekends, 65 games will be played across the three locations, all teams hoping to move through the brackets and play in the final state tourney games Labor Day weekend.
"My son has played here since he was a tiny kid," said volunteer Nicole Smith, "and plays for the Lakers and it's a great experience."
Volunteers make it all possible and organizers could use some more.
"Town Ball is just a part of me and baseball, so huge in the state and something I’m passionate about," added volunteer and National Mowing Champion Cole Flick.
While taking home bragging rights is part of the Town Ball tradition, carrying on the love the of the game is worth so much more.
"Town Ball is an intimate relationship with a certain genre of people," added Ohm. "And we are hoping to expand that and the genre is going to be people who know nothing about it. That’s our goal is to give a breath of expansion here when people are looking for something to do."
Games start Friday at 7:30 p.m. and 11 a.m. over the weekends. Officials hope to attract as many as 20,000 fans.