NORWOOD YOUNG AMERICA, Minn. (KMSP) - Nestled in a residential neighborhood in Carver County about 20 minutes west of Chaska, Minnesota, the ballpark is a point of pride for Norwood Young America.
Wilkommen Memorial Park Pavilion is the heart of Norwood Young America. It's the place where people gather for ballgames, weddings and festivals.
The mostly German community takes great honor in showing off their roots, hosting the oldest get-together in Minnesota.
“It’s older than the Minnesota State Fair, so we take a lot of pride. These are the grounds that Stiftungsfest takes place the last weekend in August every year,” Jeremy Stender said.
Stender is basically the general manager of the town ball team and oversees the facility. His family has deep ties to the area.
The idea behind the ballpark was to replicate the historic downtown buildings like city hall and a feed mill, which was the main source of business to town.
You could call it living the suite life up there, with cozy seats dedicated to spectators watching the Young America Cardinals take on their opponents.
“They run up here, get changed and then they’re out to go onto the field and get ready for games,” he said.
In the next room lies the only piece of Young America City Hall that was salvaged--the bell tower.
Every time a Cardinals player hits a home run, it rings four times.
"We get people in the area who can’t come to a game and a lot of times they base that on, ‘I wonder how Young America did last night,’ and they say, ‘if I didn’t hear the bell ring a few times it might not be good,’” he said.