Sunday is win-or-go-home day at North Commons Park as this summer’s Squad of Players Adult Kickball League playoffs begin.
All nine teams qualify, and the eighth and ninth seeds face off in a play-in game at 3 pm this Sunday, the league’s co-directors told the MSR after last Sunday’s scheduled all-star day of games and a cook-off. “It is one of the best days of the kickball league,” observed Co-Director Tyrone Johnson.
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Not unlike other all-star events, Sunday’s drew its share of local celebrities. This columnist wasn’t able to move more than a few steps without running into someone we know or who knows us, such as KMOJ’s Walter “Q-Bear” Banks, who was one of the cook-off judges, and The Current Production Manager Derrick Stevens, among others.
“It was a good evening for the teams to come together to play with each other at least for one game,” said Co-Director Londell Anderson.
But come Sunday the playoffs begin and all bets are off. It’s time to put up or pack up.
“We can win it all,” declared Joe Small — his eighth-seeded squad is vying to regain the championship they won two summers ago. The team didn’t play last summer due to many players’ schedules that didn’t allow them to play.
But not this year, said Small. If they win, they immediately play the top-seeded Dominators.
“I love it,” said Ron Green of Orange Crush, the four seed. “It’s the playoffs. Everybody’s got to come.”
Both Johnson and Anderson expressed satisfaction with the league this year. Teams have been great. Fans come out and have fun watching — some bring food and portable grills for some Sunday cooking as well. It has a family reunion feel to it.
Sunday’s winners advance to the final rounds — the semifinals and finals are scheduled for August 21. All games start at 3 pm. The nine-team playoff matchups are: Family Kickers (Joe Small’s team) 8th seed vs. B2E (9), winners play Dominators (1); Orange Crush (4) vs. King Kickers (5); Nite Nite (2) vs. Kickstarters (7); We Kick It (3) vs. Northside Kickers (6).
Anderson says the league is looking for more sponsors. The Zodiac Motorcycle Club sponsored last Sunday’s games and provided special T-shirts and free food as well.
“Tyler is doing a great job,” commented Small on Johnson.
The City of Saint Paul and the St. Paul Saints will honor native sons and Baseball Hall of Fame members Dave Winfield and Paul Monitor Thursday, August 11 in a 6:45 pm pregame ceremony prior to the 7 pm scheduled Saints game vs. Sioux Falls.
Winfield and Monitor’s commonalities include both playing at St. Paul’s Oxford Community Center fields and both coached by Bill Peterson on separate St. Paul Attucks Brooks American Legion teams. Each won Minnesota State Legion championships, Winfield in 1968 and Monitor in 1974.
Both played high school baseball, Winfield at Central and Monitor at Cretin, and both also played for the Gophers. Both played on World Series-winning clubs, and both got their 3,000th hit with the Minnesota Twins on the same date, September 16, but three years apart (Winfield on Sept. 16, 1993 and Monitor on Sept. 16, 1996).
Winfield was inducted in 2001 and Monitor in 2004.
There will be a special video tribute to both men from St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Saints Owner Mike Veeck, and Minnesota Twins President Dave St. Peter. Replica Hall of Fame plaques of the two will be installed at the Saints’ downtown St. Paul ballpark as well.
Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.