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Town Ball

The Glory Days of Minnesota Amateur Baseball

2006
Authors:

Armand Peterson and Tom Tomashek

Town Ball

Relive the golden era of Minnesota’s town team baseball from 1945 to 1960

Fondly remembered and celebrated throughout Minnesota, old-fashioned town team baseball was the glue that held a community together and generated a great sense of pride and passion among its residents. Featuring individual stories of success and defeat, hundreds of photographs, and scores and statistics, Armand Peterson and Tom Tomashek chronicle the unfolding of a fascinating period of Minnesota baseball history.

Town ball was a big playground in the 1940s and 1950s. I made more money playing baseball for town teams than I did playing basketball for the Lakers—and we won an NBA title. It was an amazing era—one that we will never experience again.

Bud Grant

Fondly remembered and celebrated throughout Minnesota, old-fashioned town team baseball was the glue that held a community together and generated a great sense of pride and passion among its residents. A love of baseball—and, of course, the desire to whomp the neighboring town’s team—spurred on players and fans alike. The game was intense and personal, connecting people from all walks of life at every hard-fought game.

Featuring individual stories of success and defeat, hundreds of photographs, and scores and statistics, Armand Peterson and Tom Tomashek chronicle the unfolding of a fascinating period of Minnesota baseball history—a span of sixteen years beginning in 1945 and the euphoric postwar days to 1960, the year before the Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins. During this time Minnesota experienced a magical era of amateur ball, setting records in town participation and attendance that have not been matched since.

Along with the anecdotes, Town Ball offers an in-depth study of the era and examines the social and economic factors that contributed to the postwar boom and subsequent decline. It tells the stories of some of the more successful teams, such as Albert Lea, with five consecutive Class AA championships, and Warroad, a team with ten consecutive appearances—but no trophies—in the state tournament. And it includes profiles of many of the top players in Minnesota, famous locals like Dick Siebert, Paul Giel, and Bud Grant as well as the major-league talents of Bill Skowron, Herb Score, and Hilton Smith.

Here nostalgic baseball enthusiasts and history buffs alike will revel in the wide-ranging stories and compelling portraits of the players and fans-the people who made Minnesota town ball truly great.

Town Ball

Armand Peterson is a retired engineer and a former town team player.

Tom Tomashek is a retired sportswriter for the Wilmington News Journal and a former town team player.

Town Ball

Town ball was a big playground in the 1940s and 1950s. I made more money playing baseball for town teams than I did playing basketball for the Lakers—and we won an NBA title. It was an amazing era—one that we will never experience again.

Bud Grant

With thorough research combined with the memories of those who played and watched the game, Town Ball is a captivating look at the rich history of town-team baseball in the state. Armand Peterson and Tom Tomashek demonstrate their passion for the subject and present it in a way that will be fascinating to anyone who loves baseball.

Stew Thornley, author of Baseball in Minnesota: The Definitive History

Oh my, this is a delicious book. If you’re of a certain age, run out and get Town Ball by Armand Peterson and Tom Tomashek. The book is crammed with pictures and detail and is a worthwhile trip down memory lane.

Thisweek

Every state should be so fortunate as to have authors who are willing to create such a record that grows out of the game, is written by former players of the game, and for players of the game.

Sports Literature Association

This is a delicious book. Run out and get it.

Hometown Source

This is a fascinating book.

The Daily Journal

A time machine full of many surprises.

Farmington Newspaper

Any baseball fan is encouraged to get Town Ball. It is entertaining, informative reading.

Brownton Bulletin

If you are one who loves the history and lore of amateur baseball in Minnesota, this is a book that you will enjoy.

New Ulm Journal

The book is a dream come true for the boyhood friends who grew up wanting to be a part of town team ball.

Advocate Tribune

For fans of baseball in Minnesota, Town Ball is filled with offbeat tales and pictures of the top players from 1946 to 1961.

Austin Post-Bulletin

No wonder most of the fans who remember their community team consider those years, between World War II in 1945 and the arrival of the Twins in 1961, the best in Minnesota baseball.

City Pages, A-List Picks

A wonderful book, a time machine full of unexpected surprises.

Echoes from Lane Field

This book examines a fascinating period of Minnesota baseball. Peterson and Tomashek not only recount the rich heritage of baseball, they have dug up fascinating facts about teams, towns, friendly (and more vociferous) rivalries, and memorable characters. This is a wonderful book.

Frazee Forum

This excellent book would be a super-choice.

Albert Lea Tribune

Baseball enthusiasts and history buffs alike will enjoy the wide-ranging stories in the book and compelling portraits of players and fans—all who made Minnesota town ball so great in its heyday.

Fairfax Standard-Gazette

The past decade has witnessed the publication of a number of histories of baseball in a single state. Such studies promise to shed new light on baseball from the bottom up. Town Ball is by far the grandest production ad the most detailed study of the lot.

NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture

For anyone who loves baseball when trousers were bloused and socks showed above the stirrup, the photos will carry you back to those halcyon days. The book is worth the price for the photos alone. For Armand Peterson and Tom Tomaschek, who lived and played it the town they write about, this book was a labor of love.

NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture

Peterson and Tomashek elicit the feel of the game and the times so well that the reader can almost smell the grass, hear the fans, and share the elation of Fergus Falls after its team won the state title.

NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture

Minnesota in the years between 1945 and 1960 was not Iowa, but, to paraphrase Field of Dreams, Peterson and Tomashek make it sound like heaven.

NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture