--by John Woodrow, Aitkin Age.com
Well folks, anyone who is a baseball fan in the area has already heard the news that Aitkin is going to return to the amateur baseball scene in 2016.
The brainchild of Austin Krohn, with help from Jeremy Janzen, was set into motion after the high school season was over and they have already held a couple of practices with some 30 hopefuls looking to gain one of the 20 spots on the Aitkin Steam next summer. It’s been a group of older players and younger players and so far and they look to be competitive right away.
The area has had a number of outstanding players in recent years. Add some from 5-10 years ago and it should be fun to watch. It harkens back to the 50s and 60s when town baseball was in its prime and everyone with a neighborhood had a team. The Aitkin area alone had teams from Rossburg, Kimberly, Hickory, Waukenabo, Palisade and several others. They played every Sunday, sometimes squaring off in front of hundreds of fans.
This brand of baseball created Minnesota Hall of Fame careers for Chuck Warner, Connie Lueck and Bill Cline, who just celebrated his 90th birthday.
The Steam may not have any Hall of Fame players for a while, but the brand of baseball will be top shelf. Rumor has it they will even have a public address announcer in the booth, and of course, something the old days didn’t have, an electronic scoreboard.
There is nothing better than a sun-drenched afternoon at the ballpark. I know I look forward to it, and if I have any input, I know who will throw out the ceremonial first pitch next season. I think most of you know who as well.