Never seeming to be able to get my fill of live baseball, I made the short jaunt out to Loretto to catch the Larks hosting the Maple Lake Lakers in last year’s Region 12C Tournament. This would be a solo run, as Marty was laboring away in the service industry, as he so often is on Friday evenings.

Approaching Arnold Klaers field from the north, I was guided easily to the park by the long line of cars parked along highway 19, many of their owners posted up in lawn chairs atop the sharp hill leading down to the field. The evening sun was low in the western sky as the earlier Maple Plain vs. Delano game was winding down, its unhindered rays casting long shadows across the diamond and most certainly making things rather unpleasant for batters in the box.

I stopped into a fine and hospitable local tavern known as Detour 19 and primed my taste buds with a fine beverage before checking in to the ballpark.

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The low-lying field at Klaers provides fans with many options for viewing a game, from picnic blankets on the grassy hill, to the tables and deck around the concession building, to the bleacher seating built into the slope itself. A net-protected sandbox littered with plastic toys even provides a safe area for young children to play during games.

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The sunset that evening was nothing short of stunning, filling the sky with majestic shades of purple and pink, finally fading into a night littered with starlight.

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7+ innings of great baseball had the Larks and Lakers knotted up at 3, until a Maple Lake grand slam put them ahead for good, advancing them into the winners’ bracket. Klaers Field served as an outstanding host site for this tournament, and it sits proudly alongside so many of the great parks in the Northstar League.

Full photo gallery available here.

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