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A Tradition of Excellence and Pride

A Tradition of Excellence and Pride

BLBA History

In 1986 the Big Lake Baseball Association was created, but The Big Lake Night Baseball Program was run through Community Education's Summer Rec. Program.

In 1995 BLBA and Community Ed started to put things into motion to have BLBA run the Night Baseball Program and become self-sufficient. 1995 was the first year Big Lake held the Pee Wee Reese and Sandy Koufax Tournaments and started to save profits from those tournaments to be used for field improvements.

In 1996 & 1997 the BLBA President, Chuck Riechert, spear headed the effort for BLBA to Run the Pee Wee Reese, Sandy Koufax, and Mickey Mantle Night Baseball Programs, which then played in the Wright/Sherburne League with Monticello, Becker, Clear Lake and Maple Lake (Sauk Rapids joined the Wright/Sherburne League in 2001).

1996 was the first year that there were player evaluations for the Pee Wee Reese (11 & 12's) and Sandy Koufax (13 & 14's). There was a draft for 2 mixed Teams in Pee Wee Reese of 11 & 12’s and 2 mixed Teams in Sandy Koufax of 13 & 14’s to play in the, then called, American League (now called AAA) and the remaining players were drafted on the National League Teams (in-house). All Teams had a mixture of ages. Before 1996 the 2 American League Pee Wee Reese Teams were made up of only 6th graders and the 1 or 2 American League Sandy Koufax Teams were made up of only 8th graders. 1997 was the first year that BLBA handled registrations, ordered and paid for uniforms and equipment, hired and paid for umpires and entered into an agreement with Community Ed to use the school fields.

In 1998 the Willie Mays 10U In-house League was form in Big Lake. There were 6 Teams that played each other on Tuesdays and Thursdays and had an end-of-year playoff. 1998 was the first year Big Lake held a Willie Mays Tournament in June.

In 1999 BLBA started a Willie Mays 10U Traveling Team that played in the MBA (Mississippi Baseball Association) and started the Roberto Clemente (7 & 8's) Night Program. In 1999 BLBA had 2 Mickey Mantle Teams (American League Team played in MBA and the National League Team played in the Wright/Sherburne League). Below are BLBA's Teams for each year since 1998.

2001 was the first year that Big Lake held a Tournament in June for the Mickey Mantle Teams.

In 2002 BLBA opened the Roberto Clemente League to 6 year olds for the first time, and in 2003 BLBA created the Roberto Clemente-AAA and Roberto Clemente-AA Leagues.

In 2002 BLBA joined Becker and Clear Lake to form a Willie Mays 10U In-house (AA) League and have held end-of-year Tournaments each of the last few years.

In 2002 BLBA joined all of the MBA Leagues along with Monticello, Becker, Sauk Rapids and Clear Lake, thus dissolving the Wright/Sherburne Leagues. Maple Lake moved to North Minnetonka League. 2002 was the first year there were age specific AAA Leagues offered by MBA. (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, & 16’s)

In 2003, MBA asked Big Lake to host PeeWee Reese AA and Sandy Koufax AA Playoffs.
Big Lake received the bids to host the 2004 and 2005 Pee Wee Reese AA and the Mickey Mantle AAA State Tournaments.

(1) 2000 was our first full year in the current concession stand since the first one was destroyed in a storm in July of 1996. The School District decided to upgrade--the first one was smaller and with only one bathroom.
(2) 2000-Varsity Baseball Players put up the Outdoor Batting Cage Poles, the School provided. BLBA supplied cement for poles.
(3) 2000-BLBA purchased a new $1,100 Cage for the Varsity Field. The other cage was one that BLBA help purchase years ago.
(4) 2000-both cages were put up by the School and used.
(5) A pitching machine and balls were taken out to the concession stand to be used in the cage by the 4 Field Complex. This machine and one other were purchased by BLBA years ago.
(6) 2000-BLBA purchased Aluminum Benches for all 8 fields.
(7) Spring of 2001 BLBA volunteers and Varsity Baseball players set forms & poured the cement for 14 dugouts. Paid for by BLBA.
(8) 2001-Pat McCarthy installed the Benches on the slabs.
(9) Spring of 2001 the JH Baseball Players and BLBA volunteers, rolled out the old fence from the old Football field and cleaned it up so it could be reused on the Ball Fields.
(10) 2001-BLBA paid for the poles and labor for the fencing that was installed on the 2 JH Fields - #5 and #8.
(11) 2001-The School paid for the poles and labor for the fencing that was installed on the Dugouts of the 2 South Fields-#1 and #4.
(13) 2001-the Security System was acquired & installed by Girls Softball. The system itself was donate by Audio Communications.
(14) The black plastics garbage cans were donated by Randy Jarvi, who spent an evening cutting of the tops off and placing them around the fields.
(15) Mair Michaelis' father donated 8 picnic tables for the fields.
(15) The School has decided to purchase a new grooming machine. Part of the money came from Big Lake Community Education, who BLBA pays for the field maintenance during the year.

2005--The BLBA had two batting cages installed at the Varsity Baseball field and had the batting cages by the JV Baseball field and the Softball fields overhauled.  We now have four quality cages for kids of all ages to utilize.

2005--The BLBA, in cooperation with the Big Lake Booster Club, donated a batting cage to be used in the Middle School.

2006--The BLBA purchased and spread lime onto the Catholic Church baseball field.

2007--The BLBA had roofs installed on the dugouts on fields 5 and 8.

2009--Ken Halverson and Jeff Lund went around to each field and installed bat racks in each dugout.

2010--The BLBA purchased and spread lime onto the Riverside Alliance Church baseball fields.

Others:
BLBA bought and erected a press box for the Varsity Baseball Field (Field 6)
BLBA, with help from the school, purchased and installed bullpens on Field 6 and 7
BLBA put up an additional batting cage at Field #7
BLBA, with help from numerous organizations, helped build the new pavilion at the four-plex
BLBA bought/installed dugouts at the new Varsity Baseball Field (Field 6)

Lastly, please remember that our School District has made our Baseball and Softball programs possible, just by having and maintaining this facility. We get compliments at every Tournament. We have a great setup and when everything is completed, it will be one of the best Complex's in the State.

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