Dave Gaulke, Phil Ketterling, Colin Quinn and Tom Dokken inducted as Eagles, Joe Jensen goes in as Bloomington A’s.
Part of the 40th-anniversary celebration of Minnesota Senior Men’s Baseball Association is the annual state tournament played at the Mini Met in Jordan. Before the ballgames begin on Aug. 16, the association will induct the Class of 2019 into the hall of fame with a nod to Bloomington and the beginnings of what has grown well beyond four teams of 30-something guys looking to keep playing competitive baseball.
The four former Bloomington Eagles to be inducted include Dave Gaulke, Phil Ketterling, Colin Quinn and Tom Dokken. Eden Prairie Lions Tap longtime players Pat Thompson and Dave Sobiech will also be inducted. Former Bloomington A’s player Joe Jensen and Lion’s Tap’s Scott Stein will be posthumously inducted to be part of the 32-member hall of fame.
The Eagles, along with Bloomington Westwood and Bloomington A’s, made up some of the original teams to call Jefferson High School (or wherever they could find an open diamond) home, according to Quinn who was also inducted into the hall of fame in 2016.
Quinn was also a part of that original Bloomington Eagles, one of five to call Bloomington home with games at Normandale Community College, Red Haddox Field and eventually at Dred Scott.
Jordan Alers is the lone original team left in the league after the Bloomington Eagles folded in 2015.
Now known as the Prior Lake Bald Eagles, the team made the move south within the last five seasons after it became difficult to find available room to play.
Now a 50-and-over team, Quinn said the team shifted to a 35-and-over league after, “we were too old for townball and supposedly this is the first 35-and-over baseball league in the US.
“The 50-and-over league is growing every year,” he said. The league gained four more teams in 2019 with nearly 30 teams playing between the Northern Division and the River Valley League. “Guys are getting older but they want to keep playing.”
Quinn picks up a bat and glove to play with 70-and-over teams during the winter months in Arizona and Florida. “It really comes from a love of the game, camaraderie, still being competitive and we know each other so well, it’s like seeing old friends each time we play,” he said.Quinn has played in the MSMBA for 27 years. But don’t ask about the stats that dominate so much of baseball these days.
“We don’t have records or stats to go by with the hall of fame,” he said. “It’s more about how long you’ve been in the league, were you good for the league and then they vote.”
Hall of fame plaques are on permanent display inside Clancy’s Restaurant and Bar in Jordan, which is a longtime sponsor of the league. Social honor begins at 5:30 p.m. with the hall of fame ceremony at 6:15 p.m. and the first pitch is set for 7:30 p.m.
Follow Jason Olson on Twitter @SunSportsJason.