The Princeton Legion Baseball Tournament would not be stopped. It was going to take place regardless of what Mother Nature was going to throw Princeton’s way even with rain and thunderstorms in the forecast for the weekend. The visiting teams were in town, along with countless players from Tiger baseball past. The work that put in to show the history of Legion Baseball in Princeton was not going to go to waste. Fortunately, Friday turned into beautiful night; a fitting way for the celebration of Princeton’s 50th Annual Legion Tournament to go along with celebrating 50 years of Solheim Field.
Players from the last five decades made their trips from all over the country to be a part of the celebration. More than 70 players showed up to Mark Park on Friday night to show their support for Princeton Legion baseball.
The ceremony began with short speech by Luther Door, giving an address to the fans and former players. Dorr spoke of the success that made Princeton the model for legion teams with the tradition being started by Howard “Swede” Solheim, who coached for legion for 25 years. This tradition led to much success including a period of time during which Princeton had two 40-game winning streaks in league play to go along with several North End Championships. Not to mention a 10-year span from 1979 to 1989 where Princeton did not lose one North End playoff game, winning 27 in a row.
The short speech by Dorr was then followed by 50 plus years of Princeton Legion ball players lining up on the first base side to the applause of the crowd at the mention of each one of their names. The current legion players then took the field to face Rogers in their first round game the Princeton Tournament, a game they lost 7-0. Despite the loss, the ceremony was a grand success.
Dorr, a former player for Princeton’s Legion team which was just one of his roles he played for the program, was thrilled with the amount of support shown for the Tigers.
“Friday night was unbelievable, a great success,” said Dorr. “I know we did something special when I had opposing fans from teams that were from out of town come up to me and say that they were proud of the what we did for the former players,” Dorr continued.
Not only did legion ball players show up, but former classmates of those ball players as well treating the celebration like a high school reunion with much fun and reminiscing taking place.
Princeton’s 50th Annual Legion Tournament is Minnesota’s longest running legion baseball tournament, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Rain or shine, the tournament will be back again next year.