The Blaine Miracle League Field will be renamed this weekend during a ceremony to honor former Minnesota Twins Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew.
A commemorative sign on the field’s center field scoreboard will dedicated at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 5, said Jim Kappelhoff, Blaine’s park and recreation director.
Killebrew helped with the drive to develop the first Miracle Field in Minnesota. The field is located at the Blaine Baseball Complex, 1150 Paul Parkway N.E.
The Hall of Famer was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in December 2010 and died May 17, 2011, at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., at the age of 74.
Killebrew joined Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire for the ground breaking ceremony Blaine in August 2005 and returned to open the Blaine field May 6, 2006.
With the donation of labor and funding, in particular the Twins Community Fund and the Pohlad Family Foundation, the field was completed in eight short weeks and stands nestled between complex fields No. 1 and No. 2.
Opening ceremonies took place with the chords of “Take Me Out To the Ball Game” piped into the air by a full-size organ.
The field was promoted further May 15, 2008, when the Twins televised a live broadcast of pre-game and post-game shows.
“During the groundbreaking, he [Killebrew] was just beaming and enthralled with the whole process of what was going on,” Kappelhoff said. “He was a standout. He always had a smile on his face, would sign autographs at will. He really believed in what the Miracle League of Minnesota was doing.”
Prior to the ceremony, the Metro North Miracle League will conduct its season opening ceremonies and player check-in at noon.
Kappelhoff said the public is welcome to attend the field dedication ceremony. T.C. Bear, Mudonna, the St. Paul Saints pig mascot, and live music provided by the North Suburban Concert Band will be part of the special event to honor Killebrew and his family.
Nita Killebrew, Killebrew’s wife, is scheduled to speak, Kappelhoff said.
Killebrew Root Beer samples will be handed out Saturday. The drink is brewed, bottled and packaged by Ramsey-based RJM Distributing, Inc.
“We also have a traveling baseball tournament this weekend, so overflow parking will be at the Blainbrook Entertainment Center [1200 Central Ave. N.E.],” Kappelhoff said. “It’s a quarter of a mile away from the Blaine Baseball Complex entrance. People can park over there and walk over to the Killebrew ceremony.”
Tim Hennagir is at firstname.lastname@example.org