Four the fourth straight year, the St. Paul Saints will face a Minnesota amateur baseball team in a build up to the May 15 season opener.
Cold Spring, Hinckley and Delano have hosted the Saints since 2010 in an exhibition that harkens back to the days of barnstorming, when baseball teams would travel from town to town playing games at various stops along the way.
Castle Field in Anoka will be the site this year for a May 10 game against the Anoka Bucs team made up of other Metro Minny league players.
General admission tickets are $7 in advance, or $10 at the gate for the exhibition game, which is a fundraiser for the new ballpark
The game will be the centerpiece for what should be a fun afternoon at the ballpark leading up to a 3 p.m. first pitch.
Gates open at noon and kids will be allowed on the field during warm-ups with the Saints from 12:30-1:45 p.m. A home run contest will follow at 1:50 p.m.
A speed gun will be set up in a batting cage for kids, among other games.
Lifelong Anoka baseball supporter and local business owner Jim Lundeen will serve at emcee on the field and help introduce members of the original Anoka Bucs team from the early 1980s, known as the Ham Lake Bucs until the name change to Anoka Bucs in 1982.
“I’m excited for the game,” he said while work to make the game a reality began over a year ago. “The [Castle Field Association] that is putting it together has been working [so hard] to get this going and my goal is to get one kid to say, ‘I watched a game here and I can’t wait to play a game out [at Castle Field].’”
Lundeen has helped organize previous Saints exhibition games and after a successful event in Cold Spring. “This was always in the back of my head after the success in Cold Spring,” Lundeen said. “My only regret is that I’m too old to play… I’d love to get on the mound again.”
Ramsey-based Killebrew Root Beer and North Lake Brewing are sponsoring the event, along with the city of Anoka, the Castle Field Assocation, Anoka Lion’s Club and others.
Jason Olson is at