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September Dugout Chatter from President Rick Zollner

By MSHSBCA, 09/17/20, 9:00AM CDT


The final Dugout Chatter article from President Rick Zollner(Pipestone). Rick has done an outstanding job as our President! Thank you for all of your service Rick!


By: Rick Zollner – Pipestone Area

President MSHSBCA 


The 2020 MSHSBCA Fall Clinic has been postponed. With every major and minor organization cancelling their events, due to the safety of attendees, we are forced to do the same. It was not feasible to offer our normal clinic with all the restrictions in place. BUT the Advisory Board has discussed ways to offer a virtual clinic for all the high school coaches in Minnesota and the greater Midwest! At this time, I am not sure what it will look like, but it will be done professionally and it will be educational. For updates, please refer

An important date to remember is the beginning of fall practice with your baseball team. This can begin on October 5th. The MSHSL is allowing twelve (12) practices. Practices must conclude by October 24th. See your AD about MSHSL restrictions and district requirements. 

With fall baseball starting in October it is crucial to update your membership to the MSHSCA and the MSHSBCA for the 2020-2021 season. The membership provides liability insurance, that we all need, plus it provides eligibility for your players to receive post-season awards. Also, consider membership in one or both of the national associations (BCA or ABCA). Additionally, follow us on Twitter @mshsbca, and continue to check for updated information and what is going on at our website: Also, at this link you can check out all the current baseball records in the state of Minnesota. If a player of yours tied or broke any records please contact Tink Larson at

The 13th Annual Junior Showcase, at Minnetonka HS on August 2nd, was a fantastic event! Over 120+ (to be seniors) attended. Due to covid restrictions the clinic was run in a different format and it worked well. Tink Larson headed up a fantastic group of coaches to run the Showcase. 

The St. Paul Saints Class of 2020 Salute: In June, the St. Paul Saints approached the MSHSBCA with an idea of honoring the Class of 2020.  Inspired by New Jersey's "Last Dance World Series," the Saints wanted to replicate that in Minnesota.  Through numerous Zoom Meetings, the idea was launched with 26 teams representing their high schools for one last chance to put on the uniform.  Some teams were fully comprised of seniors from one school while others combined to form some really unique combinations of schools.  In the end, New Prague ended up defeating St. Michael-Albertville/Orono by a 4-2 score to win the Salute Series.  A special thank you goes out to Saints General Manager, Derek Sharrer, the CHS staff, the CHS grounds crew and for MSHSBCA members, Paul Twenge, Rick Zollner and Tink Larson for putting this idea together for the Class of 2020.

The Play Ball! MN All-Star Series was also cancelled for the 2020 season. Our incredible group of coaches for the 2020 Play Ball! Minnesota All-Star Series will now be the 2021 coaches! Cole Flick (Dassel-Cokato), Tom Konz (Minnehaha Academy), Dan Shuck (Columbia Heights), Brian Harapat (Rogers), Scott Courtright (Mounds View), Matt Kelly (St. Thomas Academy), Chris Swansson (Rosemount), Don Plaisance (New Prague), Chris Stanton (Randolph), Casey Krekling (Hayfield), Jay Wetzel (Hibbing) and Joe Wicklund (Marshall School, Duluth). Thank you coaches for taking time away from your family to coach in this series!

I would also like to congratulate the Hall of Fame class for 2020. Darby Carlson (Maple Grove), Don Dvorak (New Prague), Gary Palm (St. Anthony Village), Todd Smrekar (Cambridge-Isanti), Ken Solarz (Upsala) and Herb Wolf (Fairmont). We are working on alternate plans to honor this HOF class and we look forward to honoring them with the 2021 HOF class next November. 

The MSHSBCA Advisory Board decided that covid-19 could not stop the great things that go on in Minnesota HS baseball. Awards will be given to the following great people who happen to be involved with baseball! Dick Siebert – Tim Loberg (Anoka and Champlin Park); Angelo Giuliani – Mark Wilson (Philadelphia Phillies); Jim Dimmick – Jim Erzar (Deer River) and Pat Collins (Chisago Lakes Area); Rob Fornaisere – Chris Fasnacht (Minnetonka) and Mark Groebner (Eastview); Tink Larson Field of the Year – Waconia; and the Craig Anderson Ethics – Al Amdahl (Albany). Coach of the Year Awards were also awarded to: Class A – Frank Ivancich (Ely); Class AA – Mike Beier (Foley); Class AAA – Bucky Mieras (Orono); and Class AAAA – Tony Market (Lakeville North). Congratulations to all the MSHSBCA award winners for 2020!

As leaders of our local baseball communities it is important to remember that change naturally occurs. The past two years I have served as your President and much change has occurred in our organization. Craig Anderson (Pine Island) became our new Executive Director along with Troy Urdahl (St. Anthony Village) as our Associate Executive Director. The fall clinic changed venues in 2019 and it would have been at the new Omni Vikings Lakes Hotel this fall. We had our 2020 baseball season cancelled and now we are having fall baseball practice and the 2021 season will look different. The Advisory Board is fighting for our 2021 season! We feel it’s important to have a 20 game season with our normal double elimination tournament and state tournament. More change will begin in our association as Ryan Holmgren (Elk River) is set to take over as the President of the MSHSBCA. Ryan will be a fantastic President for our association! Later this fall, there will be online voting for our new 2nd Vice President. As leaders of our baseball communities we must remain positive and adapt to the changes in our sport. Why you ask? Because it’s what is best for our student athletes! 

“The BEST team never Wins. The team that PLAYS BEST always Wins.”