The 45th annual Princeton American Legion Baseball Tournament, one of the oldest of its kind in Minnesota, will be held July 18-July 20 at Solheim Veterans Field.
Began by legendary Princeton Legion coach Howard Solheim in 1970, the tournament has been one of the top ones in the state through the years. Two years ago, for example, seven of the eight teams in the tournament were ranked in Minnesota.
The defending champion has usually returned to defend its title, but this year Tri-City Red, ranked No. 3 this season, will not be back in the tournament.
The tourney opens on Friday, July 18, with Rogers and St. Francis at noon, followed by Marshall and Lino Lakes at 2:30. River Falls, Wis., a first-time entrant last year, returns and will play Grand Rapids at 5:30 p.m. Grand Rapids has played in the tournament for decades.
The final game of the evening will pit Cloquet against Princeton at 8 p.m.
The same time schedule will follow on July 19, with losers playing in the afternoon and winners later on. Times for the games on Sunday will be 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and the title game at 4:30.
“We don’t have as many of the big names as we have had in the past, but it should be a competitive tournament,” said Princeton coach Troy Kinney.
Legion squad faces onslaught of games
A jam-packed schedule for the Princeton American Legion baseball team just got busier.
A home game with North Branch on Monday night was rained out and rescheduled for next Monday.
With four games remaining this week and games next Monday and Tuesday before the team’s annual tournament, Princeton will be playing nine games in 13 days if there are no postponements. All the remaining games before the local tournament are North End League games and Princeton is still in the running for first place.
At last report, said coach Troy Kinney Monday, St. Francis had one loss, Cambridge was at 6-2 and Princeton at 5-2 in the North End.
Princeton had a doubleheader scheduled here on Tuesday of this week with Milaca and Cambridge, plays at Chisago Lakes tonight (Thursday) and then has a make-up game with Chisago Lakes here on Friday, July 11.
Then comes the rescheduled game with North Branch on Monday, July 14, and the final regular season game at home on Tuesday with league-leading St. Francis.
“We’ll have to figure out our pitching,” said Kinney after Monday’s postponement. “We want to do well in our tournament, too.”
A high finish in the league would be advantageous for seeding in the Sub State Tournament to be held in Princeton– the second year in a row in the new format–over July 21 – July 26.