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Miesville baseball field featured in book on Minnesota ballparks

Mueller said the crowds at the Miesville field are always enthusiastic. (Submitted photo)1 / 2
Todd Mueller said Minnesota has more amateur baseball teams than any other state in the U.S. The Mudhens are one of those teams. (Submitted photo)2 / 2

“It’s got that Field of Dreams touch.”

That is how first-time author Todd Mueller described the Miesville Mudhens home field. Mueller just released his book “Town Ball Parks of Minnesota,” in which he features 27 ballparks ranging from a multi-million dollar complex to a remote ballpark at the end of a dirt road that is so hidden and out of view that opposing ball players get lost on the way there.

“My goal through this whole thing is to unveil these ballparks for the state treasures they are,” Mueller said.

He began his journey to create the book back in 2008. Since then, he has traveled to over 130 ballparks where he gathered information from each town and field. He said he chose the ballparks that ended up in the book for their uniqueness and charm.

Those unique features were completely subjective, he said. He chose them based on features like a historic grandstand built in the late 1930s, an asymmetrical field, an ivy covered fence or a scoreboard that still needs to have a person manually change the numbers.

One particular field had no fence at all. It had a road instead. Mueller questioned how a home run could be scored and he found out the rule in place. If the ball hits the gravel shoulder it is considered a double; if it hits the road on the asphalt and the ball pings straight up, that’s a home run.

Although all the fields were chosen for a different feature, Mueller said they all did have one thing in common.

“They have had or have many decades of ball clubs,” he said.

One of the more well-known amateur baseball fields in the state of Minnesota is the Miesville ballpark, Mueller said. He said the field is to baseball fans like the Guthrie Theater is to theater lovers. Fans get the Field of Dreams setting with the corn field on the other side of the fence. It is located right off Highway 61. The players love the field too.

“They rate the field extremely high on the playing conditions on the field itself,” Mueller said.

Mueller credits those great field conditions to the groundskeepers who he said have set the bar for other fields in the state because of “their incredible pristine ball park.”

The book highlights each of the ballparks with a section on the team, statistics, and unique facts about the town “because the town and the team are completely connected,” Mueller said. The book contains 500 photos that Mueller had to narrow down from over 20,000 images that were professionally photographed during his visits to the fields.

The book launched in June, just in time for baseball season, and Mueller has gone to many of the featured ballparks for book signings. He is very humbled by the response he has received and he said he hopes he helps “cast the spotlight on these ballparks.”

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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