FOREST LAKE - Take me out to the ballgame is an all familiar tune and summer tradition for Minnesotans across the state. If you didn’t know, we have a gem of a baseball field (and team) right here in Forest Lake.
Home of the Forest Lake Brewers, Schumacher Field is located just behind Forest Lake elementary school at 700 Third Ave. SW. It’s a remarkable ballfield with a capacity of 600, grandstand seating and cupola. Last year, the field won Minnesota State High School Field of the Year.
Entrance tickets are reasonably priced and the concession offers a selection of scrumptious baseball foods, treats and beverages.
Schumacher Athletic Field and the Schumacher Field Grandstand has been the home of Forest Lake baseball and many other youth sports teams since 1948. It was named after one of Forest Lake’s most all-time successful and popular coaches, John Schumacher. As a teacher for industrial arts at Forest Lake High School, Schumacher helped students grades 7-12 achieve athletic success from 1957-1983 in football, basketball, track and baseball. He was inducted into Forest Lake High School Hall of Fame in 2012.
“John has been gone for 23 years,” said his widow Mary Schumacher. “It is such an honor that the park still holds his name. It’s truly a testament to how great a coach he really was.”
The Brewers are a long-standing team with 27 players. Starting off as a Class C team from 1987-2011, they became a Class B team in 2012, focusing on competitive baseball. Adam Gallatin, former infielder and now team manager, has been with the team for 21 years. John Mollner, first basemen, has been with the team 15 years, while eight others have eight or more years with the team. Most of the players are from Forest Lake along with Tony Bobrowski and Adam Gemuenden of Chisago and Matthew Grove of Edina.
“I started playing right after I graduated from Forest Lake High school in 1996,” said Gallatin. Seven years ago, I decided to transition to team manager. Playing is more fun, but it’s hard to keep up with the young guys,” he chuckled.
“There’s been so much success for the team over the years, with eleven winning seasons in a row. Our goal every year is to make the state tournament and we’re really hoping this will be the year we make it.”
The Brewers are part of The Minnesota Baseball Association and are a self-funded team. While the team holds several fundraisers prior to each season, team members appreciate donations at any time. Individuals or businesses can donate directly through the Brewers website.
To see stats and standings for the Brewers, or other home town baseball teams, go to www.homeTeamsONLINE.com. You can also follow the team excitement on Facebook or Twitter.