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Amateur baseball: Milroy and Milroy to play ball?

MILROY -- For amateur baseball fans in the Milroy area, it would be a match made in heaven.

And a match never before assembled.

On Sunday, Minnesota Twins president Dave St. Peter went to Twitter to propose that the Milroy Yankees and the Milroy Irish play a charity game together next year at Target Field. If it happens, it will be the first time the two clubs have ever met on a baseball diamond.

Credit Star Tribune sports columnist Pat Reusse with getting the ball rolling. Reusse, who grew up in Fulda, wrote a column in which he detailed the Milroy baseball history of the two teams, and talked about an old family spat that forced players to go their separate ways.

Bob Dolan, who coaches the Irish, who play in the Gopher League, remembers the history well. But the bad blood that once existed has dissipated, he said, and he would welcome a game at Target.

“We would be in, for sure,” he said.

In fact, Bob said he asked the Yankees in the past if they’d be willing to play the Irish. A game was never agreed to, however, but he thinks it might actually occur if Target Field could be the venue.

“It would be a good fundraiser. Be a good charity event for both teams,” he said.

After the war years, Milroy resurrected its town team in 1945 and at one time had an all-Dolan infield. In 1954, Milroy won the state Class B championship and also beat Class A champ Benson for the mythical all-around state championship.

Milroy baseball has been dominated by Dolans. John and Mary Dolan had 13 children, which led to 69 grandchildren, and baseball has always been the center of activity.

Today the Yankees play on Yankee Field. The Irish play on Irish Yard, located seven miles away and built largely through Bob’s vision.

According to Reusse, there was a falling out between players and Bob after a rare Yankees losing season in 2003. The baseball board that oversees the team sided with the players and ousted Bob as the manager.

Today, Bob said he was let go essentially because of a disagreement about how many new and younger players would get to play. He said he was ready to step down in another year, anyway, but his love of baseball didn’t quit. In 2009 the Irish went into business after the Yankees (who play in the Corn Belt League) refused to expand their roster -- which already consisted of 24 players -- and refused to let them onto their field without paying a fee for its use.

Bob said many people didn’t think the Irish could make it. But they were wrong.

In fact, both clubs have played consistently at a high level for years. The Irish are 10-5 overall and are scheduled to play in Worthington against the Cubs tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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