Minnesota amateur baseball is in a class of its own. Many of the small towns around the state take great pride in making their ballparks a work of art. The aroma of fresh cut perfectly manicured grass, painted grandstands, and fresh popcorn, grilled burgers, and stale beer from the concession stand would fill your senses. Place that against the blue skies of a Minnesota summer, and you have as close to heaven on earth as we may humanly get. My favorite memory is probably being a batboy for my the team my dad played on. After the games, the team would sit around and share a beer from the cooler. One of the players would always leave two root beers in there for my brother and I. One year they were playing for the state championship and my brother and I couldn't go because school started the next day. We were both kinda bummed out because we were gonna miss a chance at seeing the state championship. And when you're an elementary school kid, this might as well be the world series. The next morning as we made our way to the kitchen to eat breakfast in prep to go to school still feeling a little depressed about not going, not knowing the outcome of the game, and the agony of starting school, there on the kitchen table was a state title trophy and a note, "We won this for you two guys last night. Love Dad " The trophy doesn't have the same shine as it did that September morning 30 years ago, but that memory is as golden as that morning my brother and I laid our eyes on it.