2024 ‘ Hot Stove ’ Edition

Volume 22 , Number 1

Lions Field to host 2024 CRVL / NSL All-Star Game

BYKIPKOVAR Herald Journal Sports Editor
PLATO – For the second year in a row , the Crow River Valley and North Star League will face off against each other in an All-Star Game .
Last year the game was hosted by the Delano Athletics and drew more than 1,000 fans . This year , the game will be hosted by the CRVL .
At the most recent league meeting , the honor of hosting was given to the Waconia Lakers by a league vote .
Lions Field is in rare company for hosting state tournaments . After being one of the main hosts in 2021 , Waconia also helped host state tournament games in 2022 and 2023 .
The All-Star Game between the CRVL and NSL is set for Friday , June 28 . The NSL won last year ’ s matchup 5-4 on a walk-off double by Delano ’ s Adam Schleper .
“ As you can imagine , we are beyond excited to be hosting a major event like this ,” Waconia Baseball
Association Board of Directors Chris Ohm said . “ Two top-notch leagues on one field , one night , what ' s not to love about that ? As part of our commitment to these great leagues , we want to offer a first-class game experience for players , coaches , and fans . We have some fun upgrades that fans will notice at Lions Field . We have a number of fun things in store for the event .”
LionsFieldinWaconiawillbetheplacetobethissummerastheyhosttheCRVL / NSLAll-StarGamethisupcoming season . www . CRVLbaseball . com

The end of the CRVL could be closer than you think

Last year I took the time to try and see what the future of the Crow River Valley League might look like . The CRVL has year in and year out been one of the top leagues in the state when it comes to attendance and state tournament success . Just a year later , all of that comes with some warranted uncertainty .
Last year , the Minnesota Baseball Association made the change to move to a two-class system . Instead of having Class A , B , and C , the MBA combined the teams in A and B to go down to a two-class system .
There was some backlash to the decision to combine the two classes in the beginning . I was one of them at first . After seeing a full season of it , I do think it actually worked out pretty well . It was cool to see all the amateur baseball teams in the state competing in one state tournament . Class A has typically held their tournaments separate from B and C until this year .
I believe the merge between Class A and B into one tournament was a big success this year . Class B teams were very competitive and it gave
Kip Kovar
fans a chance to see teams from across the state all in one location if they wanted to .
The change by the MBA seemed like a big shift at first but in my opinion , I think it worked well . Attendance for all games was great throughout regardless of who was playing and in the end that ’ s what is a big part of things .
I ’ ve gotten to know a lot of the MBA state board members over the past few years than I have before . I know they are all good guys and guys who truly love amateur baseball . They ’ ve made some great changes to amateur baseball over the years and they are always looking to make things better . While I appreciate their effort and work in doing that , I think sometimes they can be trying too hard . seeKOVAR , Page4