By Brady Ambrose
Despite what Mother Nature might be telling us, the boys of summer, the Caledonia Post 191 American Legion baseball team, has already been on the field for their first game of the season.
As the season revs up, the team will be hosting their Chicken-Q and dedication ceremony June 20 at Veterans Memorial Field with a dedication ceremony at 6:30 p.m.
“Baseball, beverages and barbequed chicken, you can’t get much better than that,” Nick Frank, event organizer, said.
Much like last year, the Legion will put on a fun evening of activities. At 4 p.m. Rooster Andy’s will begin serving their famous barbeque chicken and at 5 p.m. both the 10 and under and 12 and under teams will play games on both fields, followed by the dedication ceremony at 6:30 p.m. and ending with the Legion alumni team taking on the current squad at 7 p.m.
With help from both Post 191 and the city, a new sound system has been installed for the field this season and will definitely provide fans a much better experience, as it replaces the former system that was between 25 and 30 years old. Legion team members installed the system themselves, and both the team and Frank would like to thank the city for its support on the project.
This year’s ceremony will honor all Caledonia High School athletic volunteers. Frank sent letters to every sport’s head coach and asked them to identify “the unsung heroes and positive role models that are behind the scenes.”
Also honored this year will be former CHS baseball standout Bob Conway, who will throw out the first pitch June 20.
Conway, a 1976 Caledonia graduate, was a member of the Warrior baseball team that won the District 1 title in 1974. Conway was a four-year letter winner for the Warriors and also played Legion baseball, winning a regional championship in 1976. After graduation Conway attended Luther College from 1977-79 where he played football and baseball for the Norsemen and was named the freshman of the year in 1977.
After two years at Luther, Conway transferred to Minnesota State Mankato and played center field for the Mavericks from 1980-82. During that time the Mavericks reached the college D2 World Series in Riverside, Calif. In 1979 and 1980 the Maverick baseball teams compiled season records of 38-15 and 40-10, respectively, and placed third in the nation in 1980.
In 2011 Conway and the rest of the Mankato team were honored by being inducted into the Mankato Hall of Fame. He has also coached Caledonia Legion teams and in 1985 brought back the Caledonia White Sox town team for a number of years.