A snow-covered baseball field Friday, March 5, in Oscar Kristofferson Park, waits for players from the new Brainerd Baxter Baseball Association this spring.  Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

Baseball: Brainerd, Baxter finally agree on something – baseball

Because activities were limited last summer during the pandemic, groups from both Brainerd Youth Baseball and Baxter Youth Baseball came together to create a youth baseball organization called the Brainerd Baxter Baseball Association this fall. The non-profit organization is dedicated to giving young people in the area the opportunity to play baseball at a competitive level, as well as internal baseball through pony, bronco and mustang leagues.

“This is very important for player development and for allowing a single philosophy, which we all share, to be put into practice,” said co-chairman Steve Hanson. “I think it’s a classic scenario that everyone wins. Not just with the involvement of both cities, but the children and the families. Finally, our goal is to make players ready for the upper level baseball opportunities they may have.

“This allows us all to work together and use the resources we have in this community, and ultimately make the children ready for high school and possibly collegiate baseball by offering more opportunities that we are all included in and a part of. It comes to to be good around, and we are all very happy about that. ”

Rushmeyer, who is the second co-chairman, said this came a long time ago, but politics always found its way into the process. He said that was not the case this time.

“It’s something that has been tried for a long time, but all the stars lined up, and if anything good came from COVID, it was that things slowed down enough to where people from Baxter and people from our board came together and started talking and said this makes sense for us to join, ”said Rushmeyer. “This gives the children in this community more opportunities. I’m on the Brainerd Parks Board, and it seemed like the perfect time to push our programs away from Parks and Rec and into community education while trying to make that transition with the baseball clubs. Many moving parts. It’s a no-brainer, it just hadn’t happened in a long time. Everything is in line, and now we are very happy about it. ”

Everyone from both cities’ parks and recreation departments, community education, the Brainerd School District and even Central Lakes College have come together to make BBBA an organization that will provide many learning and gaming opportunities.

“A lot of people wanted this, and it was really great to get it started, and I think we all want to benefit from it,” Hanson said. “I think one piece of this is the coordination and collaboration of not only the current local youth community, but also high school and collegiate communities all working together. There are things we do together as a much larger baseball community where there will be more involvement at those levels in our programs such as teaching and coaching. ”

The first baseball skill session will be held on Sunday, March 14 at Forestview Middle School. The times depend on age, but start at 10:20 to 13 for more information on these visit braienrdbaxterbaseball.com.

“We sent that information out to our traveling families, but we also sent the same information to our families,” Hanson said. “These opportunities are brought to the attention of everyone who has signed up for baseball in the past, and we want to make sure that anyone who wants to participate and at any level can have that opportunity.”

Rushmeyer said that the goal of everyone involved is to make BBBA a “really good, stylish program that focuses on children, and where we put all our energy back into them through improving players, sportsmanship and just a full nine meters.”

Hanson will see that BBBA provides baseball opportunities all year round. He is also excited about the summer tournaments titled “Battle at the Lakes” which the area will host next summer. BBBA will also host a state tournament of 15 and under.

“We have so many great ball parks in the city, being able to have drills or games in any number of facilities we have certainly provides more drills and more games and tournaments,” Hanson said. “A lot of people want to come here. This allows us to give our community to the rest of the state because we all work together in concert, and we will see some fun things flourish out of it with the collaboration we have now. ”

JEREMY MILLSOP can be reached at 218-855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.

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