St. Louis Park’s last visit to state was derailed by tiny champion Halstad

·1 min read

The 1952 state baseball tournament is monumental for a reason beyond that being St. Louis Park's only previous appearance in the event. These were the early days of one-class tournaments and eight regional champions, divided geographically and not by enrollment.

The champion was Halstad, a tiny burgh 30 miles north of Moorhead. The Pirates were basically the baseball equivalent of the Edgerton Dutchmen, the one-class basketball winners in 1960.

And those Pirates actually had reached the 1952 state basketball tournament and finished third as Region 8 champions. There's a book, "Pirates of the Prairie," on Halstad's exploits to be found on Amazon.

The baseball tournament was played in Owatonna. St. Louis Park was credited with upsetting Melrose, the 1951 runner-up in the first round. Then it ran into Halstad, a first-round winner over New Ulm.

Down went the Orioles in the semis, as did powerhouse Austin, 9-2, in the title game. Morris Holm pitched all three games for Halstad, at a time when prep games were nine innings.

"My arm feels all right, but I'm tired all over,'' Holm told Jimmy Byrne from the Minneapolis Star.