Amateur baseball players from across Minnesota are hoping their season ends with a championship as the 100th annual Minnesota Baseball Association State Amateur Baseball Tournament gets underway this weekend.
This year's tournament brings a first-of-its-kind change for the nation's largest amateur baseball league as the MBA combined Classes A and B into one tournament.
"We're going to get a true champion for our upper class in our tournament this year," said MBA President Mark Forsman. "That's really new and it's exciting because all of our metro teams are coming and they're playing all of the out state teams in a single elimination tournament."
Sites hosting tournament games this year include Saints Field in Dassel, the Delano Municipal Ballpark in Delano, Optimist Park in Litchfield, and Lions Field in Waconia.
The Class B tournament features 32 teams with 48 teams in the Class C tournament.
"There's a lot of tradition and history in the towns that are participating in hosting the tournament," Forsman said. "We had to use Waconia which is kind of a new thing with four sites. We typically only have three."
Over 300 teams are part of the Minnesota Baseball Association and Forsman says more towns are getting involved each and every year.
"I think there's just a lot of dedicated people through the 100 year history of amateur baseball," he said. "I know the governing board which I'm a part of is trying to make this state tournament a greater event than it is already now by using a number of different avenues. Just the dedication of the fans and townball people. When you think about teams and their fields, everybody is trying to one-up each other. You like at some of these towns, they have a bar, church, and a beautiful ballpark."
The Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament gets underway on Friday night.
Games will be streamed live on NSPN.tv.