New Ulm could land new baseball team

NEW ULM – Organizers of a newly formed collegiate baseball league called “The Great Midwest League” are kicking the tires on a preliminary proposal to bring a summer collegiate team to New Ulm beginning in the 2014 baseball season.

The GML is looking at having teams in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Teams proposed in Minnesota besides New Ulm include Marshall, Austin, Winona, Shakopee, Moorhead, Brainerd and Hibbing.

They are looking at a 48-to-50-game schedule with 24-to-25 of them at home.

On Wednesday, two members of the New Ulm Baseball Association met with Park and Recreation Director Tom Schmitz and members of his staff to go over the inital information.

This proposal will be presented to the New Ulm Park and Recreation Commission at their next meeting on Aug. 12 for prelimimary talks and discussion and where more information and input can be gathered.

The proposed schedule would begin in early June with a week of playoffs in August.

Each team would be independently run and will have a full-time presence in the city, according to information from the league.

The proposed teams around the league would consist of only collegiate baseball players who have college eligibilty left.

“Our goal is to be an asset to the city that it calls home and be a quality sports entertainment for the citizens of all ages from all of the area,” Schmitz said.

This is just a “feeling out” process to see the interest and feasibility.

The GML expressed that it wants to be a “good partner with all current teams and will work with the city to make sure that good situation and experience for all.”



New Ulm has put in a bid to host the 2014 Minnesota State Senior (over 35) State Tournament.

“There would be 32 teams in the tournament,” said New Ulm Baseball Association President Bob Skillings. “And there would be 64 total games involved and played over two weekends and usually it is played in the second and third weekends in August.”

Skillings even had a plan for locations to be used within the New Ulm area.

“We would use the parks in New Ulm and Searles for sure,” Skillings said. “This is more of a family-oriented setting with the players being older and having kids. The kids come on the field to help warm up their dads – it is geared to the entire family.”

Skillings said former New Ulmite and Hanska Bullhead player Todd Olson alerted him to the bid. The site for 2014 will be announced early in 2014.



Two players of New Ulm Legion Gold – catcher Grant Kannegiesser and pitcher Tanner Kluis – have been chosen for the Minnesota Millers 18U Elite FallBall Baseball team.

“Myself and Tanner were looking for a baseball team to play with this fall and get more serious with baseball,” Kannegiesser said. “We are both going to try and play college baseball. You are going to get a lot of exposure to college scouts.”

Kannegiesser, who will forgo his senior season of football, said he and Kluis were from 150-175 players.

“We are excited,” Kluis said. “We saw the rosters and there are no bad players on the team.”

Kluis is also gearing himself for college baseball.

“We will have experienced coaches and we have scrimmages every Sunday,” Kluis said. “We then will have an August Bash and then we wlll go to a tournament in Las Vegas. That will be a lot of fun. Grant and I are looking forward to that.”

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