MBA announces Class A to join Class B at annual meeting

By Nick Gerhardt

ScoreMonster Contributor

news@mnbaseball.org

The Minnesota Baseball Association annual meeting Saturday at the Eastside VFW in St. Cloud brought as much news about the past year as the next year.

The MBA Board of Directors announced the move of Class A teams to Class B beginning next season, reducing the number of classes in the state to two for the first time since 1985 when the state had Class A and Class AA. 

The Board of Directors did not announce renaming the classes Saturday but work remains with the merger. Class A has 31 teams that will transition to Class B. The Class A leagues will remain intact for at least two years. The Board of Directors announced the move with the understanding that the Class A teams and the Board of Directors will review the arrangement after two years.

“It’s only beneficial to bring everyone along,” MBA President Mark Forsman said.

Years ago the Class A state tournament championship took place at the Class B and C tournament sites but Class A has spent much of the past 30 years hosting its own state tournament while still under the MBA banner. 

The Class B state tournament format remains in flux. Scenarios discussed included a 24-team single elimination tournament that would see three teams from each section advance to the state tournament. The No. 1 seeds would receive a first-round bye under the proposal.

Each Class A league will become its own section with the new arrangement, though the number of state bids remains unsettled.

“This is a big deal and a big change for the B tournament,” Director Gary Schleper said.

Work behind the scenes has taken place for the past two years as both sides worked to find an amenable situation.

“It’s a historical thing,” Forsman said. “We want to keep the integrity of what we have going. I just think it was time for A to get incorporated in our program. I think it will enhance it and make it a lot better.”

Kreger signs off

The Board of Directors acknowledged the 15 years of service Vice President Joe Kreger dedicated to the Board of Directors, along with his lifetime devotion to amateur baseball.

“How lucky am I?” Kreger said. “I’ve gotten to do all the things in town team amateur baseball.”

Those things included managing a state championship team, getting drafted for the state tournament as a player five times and playing on quality teams through the years, all with the blessing of his wife and family, Kreger said.

“I’m leaving at a good time in my life,” Kreger said. “Thank you to the MBA family, you have enriched my life.”

Kreger decided to step down from the Board of Directors, in part, because he’s on the ballot in November for Sibley County commissioner.

New board member elected

With Kreger’s departure, his seat on the board became available and three candidates threw their hat in the ring while Forsman and John Gerads sought re-election. 

Forsman and Gerads both retained their positions and Dakota-Rice-Scott League President Mike Sticha won election to the board. Region 15 Commissioner Randy Schoenberg and Jay Roufs also ran for election to the board.

Mike Downes Award Winner

Longtime Region 11 Commissioner Leo Wirth received the 2022 Mike Downes Award for his service to amateur baseball. Wirth has spent 35 years as a league or region official. 

Notes

In other board action, the board reinstated Mayer after it used an illegal player last season. The board accepted the move of the Janesville Jays to North Mankato. The Jays will use the North Mankato City Hall as their address for radius purposes since North Mankato does not have a field, though there are plans for a field to be built.

Marty Brandl will take over as Region 2 commissioner following the resignation of Bryce Pack.

Andy Kratzke has resigned as Region 16 commissioner. 

The MBA will meet Nov. 12 at Eastside VFW in St. Cloud for its rules meeting.

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