Albert Lea Lakers to play a second year

Published 9:12 pm Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Albert Lea Lakers will play their second year of baseball next year in Albert Lea.

The Albert Lea City Council Oct. 23 authorized an agreement with the Lakers to use Hayek Field in 2018.

Team supporter Dave Mullenbach said the Lakers provide a “great opportunity” for the Albert Lea community because of the influx of players who come from other communities. Playing in Albert Lea for one summer could motivate team members to return to the area, Mullenbach said.

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“It’s good exposure for our community,” he said.

Mullenbach spoke of his love of baseball and his belief that the Lakers provide a needed spark to the community.

Players last year stayed with host families, who were honored prior to the start of the Lakers’ last regular season game.

The Lakers baseball team finished its inaugural season in Albert Lea with a 11-19 regular season record, good for fifth place in the Pioneer League.

Mullenbach said he hopes attendance at Lakers games increases next year to up to 500 people per game, recalling that there were 200 to 300 people in attendance at the Lakers’ final regular season game last summer.

“It’s just good all-around baseball for the Albert Lea community,” he said.

Booster Mark Calderon said he is excited for next year’s team.

“I’m very excited to see the team come back,” he said.

The Lakers are expected to have no returning players, and the team has already drafted 11 for the team. The team’s schedule is expected to be released in January and include 30 to 40 games, with half in Albert Lea.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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