Owatonna’s Post 77 has been sponsoring local baseball teams for ninety-two years. Some had losing records. Others had winning records. But every team tried to “keep a stout heart in defeat” and keep their “pride under in victory.
On May 1, 1928, Post 77 sponsored its first youth baseball team. The post found a coach and spent $17.75 on balls, bats, and other equipment at C. Zamboni & Sons, a sum of about $260 today.
Post 77 sponsored another team in 1929 but their season was less successful. According to post records, it “came to a disastrous ending.” Despite the poor showing in the 1929 season, the Legion continued to support teams into the 1930s.
The 1935 season truly was disastrous for the Post 77 team. They were hampered by the fact that all the baseball fields in Owatonna were already in use. So the team had to practice in Claremont. Their lack of practice led to a 0-13 record for the season.
In 1936, Post Commander Chris Bredlow, who was also president of the Owatonna Baseball Association, ensured that the Post 77 team would have a place to practice in town. This helped the team’s performance but it did not ensure victory. The team lost a tournament game in Waseca 7-3.
Commander Bredlow found a silver lining in defeat. The boys played “head up” baseball, he said. “They were outsmarted by only high school competition.” Team member John Miller still distinguished himself and became part of the First District All-Star team, made up of the best players from the area.
The above image shows the 1940 team in uniform.