Saturday, August 13
Waterville 5
Belle Plaine 4
Regoin 6C Playoffs

Tigers Record
17-14, 8-
RVL C Bracket

@RVLbaseball Tweets

Tom Melchior Named Glenn Carlson Award Winner

Tom Melchior

MNBaseball Story

Former Town Ball Player Chronicles Its History

Tom Melchior was born in Belle Plaine, Minnesota in 1936. His family moved to Gaylord, and then to Garden City where Tom played youth baseball and his first two years of high school ball.  In 1952, the family returned to Belle Plaine for Tom’s junior and senior years. During the summer of his junior year, Tom began his amateur career as a shortstop for the Carver Black Sox.  

After graduating, he joined the Belle Plaine Tigers for three seasons. In 1954, Tom enrolled at St. John’s University, where he was a four-year starter as an outfielder, and co-captain as a senior. After his junior year in 1957, he was hired as the Benson Braves player-manager for one season.

After graduating college in 1958, Tom played one year for the Le Sueur Giants. He then taught in New Prague in 1959 and played for the New Prague Robins. He spent 1960 in Puerto Rico, teaching and coaching at Colegio San Antonio Abad before returning in 1961 to teach in Montgomery. He played for and managed the Montgomery Redbirds for two seasons. In 1962, Tom began a 31-year teaching career at Burnsville High School, including a decade as the baseball coach. He was named Minnesota Teacher of the Year in 1971 and retired in 1993.  Shortly thereafter, he became one of the first inductees into the Burnsville High School Hall of Fame.

After accepting the post in Burnsville, Tom and his wife, Sue, settled in rural Shakopee, where they raised their three children, Paul, Marty and Meg. Tom finished his playing career with the Shakopee Indians in 1967, and by the mid-1970s, he retired from high school coaching. Tom then coached a Shakopee Babe Ruth team from 1976-1981.

When Tom retired from teaching, he began a second career as an author and regional historian.  In 1997, he published “They Called Me Teacher,” which recounts the history and stories of Minnesota’s one-room schoolhouse teachers. The book won the 1997-98 Merit Award from the Minnesota Independent Publishers Association. This was followed by a memoir, “From Both Sides of the Desk” and “Never Forgotten,” which chronicles stories of World War II veterans.

By the late 1990s, Tom’s focus was back to his first love, baseball. Over the next decade, Tom researched and interviewed dozens of former amateur baseball players from the region. The result was “Belle Plaine Baseball: 1884 – 1960,” and later, “Scott County Baseball.” These books detail the rich history of townball in Scott County. Both titles sold out their first printing and have been widely used by other researchers, writers, and fans of Minnesota’s amateur game. Tom’s endeavors, on and off the field, have positively influenced the lives of thousands of Minnesotans including his family and friends, his students, and generations of baseball players, coaches and fans.

Melchior family tree runs through Minneapolis MudCats


When We the
Boys of Summer Played


In 1948,

We roamed all day without a care,

And never thought of fate.

When we the boys of summer played,

So many years ago,

The sun burned down on sandlot fields,

The pace of time was slow.


We played where grass would never grow,

Sometimes on city streets.

We had no cell phones way back then,

But we knew when to meet.


Our caps were flat with bills that crowned

With logos of favorite teams.

They played on diamonds far away

Where we just played in dreams.


We lugged no big equipment bags

To carry all our stuff.

Just a bat and a trusty glove,

We thought it was enough.


We never wore those shoes with spikes.

Our pants were Levi jeans.

We rode our bikes to pick-up games.

We were a motely team


When we the boys of summer played,

The basepaths were not lined.

We had no way to buy the lime.

No batters’ box you’d find.

When we the boys of summer played,

There was fire in our eyes

Lightning shot from finger tips,

And home plate was the prize.


No umpire ever called a pitch.

Arbitration was our game.

We could argue with the best

My gosh, how we complained!


No parents ever bothered us

Or organized our play.

We were the ones who ruled the game

And frolicked time away.


When we the boys of summer played,

We hit line drives with glee.

We scooped up every hot ground ball

With spirits wild and free.


We dug right in for every pitch

And waved our trusty bats.

The pitchers seldom threw a strike

And whizzed some past our hats.


One day we rode to Arlington

To play a Series game.

Balloon tires crunched the gravel road,

Singing out our fame.


We taped the bats to handle bars.

Our gloves all hung there, too.

We played four innings; then we fought.

 ’tis the best that we could do.


When we the boys of summer played,

Our heroes were Ted and Joe.

They hit homeruns we read about.

And put on quite a show.


Our favorite bat was Louisville

Slugger was its name.

Robinson swung a hefty log.

Duke Snider gave it fame.


We had no TV games to watch.

We turned the Plilco dial.

Play-by-play from distant parks

Made summer nights worthwhile.


Where have my boys of summer gone,

Who once stood strong and tall?

In old age now I often think

Were they ever here at all?


Those years slipped by, so now I dream

Of games I played with friends.

Some now play among the clouds.

Where games will never end.


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Dave “Greek” Wagner

*NEW* Minnesota Amateur
Baseball Hall of Famer

@MinnBaseball Tweets