Bloomington Bandits History
In 2006 Bloomington had two amateur baseball clubs participating in the Riverview League in Class A of the MBA, the Bulldogs and Redbirds. The Redbirds were in flux as they were unable to find anybody to run the club and had many players defecting to the Bulldogs. Mike Brendalen attempted to take over the operation of the Redbird baseball club but was rebuffed by financial interests of a co-founder of the Birds. Brendalen had expressed interest in working with the co-founder but was ultimately told that it would cost $5,000.00 to buy him out, if Brendalen wanted to use the Redbird name there would be a fee. If Brendalen wanted to use the name without the buyout, legal action would be the next step. It was clear that the Redbird name was done, a lot of history was out the window.
Brendalen began calling guys that he used to play baseball with to gauge interest in playing in 2006 under a new identity (yet to be determined). The response was less than ideal with many guys simply saying it had been too long and weren't interested. Brendalen was able to round up a few guys that played on the Redbirds baseball team and was able to add a handful of guys that were out of ball for a while. Enter George Walker, Ryan Wolf and Rand Huwe. Walker was the JV coach at Kennedy High School in Bloomington and had some guys looking for a team. Walker also brought two of his sons (Ryan and Dusty) to the mix. Ryan Wolf previously played for the Birds and had played ball with Brendalen dating back to youth leagues. Wolf began reaching out to guys to nab a few ballplayers for 2006. Rand Huwe was a Bloomington traveling youth coach for many years and offered any and all help to get a team up and running. Huwe’s knowledge and expertise were critical in getting the club going.
The Bandits were born as a result of Ryan Wolf and Mike Brendalen as the last time they played together was on a youth team named the Bandits that brought home a state championship. The good thing about the Bandits? It was decided to focus on adding local players and guys with local ties to ensure a stable future for Bloomington amateur baseball for many years to come.
Today, the Bandits main goal is to provide a competitive avenue for Bloomington guys to continue playing baseball. Our club does provide opportunity for ball players outside of Bloomington as well, but the main goal is to have the core of the club be comprised of local players. This will remain the Bloomington Bandits mission. Players are routinely sought from Bloomington Jefferson and Kennedy High Schools as well as the Blue and Gold Legion baseball clubs.
Bloomington has become a partner with Class A Baseball as a host to the State Tournament each season beginning with the 2011 season. The Bandits are very excited about this opportunity and look forward to continuing this tradition.
Home games are played at Red Haddox Field in Bloomington on 90th and Portland next to Valley View pool. Other fields include Tony Olivia Field at Dred Scott (field #1) and Gene C. Kelly Field.
Bloomington Amateur Baseball History
Amateur baseball in Bloomington has a rich and long tradition. It all started in the early 1920's with the Bloomington Athletics. The A's were the longest running amateur baseball club in Bloomington's history, starting up in the 1920's and playing four decades before folding in the 1970's. The A's qualified for the State Tournament 8 times during this stretch, taking home the bacon in 1960 and 1965 while also sprinkling in runner up finishes in 1959 and 1963. Navy blue and orange were the colors of the Athletics.
The Bloomington Bulldogs were founded in 1984, by guys like Dan Palmer and the Eckerly brothers, and enjoyed a great deal of success before folding up shop in 2008. The Dogs qualified 13 times for the State Tournament which is by far the most of any Bloomington amateur baseball club. A State Championship was claimed in 1987 along with a runner up finish in 1989 and a third place trophy in 1993. The Bulldogs were also the first league champion of the Riverview league in 1987, they also claimed the league title in 1988 and 1989. Red and Black were the colors of the Bloomington Bulldogs.
The Bloomington Redbirds were founded in the 1990's by Dan Smith as a response to the idea that the Bloomington Bulldogs were not taking enough East Bloomington players (Kennedy High School). The Redbirds played until 2005 before calling it quits. The Birds never did share the same overall success of the A's and Bulldogs, but always played competitive baseball. Many great players donned the Birds uniform and never got to smell the State Tournament. The Redbirds sported Red and Navy Blue for their colors.
Bloomington Chiropractic's only known existence is from a league standings page that is now defunct. The standings were from the early 1990's. Nothing more is known about this ball team.
Overall, the city of Bloomington has had 27 state tournament appearances combined. This includes 3 State Championship clubs, 3 second place finishers and a third place finish. The Bloomington Bandits are the lone amateur ball club left in Bloomington and look forward to the challenge of representing the City and the A's, Bulldogs, Redbirds and Bloomington Chiropractic baseball teams, coaches, fans and alumni going forward. It is a privilege to put on a uniform that represents the City of Bloomington and all the great baseball players from teams and years past.
To offer additional information or facts to the history of Bloomington amateur baseball: http://www.bloomingtonbandits.com/contact_us
For more information on amateur baseball in Minnesota: http://www.amazon.com/Town-Ball-Minnesota-Amateur-Baseball/dp/0816646759
|Team||Years||State Tournament Appearances||Championships||2nd Place||3rd Place|
|Bloomington Athletics||1920's - 1970's||1943, 1950, 1956, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1965||1960, 1965||1959, 1963|
|Bloomington Bandits||2006 - Current||2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016|
|Bloomington Bulldogs||1984 - 2008||
1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000,
2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008
|Bloomington Redbirds||1990's - 2005||None|
State Tournament MVP's
- 1960 - Wayne Tjaden (Athletics)
- 1987 - Jeff Monson (Bulldogs)
All State Tournament Team Members (Bandits only)
2013 (4th Place):
- Kyle Bassamore
- Josh Gist
- Mark Hanson
- Ryan Walker
Bandit Riverview All Stars
**Allstar game did not occur after 2013 season
Past Season Awards
|Year||Batting Title||Homerun Title||
|2014||Sam Baltes (.418)||Sam Baltes (3)||Chad Allmann (2.23)||Josh Gist (67)|
|2013||Sam Baltes (.345)||Sam Baltes (2)||Chad Allmann (2.00)||Chad Allmann (70)|
Alex Mack (.364)
|Kyle Bassamore and Scott Davis (2)||Josh Gist (1.72)||Josh Gist (62)|
|2011||Sam Baltes (.361)||Scott Davis, Mark Hanson, Ryan Walker (1)||Nick Cobb (2.30)||Josh Gist (83)|
|2010||Alex Mack (.422)||Alex Mack (3)||Nick Cobb (2.51)||Josh Gist (80)|
|2009||Jason Meyer (.419)||Jason Meyer (5)||Arron Olson (1.97)||Arron Olson (110)|
|2008||Jason Meyer (.406)||Scott Davis, Jason Meyer, Pat Ottum, Ryan Walker, Ryan Wolf (1)||Kyle Bassamore (2.45)||Kyle Bassamore, Justin Patnode (59)|
|2007||Jason Meyer (.348)||Jason Meyer, Ryan Wolf (3)||Kyle Bassamore (1.00)||Kyle Bassamore (74)|
|2006||Ryan Walker (.424)||Ryan Wolf (2)||N/A||N/A|
Bloomington Youth State Champions
MSF State Champions:
- Bloomington White Sox (10 year old runner up)
- Bloomington Tigers (11 year old runner up)
- Bloomington VFW (14A State Champions)
- Bloomington (15A State Champions)
- Bloomington Gophers (10 year old State Champions)
- Bloomington Jaguars (12 year old runner up)
- Bloomington Firstar (14A State Champions)
- Bloomington Angels (15A State Champions)
- Bloomington Bears (15B runner up)
- Bloomington Blue Raiders (11 year old State Champions)
- Bloomington Gophers (12 year old runner up)
- Bloomington Blues (15A runner up)
- Bloomington Gophers (12 year old State Champions)
- Bloomington Devil Rays (10 year old State Champions)
- Bloomington Bandits (13A State Champions)
- Bloomington Blue Jays (10A runner up)
- Bloomington Yankees (10B State Champions)
- Bloomington Eagles (12A runner up)
- Bloomington Seminoles (10A State Champions)
- Bloomington (13A runner up)
- Bloomington Bulldogs (14A State Champions)
- Bloomington (15A State Champions)
- Bloomington Bears (10A State Champions)
AAU State Champions:
- Bloomington Gold (10A State Champions)
- Bloomington Blizzard (11A State Champions)
- Bloomington Gophers (13A State Champions)
- Bloomington Bulldogs (14A State Champions)