Of all the years the Winnipeg Goldeyes have been competing in the Northern League, they had never missed the playoffs.
Until this season. Of course this season was the one in which I most got into watching them play. I think I ended up attending
about 6 or 7 games this year, and caught a couple on Public Access when St. Paul was in town (Shaw TV picked up the St. Paul
So when the last day of our summer driving trip brought us into Fargo I decided to take my son to the game there. The
Fargo Redhawks were taking on the St. Paul Saints and it had major playoff implications
for the Goldeyes. Fargo had one the first half title so they were assured of a spot in the playoffs, but the Goldeyes were
battling to try and catch up to St. Paul to win the 2nd half.
Now normally there is no way that a Goldeyes fan worth his or her salt would ever cheer for the Redhawks, even in their
own park. But as luck and diplomacy would have it on this occasion we could cheer for the arch-rival Redhawks.
The bad blood between Fargo and the Goldeyes goes back many years, and no one thing has created it. The Redhawks long
standing manager Doug Siminuc (herein called Doug Siminut) was the manager of the Goldeyes for their first
2 seasons. While Doug was a good manager and had success he just couldn't get along with anyone, especially the owner Sam
Katz. Between that bad blood, the fact that both teams were always battling for the top, the close proximity in geography,
and some administration/salary cap accusations a feud was born.
On this particular night my wife asked if we needed to get tickets in advance. I had noticed that the RedHawks regularly
drew about 4,000 fans so I said "no". So I was a bit shocked and put off when I got there and it was Standing room
My son being quite the trooper for such a little tyke still wanted to go, so we went in on the cheap.
After watching a couple innings and consuming some treats as well as taking in the sights of the park we settled into
some seats that I had scouted behind home plate. We were in a pair of the best seats in the house the rest of the night, at
SRO prices. Got to love minor league baseball where a beer costs as much as a ticket.
I was surprised to see how much the Fargo park resembled CanWest Global Park. It's probably a pretty normal design for
a minor league park, but even the materials used seemed to be the same. But of course it's a good 2,000 seats smaller then
in Winnipeg. Good job Sam Katz.
The big buzz around the park that night had nothing to do with either the Redhawks, nor the surging Twins, nor even the
Athens Olympics set to open up shortly. Indeed the big topic of conversation and advertisment was the first season of Division
I football for the UND St. Bisons.
Who won the game? St. Paul did 8-5 but I had to do an internet search to find out because it didn't really matter.
The Saints beat out the Goldeyes for the 2nd half pennant and went on to win the Northern League Title.