Kids baseball coming back

Como Ball fills void left by closing of Midway Baseball

Play ball! A group of dedicated Como area volunteers want young baseball and softball players to get onto the diamonds this season. The nonprofit Como Ball Youth Baseball and Softball Association’s mission is to bring children’s and youth baseball and softball back to the Como, North End, Frogtown, Hamline-Midway and St. Anthony Park neighborhoods.
The association plans to offer in-house and traveling teams for young people ages 6-15. Most activities will be at Como Park Senior High School, North Dale Recreation Center and Northwest Como Recreation Center.
Como Ball leaders wish to fill the void left by the closing of longtime area program Midway Baseball. Midway shut down in January 2023. It’s also an effort to rebuild youth and ultimately prep programs that were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It could be an uphill battle, as more sports and pastimes compete for the attention of young people. But organizers are confident that their new program will meet a need.
Como Ball President and founder Cory Klinge is working with a volunteer board. He and Como Park High School baseball coach Ian Zangs are among those leading the charge to get the program underway.
Volunteers are encouraged by the interest shown and welcome more young ball players.
Registration began in January and ends March 14. Registration is via Google Form and Square this season. The program is to start in mid-May and run through July.
The intent is to offer co-ed coach pitch for up to age 8; ages 9-10 baseball and softball in-house; ages 11 and 12 baseball and softball in-house; 13 and under baseball and softball traveling; 14 and under baseball and softball traveling; and 15 and under baseball and softball traveling.
Como Ball had one team in fall 2023. The boys finished 3-4-1.
Klinge’s 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter have played in-house and traveling baseball and softball. He has coached them both. The family was most recently involved in Highland Baseball.
Klinge called the closing of Midway Baseball “disappointing and devastating.” He added, “Parents and children had to scramble to find other options.”
Midway Baseball was a program of the Dunning Boosters, based at Dunning Field/Dunning Recreation Center in Lexington-Hamline neighborhood. Teams began playing for Midway in 1990. Minnesota Twins star and new Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Mauer got his start with Midway.
Midway grew from 60 to as many as 350 participants during its history. But the program struggled in recent years with declining numbers. The 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We wanted to stay in St. Paul and we saw a need for another option,” Klinge said. The goal is for a middle-ground program, between the small-scale, casual teams and the very expensive traveling team options that leave some families out due to costs.
The program doesn’t see itself as a replacement for St. Paul Parks and Recreation teams, but as an alternative that is more structured and offers a more consistent coaching experience. The intent is for players to play equally and grow in their experience.
The $100 fee covers two practices and two games each week, a jersey and cap. Traveling team fee is $300.
Want more information? Go to or checking Facebook at 
A website is under construction and goes public March 1, at


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here