KOVAR: The memories are endless when it comes to the Crow River Valley League

When you look at the Crow River Valley League, it’s tough to put it all in perspective. There are great ballparks. There are great teams. There are great players.

It’s no secret that the CRVL has been one of the best leagues in the state over the past decade. The amount of success teams have had and the number of different teams that have participated in that success is pretty phenomenal, actually.

A lot of that success has to do with the talented players and the competitiveness of the league as a whole. Most leagues have one or two good teams at the top. The CRVL has four or five, with teams just below them capable of winning in any matchup.

The CRVL is no stranger to the Minnesota Baseball Association state rankings either. It’s not rare to see four or five teams ranked in the top 10, and even more teams may be worthy of consideration

Between the regular season, league playoffs, and the Region 7C Tournament, amateur baseball is blessed in this area with the CRVL. It seems every year something crazy happens. Whether it’s a team making a deep state tournament run, or a team breaking a drought that goes beyond most of the players on the team. When the weather turns, that means amateur baseball around these ballparks.

So, the weather has turned, and yet there is no amateur baseball. At least right now. Hopefully, we can find a safe way to get the season going and get back to normal a bit and watch the boys of summer.

COVID-19 has hit the pause button on the amateur baseball season for the meantime. It’s a weird feeling. It’s the second week of May now, and I already should have covered about four or five amateur baseball games. Instead, I’ve covered none.

Knowing the amateur baseball season could be in jeopardy, KGLB general manager Jeremy Stender called me up the other day. Like me, Jeremy was struggling to find sports coverage with everything being canceled or postponed. He asked me what I thought about the idea of putting together an All-Decade Team for the CRVL. I thought it was a good idea as I was trying to find new stories to fill the sports section. What I thought would turn out to be a good filler for the sports section for the coming weeks quickly became more.

As we got started on the process, it was simply fun to just talk about amateur baseball. Jeremy and I along with Chris Dammann and Josh Monahan would meet once a week for an hour or so to talk about how we would decide the team, how to share it, and other things.

Throughout the process, it became clear that we all agreed that longevity would reign supreme for us. There was a lot of research and talk done together, which ultimately stirred up some great memories.

Between the four of us, there were so many great stories brought as we looked back on the years. There was Adam Prehn’s perfect game, incredible state tournament runs and performances, crazy region tournaments, and much more.

It was a ton of fun to take time and look back at the past decade of the CRVL. After all of it, it came to mind how spoiled we’ve been. The CRVL is loaded with talented players, great ballparks, and even better fans.

As amateur baseball is currently in a wait and see situation, I hope there will be some kind of baseball to cover this summer yet. The talent and scene are set to create some more memories in the CRVL in the next decade.

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