Backyard Getaways: Cooper Grad Finds Home with St. Paul Saints
Max Murphy, a Robbinsdale Cooper graduate, is back in the Twin Cities. Murphy excelled in baseball. Now, after minor league stints in Iowa, Florida and Tennessee, he is part of the first place St. Paul Saints.
“We have a great team,” Murphy said.
In St. Paul, Murphy’s law is a good thing. Saints manager George Tsamis is a huge Murphy fan and says he could be playing at the AA level.
“He’s a really, really good all around player,” Tsamis said. “Plays good defense, has a good arm, got some big hits. Last year he may have been our best player.”
For Murphy, coming home has plenty of perks.
“My parents come out all the time whenever they can,” Murphy said. “Friends will call me or text me like hey I’m coming out this week. Alright yeah, we’ll get you tickets.”
The Saints are an independent league team and they play at scenic CHS Field in St. Paul. Murphy’s office view for home games is post-card like.
“It’s awesome,” he said.
Fun is good
With the St. Paul skyline as a backdrop, CHS has a major league look with minor league charm.
“This place is like one of the most unbelievable places I’ve ever played,” Murphy said.
“Unless you play in the big leagues you are never going to play in a nicer place,” Tsamis said. “This is one beautiful stadium.”
The Saints mix baseball with shtick. The result is decades of fan pleasing.
“People obviously love coming,” Tsamis said. “Because they’re here a lot.”
One of the most popular Saints staples is their ball pig.
“We’ve just got this random pig in our dugout every game,” Murphy said. “You go over and give cookies or fries or whatever.”
Mudonna and Sego
Other goofy things at CHS include a “material mascot” named Mudonna and Sego singing karaoke between innings.
“It’s entertainment as opposed to baseball,” said Brooklyn Park’s Jeff Gallup.
Gallup came to Lowertown recently to see his first St. Paul Saints game and it cost him $2.50 to get there.
“We took the express from Noble and 610 and caught the Green Line down,” Gallup said. “About an hour, little over an hour it took us to get here.”
The Saints usually draw between 8,000 to 9,000 fans a game. A cool part of CHS is a boardwalk that circles the ballpark.
From Wrigley Field-like ivy, to play areas, to tasty food, there is something for everyone.
“It’s just a ton of fun,” Murphy said. “There’s a ton of people here, there’s a ton of things to do.”
City of Baseball Museum a New Addition to CHS Field
A new addition at CHS Field in St. Paul this season is the City of Baseball Museum.
“It’s part of your admission,” said John Wenzel who works at the ballpark. “It’s open every game and it may take a couple times through just to see everything there is to see.”
The museum is located on the left field concourse. The City of Baseball Museum has plenty of historical nuggets relating to the sport’s history in the Twin Cities. Many famous players came through Minneapolis and St. Paul in their minor league heyday.
One of them was George Halas. Yes the same George Halas, one of the founders of the National Football League.
“When he left college he played for the pros for two years, then came for the Saints for two years,” Wenzel said. “In 1920, if I got my date right, he left to go to Chicago and founded the Chicago Bears, part of the National Football League. Was player, coach and owner of a team.”
The City of Baseball Museum opened last month.