Owner Joel Sutherland put up the good fight at Mills Field for the past few seasons, but it wasn’t enough, as the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers are out of the summer-collegiate Northwoods League for 2012.
Baseball has never thrived in the northern-Minnesota resort town of Brainerd, either in the form of the independent North Central League or the Northwoods League — though enough fans showed up through the years to keep the Northwoods League in business there since 2004. With the addition of the Lakeshore Chinooks this season, the decision was made to pull the plug on the Lunkers by the league and Sutherland, who also owns the circuit’s St. Cloud River Bats.
“Out of respect to the host families, fans and sponsors of the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers, we want to make this announcement prior to the release of the schedule,” Northwoods League Director of Operations Curt Carstensen said. “Many great people have made the Brainerd Lakes Area an important part of the Northwoods League for a long time. We want to say thank you to everyone that allowed Stewart C. Mills Field to be a special place to spend a summer night.”
Brainerd had finished last in Northwoods League attendance for seven consecutive years. The Brainerd Blue Thunder existed from 2005 through 2008. The Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers operated from 2009 through 2011.
The move leaves the Northwoods League at 16 teams.
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