The largest American Legion baseball tournament in the country takes place this weekend, July 11-15, all over the metro area and three teams from the Bulletin area are participating.
Tri-City Red, Tri-City Blue and Tri-City Maroon are among the 96 teams playing in the five-day extravaganza.
The 96 teams are divided into 16 six-team pools and the format for the first three days is round-robin within each pool. Each team will play the other five teams in the pool, which means each site will host 15 games in three days.
The 16 pool winners advance to a single-elimination playoff with the first two rounds on Monday and the semifinals and championship on Tuesday.
Teams come to the Gopher Classic from around and outside the country. Eleven different states and one Canadian province are represented this weekend. South Dakota leads the non-Minnesota states with 10 teams in the tournament.
Other states sending multiple teams are Nebraska (seven), Wisconsin (three) and North Dakota (three).
Tri-City Red, which is made up of players mostly from Mounds View High School, is playing its pool games at Bethel University’s Hargis Park. Joining Red at Bethel are Shakopee, Armstrong, Elk River, Moline (Ill.) and Yankton (S.D.). Tri-City plays Friday at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m.
Tri-City Blue, which is made up of players mostly from St. Anthony Village High School, is playing its pool games at Veterans Field at Minnetonka High School. Also in the pool are Huron (S.D.), Excelsior, Bemidji, Plymouth (Ind.) and the Rochester Redhawks. Tri-City plays Friday at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday at 9 and 11:30 a.m. and Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Tri-City Maroon, which is made up of players mostly from Irondale High School, is hosting a pool at Irondale. The other teams in the pool are Holy Angels, Omaha Burke (Neb.), the Rochester Patriots, Grand Forks (N.D.) and a team to replace a Rhode Island team that backed out last week. Tri-City plays Friday at 3:30 and 6 p.m., Saturday at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m.
— Brian Meyers
Gopher Classic American Legion baseball tournament
Pool-play sites (Friday-Sunday, July 11-13)
• Legion Field, Apple Valley
• Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School, St. Louis Park
• Bethel University, Arden Hills
• Red Haddox Field, Bloomington
• Alimagnet Park, Burnsville
• Chanhassen High School
• Eagan High School
• Round Lake Stadium, Eden Prairie
• Braemar Park, Edina
• Frederickson Field, Elko, and Lakeville North High School
• Big Willow Park, Hopkins
• Irondale High School, New Brighton
• Maple Grove High School
• Veterans Field, Minnetonka
• McKnight Field, North St. Paul
• Memorial Field, Prior Lake
Playoff sites (Monday, July 14)
• Red Haddox Field
• Veterans Field
• Round Lake Stadium
• McKnight Field
Semifinals/champion site (Tuesday, July 15)
• Veterans Field