Minot Corbett Field
Location: 13 Street West at Burdick Highway, Minot, N.D.
Opened: 1937 as Municipal Ball Park
Home team: Minot Mallards, Man-Dak League (1950-57), Northern League (1958-60, 1962), Prairie League (1995-97), Minot Vistas American Legion Baseball
Minot Municipal Ball Park began as a WPA project. It was finally completed about 1940 and immediately saw action in amateur baseball. The pros followed fairly soon, too, both the minor leagues and barnstorming teams. When I visited in 2005, the groundskeeper on duty (only the third head groundskeeper the park has ever had, he said) told me that a team featuring Satchel Paige once came through. Site visitor Bill Guenthner, who has published a book on the 1950-57 Mallards, confirmed that Paige played three games for the club in 1950.
The Manitoba-Dakota (Man-Dak) League was an “outlaw” league, a professional league that operated outside the auspices of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. As such, it avoided the restrictions the NAPBL placed on its member leagues and clubs. The Mallards and their opponents often had former major leaguers and Negro Leaguers playing on their teams.
At today’s Corbett Field, named for Dr. V.A. Corbett, president of the Municipal Park Board in the 1940s, the original dugouts are visible, adjacent to the “new” dugouts. These older dugouts were enclosed and even heated, as players boarded there when they could not afford a room in town. An older press box above the grandstand has since been torn down and replaced with a press box within the stand. The stadium seats visible in the center of the grandstand came from Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, and were installed for the Mallards of the independent Prairie League.