St. Paul Saints

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St. Paul Saints
StPaulSaints.png STP Saints.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
LeagueAmerican Association (North Division)
LocationSaint Paul, Minnesota
BallparkCHS Field
Year founded1993
League championships4 (NL: 1993, 1995, 1996, 2004) 1 (AA: 2019)
Division championships8 (1997, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019)
Former league(s)
ColorsBlue & White          
OwnershipGoldklang Group
ManagerGeorge Tsamis
General ManagerDerek Sharrer
MediaSean Aronson

The St. Paul Saints are an American professional baseball team based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Saints are a member of the North Division of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. The Saints played their home games at Midway Stadium starting in 1993, when the modern-day team started as a member of the Northern League. In 2006, the team was a founding member of the modern American Association. The team started playing in the new CHS Field in 2015.[1]

Before the arrival of the Minnesota Twins in 1961, there was a long history of minor-league baseball teams called the St. Paul Saints, as well as their crosstown rivals the Minneapolis Millers. One incarnation of the Saints participated in the Union Association, a short-lived major league, in 1884. A second incarnation was active in the Western League from 1894 to 1899, and became a forerunner of the modern Chicago White Sox. The third and most long-lived incarnation of the Saints was active in the American Association from 1915 to 1960.


The current inception of the St. Paul Saints was formed in 1993 in the Northern League, one of several independent leagues not affiliated with Major League Baseball. The Saints are known for promotions that are sometimes over-the-top even by the standards of minor league baseball. In this regard, Mike Veeck, formerly the team's principal owner and still owner of a large interest in the team, is seen as following in the footsteps of his father Bill Veeck, who was famous for conceiving outlandish promotions as an owner of the Major League teams the St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago White Sox. The current majority owner, Marvin Goldklang, also owns a stake in four other minor league baseball teams: the Fort Myers Miracle, Sioux Falls Pheasants, Hudson Valley Renegades, and Charleston RiverDogs. Comedian and actor Bill Murray is also a part owner.

Despite the considerable naysaying at their inception, the Saints became one of the most successful teams in the Northern League and all of independent baseball. In 2002–2004, the Saints saw severely reduced attendance, owing partially to renewed interest in the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball, who won the 2002, 2003, and 2004 American League Central Division championships. In spite of an initially cool, if not outright hostile reception, the Saints and their Major League neighbor (less than 10 miles away) have worked together for several years to promote the sport of baseball.

The Saints have figured prominently in the creation of modern independent baseball. The team has been featured in books ("Rebel Baseball" by Steve Perlstein, 1993; "Slouching Toward Fargo" by Neal Karlen, 1998) and a cable network series ("Baseball, Minnesota", FX Network, 1996–97). Mike Veeck wrote a book that covered the mantra "Fun is Good" (2005) and describes the business approach he has used for many years.

On May 31, 1997, the Saints became the first professional men's baseball team since integration to have a female on their roster. Ila Borders, a pitcher, played with the team out of the bullpen for a month before being traded.

In a tradition started in the team's first year, the Saints pig brings out game balls and receives a snack between innings.

On September 29, 2005, the Saints left the Northern League, along with the Lincoln Saltdogs, Sioux City Explorers, and the Sioux Falls Pheasants to start the American Association for the 2006 season.

In June 2009 the Saints began a push to build a new stadium in Downtown Saint Paul. The proposed 7,500 seat stadium would be located in the Lowertown neighborhood near a planned maintenance facility for the METRO Green Line light rail. The city of Saint Paul requested $25 million in its 2010 bonding wish list to the Minnesota Legislature.[2][3][4][5]

St. Paul Saints (1894–1899)[edit]

As described in Lee Allen's book, The American League Story (Putnam, 1962), the team began as the Sioux City franchise in a minor league called the Western League. The WL had reorganized itself in November, 1893, with Ban Johnson as President. Johnson, a Cincinnati-based reporter, had been recommended by his friend Charles Comiskey, former major league star with the St. Louis Browns in the 1880s, who was then managing the Cincinnati Reds. After the 1894 season, when Comiskey's contract with the Reds was up, he decided to take his chances at ownership. He bought the Sioux City team and transferred it to St. Paul, where it enjoyed some success over the next 5 seasons.

In 1900, the Western League changed its name to the American League. It was still officially a minor league, a part of the National Agreement and an underling of the National League. The NL actually gave permission to the AL to put a team in Chicago, and on March 21, 1900, Comiskey moved his St. Paul club to the South Side, where they became the Chicago White Sox.

Joe Riggert accumulated 1,639 hits over 12 seasons with the old Saints.

St. Paul Saints (1901–1960)[edit]

Another team called the Saints played minor league baseball in the American Association from 1901 to 1960. The Saints finished first in the American Association nine times, and won the Little World Series in 1924. During this period, the Saints were a farm club of the Chicago White Sox (1936–1942), the Brooklyn Dodgers (1944–1957), and the Los Angeles Dodgers (1958–1960). The Saints played streetcar home and away double headers with their local rivals, the Minneapolis Millers. When the Minnesota Twins came to town in 1961, the Saints became the Omaha Dodgers while the Millers ceased operations and their role as affiliate to the Boston Red Sox was filled by the Seattle Rainiers. Lexington Park served as the Saints' home stadium for most of those years.

During the six decades of the original American Association minor league, the Minneapolis Millers and St. Paul Saints engaged in vigorous rivalry known as the Streetcar Series. This series has been documented in a book by Rex Hamann entitled "The Millers and the Saints, Baseball Championships of the Twin Cities Rivals" (2014).

Saints pitcher Mitch Wylie during a game on June 23, 2009. Wylie is wearing the uniform of the Homestead Grays, in honor of Minnesota's contribution to African-Americans in baseball.

Current roster[edit]

St. Paul Saints roster
Active (22-man) roster Coaches/Other


  • -- Landon Beck ‡
  • 25 Mike Devine
  • 17 Ken Frosch
  • 30 Jordan Jess
  • 38 Tanner Kiest
  • -- John Kilichowski ‡
  • 29 Karch Kowalczyk
  • 54 Chris Lee Injury icon 2.svg
  • 11 Eddie Medina
  • 16 Ryan Schlosser
  • -- Ryan Smith ‡
  • 35 Todd Van Steensel Injury icon 2.svg
  • 18 Ryan Zimmerman



  • 26 Mike Aiello
  •  8 Jeremy Martinez


  •  7 Josh Allen
  • 19 Chris Baker
  • 24 Matt Morales
  • 12 Devon Rodriguez
  •  2 Blake Schmit
  • 21 Brady Shoemaker
  •  6 John Silviano
  • -- Joey Wong
  •  4 Chesny Young


  • 13 Troy Alexander
  • 15 Jabari Henry
  •  3 Michael Lang
  •  9 Dan Motl



  •    Jason Ellenbecker (trainer)
  •    Dan Grice (first base)
  •    JP Labelle (clubhouse manager)
  • 46 Kerry Ligtenberg (pitching)
  • 23 Ole Sheldon (hitting)

Injury icon 2.svg Disabled list
‡ Inactive list
§ Suspended list

Roster updated September 12, 2019

Notable former players[edit]

Notable promotions[edit]

In an attempt to gain publicity in a metropolitan area that hosts four major pro sports teams and a major college program, the Saints have grabbed headlines numerous times for their unique promotions.[6]

  • On July 21, 2015, in an event sponsored by My Pillow, the world's largest pillow fight was held after the second inning, with 6,261 participants. The event was hosted by Stephen Baldwin.[7] Additionally, in honor of the 40th season of Saturday Night Live, former cast member Joe Piscopo performed the national anthem in his impression of Frank Sinatra, and made other appearances throughout the game[8]
  • A May 11, 2013 exhibition game between the Saints and Gary SouthShore Railcats was played without umpires. The team instead had a judge, in a judicial robe, call balls and strikes from behind the pitcher. Calls at first and third bases were made by a "jury" of 12 Little League players, with the judge able to overrule any calls.[9]
  • In August 2012, as part of a regional conference held by the Minnesota Atheists, the Saints held "A Night of Unbelievable Fun", where the team wore alternate jerseys branding themselves as the "Mr. Paul Aint's". The promotion was reprised in subsequent seasons.[10][11][12][13]
  • On July 23, 2011, the Saints celebrated National Hot Dog Day and parodied Anthony Weiner and his first sexting scandal. The first 1,501 fans age 18 or older received "Tweeting Wiener Boxer Shorts", depicting a blue bird taking a picture of a hot dog, or "wiener". The bird was deliberately drawn to resemble the logo of Twitter, the social media site that Weiner used to send links to indecent photos.[14]
  • The Saints announced a giveaway for their May 23, 2009 game against the Sioux Falls Pheasants of 2,500 bobblehead dolls dressed as the Sesame Street character Count von Count, supposedly celebrating the 40th anniversary of the series. The Saints' version of this doll, however, had the face of Al Franken on one side and Norm Coleman on the other and was named "Count von Re-Count"—referring to the prolonged recount in the 2008 U.S. Senate election between the two men. The Saints made further jabs at the race:[15]
    • The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Dean Barkley, who ran in that election as a third-party candidate.
    • Fans were asked during the game to spin the heads of their dolls to either Coleman or Franken. Attorneys were present to count the "votes" from this process, poking fun at the extensive involvement of attorneys in the recount process. The team's official web site stated that fans could challenge the "results" at the team's Fan Services booth during the game.
    • The team also facetiously stated on its site that it would not make the results of that night's game official until mid-June—around the time that the entire Minnesota Supreme Court was scheduled to rule on Coleman's appeal of a panel ruling that Franken had won. (The Court issued its ruling in Franken's favor on June 30, with Coleman then conceding.)
  • In May, 2008, the Saints announced the giveaway of 2,500 bobble foot dolls, ostensibly to celebrate National Tap Dance Day. The dolls, which feature two feet visible beneath the door of a bathroom stall, have been covered in the national news for their reference to Senator Larry Craig, notorious for soliciting sex in a Minneapolis–Saint Paul Airport restroom in August 2007.[16]
  • In August, 2007, the Saints announced that rubber dog toys would be given out as a jab to the federal dogfighting case involving Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.[17]
  • In April 2006, the Saints announced that rubber boats would be given out during a May 27, 2006 game, ostensibly to honor the 30th anniversary of the television show The Love Boat. However, details of the promotion indicate that it was intended as a jab at the 2005 boat scandal involving the Minnesota Vikings, where several members of the team were allegedly involved in illicit behavior on a private cruise. The promotional rubber boats used the same color as the Vikings uniforms (purple and yellow) and were named Minnetonka Queen (a reference to Lake Minnetonka, where the cruise took place).[6]
  • In August 2004, the Saints held a Bobblehead Election to tap into the campaign buzz around the election year. Fans were told to select either a John Kerry or George Bush bobblehead as their "vote." The stunt was capped off with a speech by the winning bobblehead. A real donkey and a donkey dressed like an elephant (the Saints were unable to obtain a real elephant) added to the atmosphere.[18]
  • In August 2003, the Saints held "Randy Moss Hood Ornament Night", poking fun at Randy Moss, then a wide receiver for the Vikings. Earlier that year, Moss was involved in an incident where he bumped a traffic control officer with his car while he attempted to make a turn.[6]
  • During the 2002 Major League Baseball labor negotiations, the Saints gave away seat cushions with pictures of commissioner Bud Selig on one side and player's association Executive Director Donald Fehr on the other.[6]
  • In 2002, in response to Selig's controversial decision to end the MLB All-Star Game in a 7-7 tie, the Saints gave out neckties (or "ties") with Bud Selig's image.[6]
  • In the 1996 film Space Jam, Bill Murray is wearing a Saints cap during The Ultimate Game.[citation needed]

Fast facts[edit]

Founded: 1993 (Northern League inaugural team)
Home ballpark: CHS Field, starting with the 2015 season.
Cap logo design: StP script similar to the St. Paul Colored Gophers
Uniform colors: Home: Cream with blue "Saints" on front with name(black) and #(blue)on back, Away: Grey with blue "ST. PAUL" on front, Alternate/Sunday: Blue jersey with cream "StP" logo on players lower left shoulder and cream number on back.
Uniform design: Saints in script ('93-'02 was similar to original American Association version)
Northern League Champions: 1993, 1995, 1996, 2004
American Association Champions: 2019
Division champions (AA North): 2006, 2015
Mascot: Muddona
Promotions manager: Sierra Bailey
Ballpark organist: Andrew Crowley
Head groundskeeper: Marcus Campbell
Current radio station: ALT 93.3 FM, Shoreview, Minnesota[19]
Current ball pig: Porknite

Season-by-season record[edit]

St. Paul Saints (2010–2019) [1]
Season W–L Record Percentage Finish Playoffs
2010 45–51 .469 5th, North Division Did not qualify
2011 56–44 .560 2nd, North Division Lost to Grand Prairie in finals 3–2
2012 52–48 .520 3rd, North Division Did not qualify
2013 47–53 .470 3rd, North Division Did not qualify
2014 48–52 .480 2nd, North Division Did not qualify
2015 74–26 .740 1st, North Division Lost to Sioux City in first round, 3–1
2016 61–39 .610 1st, North Division Lost to Winnipeg in first round, 3–2
2017 48–52 .480 3rd, North Division Did not qualify
2018 59–41 .590 1st, North Division Defeated Gary in first round, 3–1; Lost to Kansas City in championship, 3–1
2019 64–36 .640 1st, North Division Defeated Fargo-Moorhead in first round, 3-2; Defeated Sioux City in championship, 3-0
Totals 550–425 .561 - 17–13


Northern League:



  1. ^ "Lowertown ballpark FAQs". Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ Havens, Chris (June 26, 2009) "Wish list: New home for Saints" Star Tribune. Retrieved on June 27, 2009
  3. ^ Orrick, Dave (June 25, 2009) "Now batting for the Saints: Bill Murray" Saint Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved on June 27, 2009
  4. ^ Kimball, Joe (June 25, 2009) "Bill Murray shows his stripes; pushes stadium, skips mayor" Retrieved on June 27, 2009
  5. ^ McClure, Jane (July 1, 2009) "City Unveils 2010 bonding requests" Villager
  6. ^ a b c d e Rovell, Darren (April 17, 2006). "Another last laugh for the St. Paul Saints". Retrieved 2006-04-18.
  7. ^ "Saint Paul Saints hold world's largest pillow fight". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  8. ^ "St. Paul Saints Baseball, Fun, & Pillows". Twins Daily. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  9. ^ Townsend, Mark (April 27, 2013). "St. Paul Saints to replace umpires with judge and jury during May 11 exhibition game". Big League Stew. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  10. ^ Gryboski, Michael. "Minn. Baseball Team Changes Name From Saints to 'Aints' for Atheist Event". Christian Post. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  11. ^ Jayne, Eric (29 July 2013). "Atheists and the 'Aints' — seeking to dispel preconceived notions about our (non)beliefs". MinnPost. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  12. ^ Block, Melissa (8 August 2013). "Minn. Minor League Baseball Team Goes Atheist For One Night". NPR. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  13. ^ Shaw, Bob (4 August 2014). "St. Paul's atheists are coming out of the closet". Pioneer Press. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  14. ^ Chin, Richard (June 17, 2011). "St. Paul Saints go ahead with 'Tweeting Wiener Boxer Shorts' giveaway despite congressman's resignation". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  15. ^ "Saints' gimmick jabs at Senate race". Associated Press. 2009-05-23. Retrieved 2009-05-23. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  16. ^ "Minn. team's promotional giveaway features 'bobble foot' in toilet stall". USA Today. 2008-05-22. Retrieved 2008-05-26.
  17. ^ "Saints Continue to Slide at Home Lose 7-3". 2007-08-20. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
  18. ^
  19. ^

External links[edit]

League references[edit]

  • – yearly league standings & awards (American Association)
  • – yearly league standings & awards (Northern League)
Preceded by
Northern League Champions
St. Paul Saints

Succeeded by
Winnipeg Goldeyes
Preceded by
Winnipeg Goldeyes
Northern League Champions
St. Paul Saints

Succeeded by
Duluth–Superior Dukes
Preceded by
Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
Northern League Champions
St. Paul Saints

Succeeded by
Gary SouthShore RailCats