Baseball Leagues


In the years since the arrival of the first homesteaders, Roseglen, North Dakota has been a center of enthusiasm for the game of baseball. For an inland community, Roseglen has produced baseball teams that would do credit to much larger population centers.

In the 1906 to 1916 period, Roseglen fielded a team that was a consistent winner. Competing teams came from the surrounding areas of Jeanette, Ryder, Garrison, and the Berthold Reservation. At the time that the Roseglen Golden Jubilee book was published, a photo of the team, taken about 1907, was published in the book. Identification of some of the players in the picture was possible because two of the team members were still living in 1967, when the Jubilee book was published. At the age of 89, Oscar Oien was a resident, along with his wife, of McLean Manor in Garrison. The other, Bernie Johnson, was living in a retirement home in Wilton.

During World War I, so many of the young men of Roseglen, North Dakota were in the military that baseball fever cooled for a time. However, in the early 1920s, another good ball team arose in Roseglen. This team played together for seven years and, in the 1925-1926-1927 seasons, the team lost only one game. There were, at this time, no organized leagues and the team went as far away as Minot, Berthold, and Harvey in order to find worthy competition.

The members of this team were Lewis Lenaburg, Clarence Olness, Bill Deleen, Leo Glochesky, Scotty Skeiten, Baron Gage, John Schellenbaum, Andy Anderson, Bill Ehlers, and Vick Irick, with John Bruhn and Jess Leigh as its pitchers. Leigh was the first string pitcher. Much of his effectiveness was due to the "spit ball" he threw. This really confused opposition batters. When they were able to connect with the ball, it went in any direction except where it should.

Reservation Baseball League

In about 1931, a year in which baseball was the only summer sport available, it being the first of a long period of dry years, the Reservation Baseball League was organized. This league banded together teams from Roseglen, Hiddenwood, Ryder, Sanish, Plaza, Max, Elbowoods, and Van Hook.

Early officers of the league were: Julius Mattson of Roseglen, President, Arnold Larson of Hiddenwood, Vice-President, and Donald Whiting of Max, as Secretary-Treasurer. Julius Mattson managed the Roseglen team the first year, and Charlie Wheldon took over in the following years.

Playing for Roseglen in this period were Carl Hanson, Julius Schmidt, Marvin and Curtis Rime, Milton Austad, Tom Giffey, Earl Nelson, Donnell Haugen, Lloyd Pederson, and Harvey Snippen, with Anton Kolden as the catcher and Wes Cumings, Earl Swartz and Adolph Kolden as pitchers.

The team was near the top of the League each year, but won the league championship only in 1936, in a play-off game with Max, a free hitting game that ended with the score of 18-14.

The team did play tighter games. Playing in 1935, against Van Hook, Adolph Kolden pitched a no-hit, no-run game that Roseglen won 1-0. Roseglen's run came in the fifth inning, when Curtis Rime reached first on an infield error, stole second, and scored on an outfield error.

No photographs are available of this team, or the one that preceded it, but a snapshot of Adolph Kolden shows him in the year that he pitched his no-hit game.

From 1940 to 1946, the Reservation League was inactive due to World War II, but it was reorganized in 1946, with Max, Douglas, Ryder, Roseglen, Elbowoods, Makoti, Plaza, Parshall, Van Hook, Sanish, New Town, Gasman, and the Minot Radar Base fielding teams at one time or another in the ten years that followed.

During the 1946-1947 seasons, the team was managed by Adolph Kolden. Albert (Jergy) Jorgenson took over as manager for the next six years.

Roseglen won the Reservation League title in 1950, and went on to the state tournament in Jamestown. After drawing a bye in the first round of the 44-team event, Roseglen defeated Hope and Robinson before losing to Mayville in the quarter finals. Mayville went on to win the state title.

Vernon Hanson took over as manager in 1954, when the Roseglen team again won the Reservation League title, and went to the state tournament in Bismarck, where they lost to Tuttle.

In the ten years this team played, they won 106 games and lost 44, for a 71% win average.

Community type picnic suppers were a feature of many of the games away from home. Fans and players, as well as their families, joined together in smorgasbord style picnic suppers. Roseglen teams always had a large group of loyal fans who attended all of the games, rooting for their teams. The team sponsored a "Baseball Benefit Dance" many of the years before the season opened in order to raise money for equipment. These were always one of the big events of the season.

For a few years, prior to 1976, when the Roseglen Golden Jubilee book was published, Roseglen baseball has been limited to the Little League program sponsored by the local Legion Post.