Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29
The Mini Met
Rice St S
Jordan, MN 55352
Year Opened: 1935 Capacity: 1,000
The Mini Met Stands Tall in Minnesota
The Mini Met in Jordan, Minnesota is considered one of the finest town ball ballparks in the state and one of the most unusual-looking baseball facilities in the country. The home of the Jordan Brewers (Class C) team of the River Valley League has been a fixture in the city since 1935.
The ballpark’s configuration fits in tightly within the surrounding area. Interestingly, it was not originally meant to be a ballpark but evolved quite comfortably between a creek, a row of trees, train tracks, and a rocky cliff. There is even a steeple from St. John the Baptist church that pokes out from the brushes of trees beyond the outfield walls.
The old wooden grandstand was initially designed for the Scott County Fairgrounds for musical acts and livestock reviews as a WPA project. The fair was held after the baseball season but both the carnival rides and food trucks were set up on the field causing damage to the soil. Thankfully, the fair was moved away from the grounds in 1973.
The Mini Met has seen quite a few changes in its history that included enlarging the field and the relocation of the home plate from the left field corner to the right field corner after WWII, the addition of lights in 1955, and the inclusion of a manual scoreboard in the 1980s.
Most recently, the wooden grandstand was deemed by city officials as structurally unfit and over $83,000 was approved to repair the rotting structure. New wood supports were added and a fresh coat of “Met Green” paint was applied. The repairs ensured that high school, amateur, and American Legion baseball would continue to be played under its historic conditions.
Speaking of its name, the term was coined by a visiting sportswriter in 1969 who compared the stadium to the Minnesota Twins Metropolitan Stadium nicknamed “The Met.” At the time the facility was known as Fairgrounds Park, but the new name stuck and the ballpark has been known as The Mini Met ever since. Coincidentally, the last game at the original Met was played in 1981.
Food & Beverage 3
The concession prices average between $1 and $3. The hot dogs, candy, peanuts, chips, popcorn, and Klondike bars all sell for one buck. Pepsi products are served by the can and are also a dollar. Gatorade and sunflower seeds cost $1.50, while nachos are the most expensive food item at only $2.50. Mike’s Hard Lemonade is $3 and beer is $2.50. You certainly cannot complain about the concession prices at The Mini Met.
The atmosphere at The Mini Met is pleasurably satisfying to the baseball senses, steeped in the tradition of fans and volunteers who have made it their home for almost 83 years. There are many definite traits of the stadium that make the town ballpark a true original.
The 6 o’clock train honks its horn as it nears town and then chugs its way into view behind the outfield wall, pretty soon it appears to hover over the left field fence before disappearing down the track. It does not disrupt the play of the game and is a delightful treat for all visitors in attendance
The manual scoreboard is another beautiful touch that has been a privilege to operate by many each summer. Volunteers take their turn perched up behind the right field wall to keep score of the game the old-fashion way: tiles are moved around, innings posted, and hopefully more zeros on the board for the visitors. The area is a tight squeeze and a one-person job.
The old grandstand boasting the color of “Met Green” has been restored to past glory and encompasses the third base line; however, it seems rather a baron as most fans enjoy the game from the grassy knoll seating adjacent to the structure. It might be more comfortable on the grass, but there is plenty of legroom underneath the wooden roof and pillars of the grandstand.
Many say that the stadium has one of the best diamonds in the state. The grass is cut each day and the mound is resurfaced after every game by volunteers who take pride in having one of the best-manicured lawns in baseball.
Historic downtown Jordan features buildings dating back to the 19th century. There are a few restaurants and bars within walking distance of the ballpark that are worth visiting. The Feed Mill Restaurant offers po’boys, salads, and barbecue options. The appetizers include fried gator bites and deep-fried banana pepper slices. Carasim Coffee Shop sells old-fashioned soda fountains, coffee, espressos, Italian sodas, and small sandwiches.
Clancy’s Bar and Grill offers the robin nests appetizers (cheddar nuggets, mozzarella sticks, mini tacos, and onion rings) and potato and broccoli cheddar pepper poppers. Roets Brewery is the lone microbrewery in the small town serving stouts, pilsners, fruit beers, and pale ales
A few miles south of Jordan is Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store which sells various old-time candies, regional delights, and over 100 brands of bottled root beer. If you are a root beer aficionado, then you have found nirvana. There is also a wide assortment of candies from around the world, homemade whoopie pies, and various other items that would make a dentist smile.
Sand Creek Adventures is also close and home to a 1,700-foot zip line ride that hovers 100 feet high above the water, while there is a two-rope course down below for more outdoor fun.
The majority of fans enjoy the game from the grassy knoll section of the stadium, while a few can be found underneath the wooden structure. The crowd is relaxed enjoying the game with friends and even a few dogs on leashes. It also doesn’t cost an extra buck or two to bring your pooch to the game. The majority of the fans enjoy a Brewers game from the comforts of their lawn chairs or blankets.
The city of Jordan is located 35 miles southwest of Minneapolis and accessible off of M-169 and the various other interstate and state roads that connect the Twin Cities. There are directions to the ballpark once you get into town and the stadium has one bathroom for men and women located at the stadium’s entrance.
Return on Investment 3
The ticket prices are $3 and collected by volunteers as you approach the parking lot by car. The price of concession items ranges from $1-$3. It is an extremely affordable way to enjoy a baseball game in a unique setting that is pleasing to the baseball senses.
One star for the hand-operated scoreboard in right field. Another star for the 6 o’clock train that runs in the back of the outfield and appears to hover over the ballpark. A final star for the many volunteers who put in hours of hard work manicuring the field, operating the scoreboard, working the concessions, and greeting customers at the main entrance.