The chant is heard sporadically throughout the annual Homegrown Music Festival Kickball Classic. “MVP. MVP. MVP.”
Ryan Nelson was barking all game from his first base post for the Friday Rawkers. In the eighth inning, he actually uttered something that had a grain of truth: “It almost feels like Homegrown.”
He and 50 other people were in synch Saturday afternoon as an unsanctioned Homegrown Music Festival Kickball Classic broke out at the field in the back of Chester Park. Those who were there will call it good, and witnessed a win by the Rawkers over the Saturday Rollers that now puts Friday ahead in the all-time series, 11 wins to 10.
The 20th Homegrown Kickball Classic had the sides of the Friday Rawkers and the Saturday Rollers right back where they were two decades ago when the competition started, tied up. Friday mustered a comeback 4-3 win over Saturday to tie the overall series at 10 games apiece. Friday had ripped off three straight wins before losing in 2018, allowing Saturday the bragging rights for a year with a one-game series lead.
After losing nine of the past 10 games, the Saturday bands came back to beat Friday 5-2 in the 19th Homegrown Kickball Classic, pulling ahead in the overall series 10-9.
DULUTH, Minn. – The Friday bands shut out Saturday to win 2017’s high-stakes Homegrown Kickball Classic 8-0, tying up the overall series at 9-9.
The 2016 Homegrown Kickball Classic at Chester Bowl Park was ushered in by shockingly perfect weather conditions. The sun shone, some random dude played sitar, dogs pranced, beer flowed. And musicians in their seventh day of an eight-day Homegrown bender attempted to rally and act like athletes.
After sloppy conditions forced the two previous kickball games over to Observation Hill, the 2015 Homegrown Kickball Classic made a triumphant return to its rightful venue on the fields of Chester Bowl Park.
It was a fantastic day for kickball, and the only thing hotter than the midday sun were the zingers lobbed by Friday Rawkers pitcher Chad Lyons in between plays. There was nothing the Saturday Rollers could do to get players across home plate as the Rawkers shut them out by a score of 2-0.
As a cold wind blew heavy gusts across Observation Hill, Homegrown musicians representing the Friday-night bands blew their game-long lead, losing the 2014 Homegrown Kickball Classic to the Saturday team in extra innings by a score of 6-4.
That’s one version of the story, at least. By the time it was over, no one seemed to truly understand what happened out there.
For the second year in a row, cruel and unusual weather conditions forced the kickball game away from its traditional location at Chester Bowl Park. The alternate venue, a shabby baseball field at Observation Park, had its fair share of environmental hazards, including a 20-foot-wide, ankle-deep mud puddle in between third base and home plate. If anyone was going to score, they were going to have to pay the price.
Ahhh … the fresh spring air, clogged lungs and diseased livers. Scenes from the Homegrown Music Festival Kickball Classic of a decade ago, and the after-party at the Shaky Ray. The song is Bone Appetit’s “Drive Away.” Video shot and edited by Barrett Chase.
Friday pitcher Chad Lyons arrived at the field 45 minutes early, presumably to claim the field for his team in some sort of ceremonial ritual that involved his old high-school soccer cleats and a cigarette.
It worked. Friday took the 2013 Homegrown Kickball Classic, 7-5.
Rainy conditions throughout the week forced the game to be played away from its usual location, Chester Bowl. After a 20-minute search for car-floormat-bases, the action was underway at Observation Park.
The 2012 Homegrown Kickball Classic has already been referred to as the “most pathetic in Homegrown history,” and if you were there you would know this as fact. There were beer bongs. There was a full-body chicken suit. There were children who may or may not have been scarred for life. Through it all, Saturday’s team came through with a 6-4 victory, but it wasn’t pretty.