John Mangen Day will be celebrated for the sixth annual time as friends, teammates, and family along with other communities will rally together for support.

As a tribute to a young man, whose loss is felt in the community, and the game he loved so much, friends and family of John Mangen will gather for the sixth annual John Mangen Day at the Ballpark on Saturday, July 20. The July 20 date will also mark John’s 24th birthday.

The Sleepy Eye Baseball Association will be hosting the all-day event at Sleepy Eye Ballpark beginning at 10 a.m. with a possible if necessary Championship game in the VFW Sub-Districts at 10 a.m.

At 2 p.m. the tee-ballers, ages three through five will take part and end their tee-ball season in the event.

At 4 p.m., the Sleepy Eye Baseball Association will run an organized game against the Mankato Baltics. The Baltics are a Vintage Baseball team that play based off of the rules in the 1860s.

While the layout of the field is the same as today and teams play nine innings and have three outs per inning, many of the early rules are far different.

The early rules called for a “dead,” or out, to be recorded by catching the ball on one “bound” (bounce) as well as on the fly.

An error was a “muff,” fans were a “throng,” a sharp grounder was a “daisy cutter,” and a proficient player was an “artist.”

And pitchers were far less key to the team’s success than today. The 1860s rules dictated not only that pitches be delivered underhand, but the hurler was expected to toss the ball to spots as directed by the batters and there are no fouls.

Even the baseballs are slightly different, “They’re rubber bands in the center with yarn and a leather cover with some really tough string to stitch it.”

The Baltics game should be wrapped up well enough in time for the Indians to take batting practice down the right field line as they will host the Stark Longhorns at 7 p.m. Before the game, at 6 p.m. young players are encouraged to take the field with the Indians and shag fly balls during batting practice and play catch with the team.

All proceeds to this event will help benefit the John Mangen Memorial Scholarship, given to a senior at each local high school for baseball and softball. The scholarship award winners exemplify class, character, work ethic, and excelling academically.