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Explore St. Paul's CHS Field 

November 9, 2022

Welcome to St. Paul's CHS Field, home to Minor League Baseball's weirdest and wildest gameday experience. After many years as an independent team, the hometown Saints are now affiliated with the nearby Minnesota Twins.

St. Paul Saints (Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins since 2021)
Established: 1993
League: International League (since 2021)
Ballpark: CHS Field (opened 2015)
Championships: 1993, 1995-96, 2004 (in the independent Northern League); 2019 (in the independent American Association)
Notable Alumni: Ila Borders, Glenn Davis, Kevin Millar, Rey Ordóñez, Jack Morris, Darryl Strawberry

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St. Paul's baseball team has nearly always been named the Saints, as professional teams bearing this moniker date back to the 19th century. The 1895-99 iteration of the club, owned by Charles Comiskey, was precursor to the Chicago White Sox. From 1902 through 1960 the Saints played in the American Association, affiliating with the White Sox from 1933-42 and the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1944-60. The 1961 arrival of the Minnesota Twins prompted the Saints to move to Omaha, beginning a 32-year period in which St. Paul did not have a professional team.

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Today's Saints arrived on the scene in 1993, defiantly positioning themselves as an irreverent, anything goes alternative to the comparatively staid Twins. The team, whose ownership group includes Mike "Son of Bill" Veeck and Bill Murray, competed in the independent Northern League through 2005 before switching to the American Association the following season.

In 2021, as part of a larger reorganization of Minor League Baseball, the Saints became the Twins' Triple-A farm team. The Twins' Target Field and the Saints' CHS Field are just 13 miles away from one another, the shortest distance between parent club and affiliate in all of Minor League Baseball.

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CHS FIELD

Ballpark Location (via Google Maps)
St. Paul Saints Schedule
St. Paul Saints Roster

360 N. Broadway
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 644-3517

Capacity: 7,210
Dimensions: left field, 330 feet; center field, 405 feet; right field, 320 feet

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From 1993-2014 the Saints played at Midway Stadium, located in a neighborhood situated midway (hence the name) between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis. This facility didn't have much going for it in the way of amenities and aesthetics, and attempts to beautify it were like putting lipstick on a pig. Sometimes literally so, as the Saints have employed a costumed ball pig in every year of their existence.

The Saints' ball pig tradition is emblematic of an overall anarchic spirit that now prevails at CHS Field, which opened in 2015. The ballpark entertainment team, known as Ushertainers, make even the most moribund ballgame a high-energy experience. A pair of ebullient emcees deliver snarky running commentary from an area adjacent to the home dugout, while costumed characters such as Chef, Coach, Nerd and Nerdette pump up the crowd and perform comedy skits. Music director Andrew Crowley soundtracks it all from his upper-level left-field perch, toggling between keyboards, a laptop and mixing board.

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CHS Field is located in St. Paul's Lowertown neighborhood, feeling more like a natural extension than an outlying behemoth. Myriad parking lots and garages are in the vicinity, including a tailgating lot beyond the third-base side of the facility situated near the "Positively West Fourth Street" entrance (a nod to Minnesota native Bob Dylan). Fans can eschew parking by taking the METRO Green Line light rail to St. Paul's Union Depot. The Green Line runs east-west between CHS Field and the Twins' Target Field, so check the schedules and try to see both teams on the same day.

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The majority of fans enter CHS Field through the first-base side Broadway entrance, often after taking in the live music and overall festive atmosphere at nearby Mears Park as well as the Farmer's Market located across the street.

"The design concept was that, if you're walking down Broadway, you don't know when you've left Lower Downtown and entered the ballpark," said Saints EVP/GM Derek Sharrer. "And vice-versa."

A tangle of major roadways, including I-94, run behind CHS Field. The Mississippi River is located just to the south, which can result in the occasional "mayfly" game (in which the bugs travel to the ballpark en masse, having been drawn in by the lights).

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CHS Field has a capacity of 7,210, small for a Triple-A ballpark. It nonetheless feels spacious, thanks to a wide-aisled 360-degree concourse that allows for easy movement throughout the entirety of the facility. The cedar wood concourse roof, supporting a second level that appears to float above it, extends from midway down the right-field line to third base. The cedar wood, combined with the dark masonry of the exterior walls, are in line with Lowertown's dominant architectural motifs.

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One of CHS Field's most impressive attractions is the City of Baseball Museum, located down the left-field line and filled with memorabilia, photos and interactive displays related to St. Paul's long baseball history. The Spire Sun Deck group area sits atop the museum's roof, across from the Treasure Island Terrace in right field. A replica pirate ship is located nearby the terrace, and its cannons fire after every Saints home run.

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If a period of quiet contemplation is needed amid the gameday din, then head to the expanded section of the concourse behind home plate. There you'll find Monument Pork, an homage to ball pig franchise icons such as Little Red Porkette and Notorious P.I.G.

Behind Monument Pork, on the outside of the ballpark, there is a team-maintained public dog park. This was the Saints' concession to local dog owners who, before CHS Field was built, used the area as a de facto spot for canine socialization, recreation and waste elimination.

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Concessions

From Von Hansen's-brand brats to Snuffy's burgers and malts, the Saints prioritize local vendors throughout the ballpark. This includes the local beer scene, as the left-field Craft Beer Garden has dozens of options on tap. The Dog Park, stand caters to frankfurter aficionados instead of canine owners, while the cheekily-named "Mud's Dairy Area" slings barbecue and milkshakes. Keep an eye out throughout the ballpark for gut-busting specialty options such as giardiniera-topped meatball sandwiches, Bloody Mary sliders and, as seen below, barbacoa poutine.

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Mascot

In addition to having ball pigs, the Saints have a pig mascot named Muddona. She is a self-described "diva of the diamond," who bats her eyelashes, throws occasional tantrums and lists her weight as "How rude!" All hail the duchess of pork.

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Local Attractions

There is, of course, a lot to do in the Twin Cities region. St. Paul's Lowertown neighborhood, where CHS Field is located, is filled with artist lofts and galleries. Explore those along with the Farmer's Market (on weekends) and Mears Park. Baseball fans will of course want to visit the Twins in addition to the Saints, while music fans should make the pilgrimage to the Paisley Park compound where Prince lived and worked.

Prince never allowed "Weird Al" Yankovic to parody one of his songs, but Minnesota still plays an outsized role in his catalog. Head to Darwin, some 70 miles west, to see the majestic sphere that inspired Weird Al's "Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota."

Food and Drink

There are obviously innumerable options throughout the region when it comes to wetting the whistle and/or filling the belly. But one does not need to leave the vicinity of CHS Field, as Lowertown has become known for its culinary scene. Nearby breweries include MetroNOME - where all proceeds go toward funding local music education efforts - and Barrel Theory,

As for restaurants, here are three of many: The Buttered Tin serves breakfast all day. The St. Dinette serves upscale American cuisine, including a famous bologna sandwich. The Oxcart Arcade and Rooftop is what its name implies: a restaurant with an arcade and rooftop bar. In keeping with the theme, many of the menu items are designed to be held with one hand while the other utilizes a joystick.

Moving On

Any ballpark road trip to St. Paul should of course include the parent Twins, located a short light rail ride away. The Saints are the only Minor League team in Minnesota, however, with the closest Minor League team being the Appleton-based Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. The closest team to St. Paul that also plays in the International League are the Omaha Storm Chasers, located some 390 miles away.

The summer collegiate Northwoods League is a great summertime option, as this wood bat circuit has five teams in Minnesota and nine in Wisconsin.

The Road to Minneapolis

The Twins system begins at Fort Myers, where their Spring Training home of Hammond Stadium is located. From there it goes to Iowa and Kansas before finally settling in the Twin Cities.

Single-A: Fort Myers Mighty Mussels
High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels
Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge
Triple-A: St. Paul Saints

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credits: Benjamin Hill, who covers the business and culture of Minor League Baseball, has visited 186 Minor League ballparks.