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Get Out the Peanuts and Cracker Jacks, Snowshoe Baseball is Back

MacKenzie Martin/WXPR

With a Northwoods twist to America’s favorite pastime, snowshoe baseball is just what it sounds – a game of baseball played not in cleats, but in clunky snowshoes.

It’s a spectacle that draws in crowds, packing the stands and creating winding lines at local ice cream joints.

The throngs of spectators meant last year’s games were cancelled because of COVID-19, but this year, snowshoe baseball is back on.

The first game of 2021 is Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. in Lake Tomahawk between the Snowhawks and the local police and fire department team.

It’s the kickoff of a season that runs through the end of August.

Jeff Smith, the coach for Lake Tomahawk’s Snowhawks team, expects a big crowd at the season opener.

“This year, we’re extremely happy to open up the gates, so to speak, and let these people come,” he said.

He said stands fill up well before each game’s start, with devoted fans reserving seats with folded blankets.

Smith welcomes these fans, and not just because he’s excited to have an exuberant cheering section.

They also bring lots of support for local restaurants and businesses.

“A lot of the businesses here were really happy to hear that we’re going to put [snowshoe baseball games] on again,” he said. “I would think the bars and restaurants pick up fans from the game.”

This year marks snowshoe baseball’s 60th anniversary in Lake Tomahawk.

Smith is ready to celebrate with a few wins, a few losses and lots of fun.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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