History of Elko Baseball
The roots of Elko Baseball stem all the way back to
1927 when twelve brothers (Fred, Martin, Axel, William, Nels Jr., Joe, Edwin,
Otto, Soren, Walter, Herman and Arthur) decided to form a traveling baseball team in Eidswold,
Minnesota. They were known as the Fredrickson Brothers Baseball
Team. Click the link below to read about their story published in the July 11,
1994 issue of Sports Illustrated Magazine.
The roots of Elko Baseball stem all the way back to 1927 when twelve brothers (Fred, Martin, Axel, William, Nels Jr., Joe, Edwin, Otto, Soren, Walter, Herman and Arthur) decided to form a traveling baseball team in Eidswold, Minnesota. They were known as the Fredrickson Brothers Baseball Team. Click the link below to read about their story published in the July 11, 1994 issue of Sports Illustrated Magazine.
Fredrickson Brothers Baseball Team
In 1960, a group of community activists, who shared the desire to bring baseball to the town of Elko, came together to form the Elko Baseball Club. One of these activists was Myron Fredrickson, son of Soren Fredrickson. Throughout the first few years, the Club held fundraisers to help get the organization started in the right direction. The primary source of these fundraisers were bingos run by the organization members themselves. It was a slow process, but by 1963, the Club was able to raise enough money to purchase the land where the ball field now sits for a price of $2000.
For the next five years, the Elko Baseball Club continued their fundraising efforts while concentrating building a team to achieve their dream of playing baseball in Elko. Then in 1968, their dream became a reality as the Elko baseball team gained admittance into the DRS league and officially played their first game under the leadership of its manager Myron Fredrickson.
In 1985, seventeen years after playing their inaugural game, the Express put Elko on the map by becoming division champions in the DRS for the first time and qualifying for their first ever state amateur baseball tournament. Elko handled the pressure of their first state tournament appearance well by winning the first two games and having two players named to the All-Tournament team: Brad Fredrickson (Outfielder) and Tim Beno (Pitcher).
The Express didn't see another state tournament until 1991, which was the start to a run that would help establish themselves as one of the top DRS team during the 90's. Elko qualified for six state tournaments during this time ('91, '94, '95, '97, '98 and '99). 1997 was by far the most successful and memorable year for the Express. After having a record of 11-10 during the first half of the season, the Express refused to lose again as they finished the regular season with 9 straight wins to finish with an overall record of 20-10 claiming the DRS title with a league record of 15-3. The winning continued through the playoffs all the way to the final four of the state tournament where they would finally surrender a loss ending their winning streak at 17 games. The Express won their next game allowing them to take third place, the highest finish ever in franchise history and a final overall record of 29-12. The third place finish also tied them for the highest finish by a DRS team, the other team being Lonsdale in 1979, until 2002 when Lonsdale finished second in the state.
The new millennia has been equally kind to the Express as their winning ways have continued, making six more state tournament appearances since 2000. The ultimate prize of a state championship was finally realized in 2008. Elko, behind tournament MVP Brian Muell, beat a strong Sauk Rapids team 5-2 for the Class C title. Three days earlier, the big lefthander shut out St. Stephen 2-0 with a five-hit, 11-strikeout victory. He also tossed seven innings in the Expressí 6-2 opening-game win over Howard Lake.
Today the Express compete as a Class B team, playing against the classic DRS teams as well as teams from Class B Section 1 including Hastings, Red Wing, Miesville, Dundas, and Northfield.