New baseball concession stand has special place in her heartSteve Emerson loved baseball. He loved to play and he loved to watch. Ruth Emerson first met Steve when he was playing baseball in North St. Paul some 30 years ago. Steve died in February 2007, at age 53 after an eight-month fight against a brain tumor.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
Steve Emerson loved baseball. He loved to play and he loved to watch. Ruth Emerson first met Steve when he was playing baseball in North St. Paul some 30 years ago. Steve died in February 2007, at age 53 after an eight-month fight against a brain tumor.
Now Ruth and her family are helping to keep the spirit of her late husband alive by helping to fund construction of a new concession stand next to the junior varsity baseball field at the high school.
“Both Steve and I played ball for 25 years,” Ruth said about her decision to fund the project. “All six of our children played at some time throughout their childhood as well.”
Ruth said she first met Steve through as mutual friend, and over the next 13 years, before they started dating, their paths crossed many times, usually at a ball field.
“When I teased him that my average was higher than his, he said, ‘Yours doesn’t count because you play against girls,’” Ruth said.
Ruth said “Spider,” as he was known to his friends, was famous at the Star Prairie ball fields, where he played what Ruth described as “big ball.”
“When he came up to bat all the kids would holler, ‘number seven’s up!’ and they would head for the home run fence to shag balls,” she said.
Ruth said when “play hard and have fun” became too much for the couple, they enjoyed watching their kids play at all different levels.
“Steve told me once that he never passed a ball field without checking which way the flag was blowing,” Ruth said. “And now I do that too and think of him.”
Ruth said she decided to give a memorial to the baseball concession stand because that is where both her and Steve’s passions lay.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no one looked better in uniform than Spider,” she said. “It doesn’t matter where or why though. Anything that brings families together, keeps kids out of trouble and supports community is a great cause. Not only will residents of River Falls enjoy the concession stand, but so will people from all over who come to enjoy the great pastime of baseball.”
The concession stand will be open during the youth traveling baseball season Monday through Thursday nights. It will also be open this weekend during the traveling baseball tournament and during the American Legion team’s River Falls Days Tournament in July.