Yes, there was a day when, right here in South Dakota, you cold enjoy a game that featured the Packers, the Chiefs, maybe the Cowboys.

No, no, no, I'm not talking about heading out to the gridiron, the football field. We're talking the national past time here.

We're talking baseball.

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If you have some age on your bones, you may well remember the Basin League. Established in 1953, the Basin League was an important part of the South Dakota sports scene until it ceased operation after the '73 season. When it began it featured a great roster of South Dakota teams...and one in Nebraska.

Through the years you had your Chamberlain Chiefs, Pierre Cowboys, Sioux Falls Packers, plus the Mitchell Kernals (there's a familiar name), Winner Pheasants, Sturgis Titans, Watertown Lake Sox, Yankton Terrys...and even the Lakers of Mobridge.

But did anyone play that went on to be...somebody?

Yes. Yes there was. In fact, over a hundred players in the Basin League went on to play Major League Baseball. And four are in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.

Hall of Famer Pat Gillick played for the Nebraska team, the Valentine Hearts. Jim Palmer was a Winner Pheasant. The legendary Bob Gibson pitched for the Chamberlain Chiefs. And Don Sutton hurled for the Sioux Falls Packers. Not a bad roster there.

So how big was the Basin League? Well, in the 60's the league received regular coverage in The Sporting News, considered the national "bible" of baseball.

You can get more details on Basin League history here.

Wikipedia Contributed To This Article

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