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Highway 10 Classic spawns the Andyman Classic

Josh Hendel, right, and his friends and family created the Andyman Baseball Classic tournament after their emotional experience in Perham and New York Mills at the 2013 Highway 10 Classic Baseball tournament. Play begins at the Highway 10 Classic this coming weekend

COLOGNE — The 2014 Highway 10 Classic baseball tournament will be played in New York Mills and Perham this weekend June 27-29.

The tournament is more than baseball games; the goal of the tournament is eliminating youth suicide by providing suicide education, awareness and prevention grants to schools, and by using the tournament to provide that education in a fun venue.

Last year’s tournament was taken by storm by Team Andy from Norwood Young America.

After hearing about the Classic, a group of Andy Hendel’s friends, 16-17 years of age, formed a team with little adult assistance and made the trip to Perham to play for, and to remember, their fallen teammate. Their experience at the Classic sprouted a tournament of their own - the Andyman Baseball Classic.

“We did start it because we were up in Perham and it was an incredible experience for our family and for all the kids that came with us,” John Hendel said. “We have a lot of community support and we left there saying we're doing this.”

The boys and families determined that a tournament in Cologne would be a great idea to keep the memory of Andy alive and to share the message about teen suicide and mental health in teenagers. All the members from last year’s team that played in Perham are participating again this season.

The family and friends of Andy Hendel are gearing up for the first Andyman Baseball Classic. The three day event will take place on July 11-13 at several baseball parks in the area.

The event’s home field will be the Robert G. Fritz Memorial Field in Cologne, a place where Andy loved playing organized and pickup games with his friends.

Event activities start off Friday afternoon July 11 with opening ceremonies in Cologne at 4 p.m.

During the opening ceremony Josh Hendel, who is Andy’s twin brother, will welcome the teams and kick off the event with a message to all players.

Teams will be playing a game or two on Friday evening at parks in Cologne, Green Isle, Norwood and Young America.

Saturday will be filled with several games throughout the day in Cologne, Green Isle, Norwood and Plato; championship games will take place on Sunday in Cologne and Green Isle.

Each field the teams will be playing on was chosen because they were places that Andy played. They all also happen to be the home fields for each town team.

The two age groups playing in the tournament will be 18U and 15U. This is an open tournament and a great way for teams to get in some extra games before the summer ends.

A few openings remain and teams are encouraged to contact John Hendel at or 952-380-8064 for registration information.

Tournament play will be pool play, allowing every team to play a minimum of three games. In addition to three great days of baseball, the Andyman Classic will also be serving a free lunch to all team members, family, friends and anyone else in attendance on Saturday in Cologne.

The lunch will include speaker Jacob Mars who will talk to the players and families about suicide and how it has affected his life.

Others will be onsite to talk with attendees if they have questions. The event is being held to raise money to give back to local schools and organizations to assist them in educating young adults about suicide prevention and mental health.

If you are interested in sponsoring the event or helping out, please contact John Hendel at the number above.

The Andyman Baseball Classic is being presented by Operation Round-up of MVEC and Youngstedts Companies along with the support of many local businesses.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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