Mike Kramer is a boyhood friend of mine, first meeting and being picked on (by him) at a Boy Scout meeting back in Rib Mountain Elementary School. For over 40 years, we have remained so, growing up together, surviving school, college and starting families. Even now, we're both going to become grandpas during the same year. Mike was always has been athletic, more so than I during our school years, and it's something passed down to his kids. His three sons (the "Kramer Bros.") all flocked to the Concordia College baseball program in St. Paul after a solid high school career. Sister Anna also attended Concordia and has been their biggest fan, along with "ma and pa" as Mike would say.
|James and Jared|
I did play ball (softball-beer league, Ha!) but the sport was not in my DNA and I don't live it like the Kramers. Part of it was maybe watching thousands of games while I worked as a groundskeeper through high school and college, watching games at every level, from Legion ball through pro teams. One common core to all those teams was the role of the catcher-it's the one person who is involved in every pitch, every play in every inning during the game. Mike always said it was the best position to play-the catcher is really the on field manager. Jared is the next oldest brother and following in older brothers steps, a catcher.
|Mr. On-Base Percentage|
I think the real highlight for all of the family and friends that came to watch this game was seeing youngest Kramer brother Adam as THE pitcher under this catchers direction. It was the first time I'd seen them play let alone as the battery working the hitters from the opposing team.
|Conference on the Mound|