Caswell Park is already known locally as a premier place for a softball tournament but it’s started to get national attention recently.
The six-diamond complex in North Mankato has hosted the Minnesota State High School League state tournament since 1994, which has meant three or four classes of teams through the years. Caswell Park has also hosted numerous national tournaments since it opened in 1987 and it’s through that role that the park has garnered its latest recognition. Caswell Park received USA Softball’s James Farrell Award For Excellence in the one tournament category after hosting the 16-and-under B Northern Nationals last season.
Parks receive the award after getting evaluated by the participating teams, umpires and a USA Softball representative. Each park needs to receive at least 96 percent on those evaluations to receive the award. Caswell Sports Director Phil Tostenson received the award Oct. 31 at USA Softball’s 87th annual Council Meeting in Oklahoma City.
It marked the second consecutive year that Caswell Park received the award. The park received the award in 2017 after hosting the 14B Northern Nationals.
Tostenson said he wanted to get more national tournaments back to the park when he started as sports director four years ago. The national tournaments bring about $500,000 to $700,000 to the local economy while the park generates around $5.3 million annually to the area.
Caswell Park has several big events coming up this year with the North American Fastpitch Association’s World Series Aug. 8-18 for men’s fastpitch. The park will also host Northern Nationals for 12A and 10B July 25-28.