The fire that destroyed the grandstand and concession booth at a historic Minnesota baseball field appears to have been arson.
The State Fire Marshal said Monday authorities are asking anyone with information about the blaze at Tink Larson Field on April 6 to call the Minnesota Arson Hotline at 1-800-723-2020. Calls are anonymous, they note.
"Though arson is suspected by SFMD officials, this is still an active investigation," the agency says. "Authorities continue to identify and interview other people who were near Tink Larson Field before and after the fire began."
The city has described the grandstand as "unsalvageable" due to the damage. Here's some drone footage of the aftermath:
There's also a reward available: $5,000 from the Minnesota Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators for info leading to an arrest and conviction. The city of Waseca is also offering up to $5,000 via its insurance carrier.
The Mankato Free Press says it's expected to cost $1.5 - 2 million to rebuild. The City of Waseca has been taking donations from the community to help jumpstart the effort.
Tink Larson's legacy
The field’s namesake is a baseball legend in rural parts of southern Minnesota.
Tink Larson was a longtime Waseca High School baseball coach – in 1971, he rallied the community to save the grandstand from demolition, and actually got the city council to revamp it, the city says.
It was later named after him.
KSTP notes that Tink Larson, who also cared for the field himself, is a member of 11 halls of fame, including the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
The field itself is well known throughout the region and state. Its grandstand included seats from Met Stadium, the original home of the Twins.