A new era begins for Roosevelt Gym [UPDATED]Published 7:42am Monday, April 15, 2013 Updated 5:49am Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Gymnastic mats are in place all year round at Roosevelt Gymnasium where Otter basketball teams played from fall 1953 to spring 2010. Otter basketball and volleyball have found a new home in the Gold Gym at Kennedy Secondary School.
On Sunday, April 7, my son and I attended the Spring Gymnastics Show at Roosevelt Gymnasium, sponsored by the Fergus Falls Gymnastics Academy. It was a packed house for those seeing “Lights, Camera, Tumble.”
In the program the academy noted that this is the third year at their new location.
They also gave a special thanks to ISD 544 “for providing this generous location, for the custodial and maintenance help and continued support of our program.”
Roosevelt Gymnasium also houses dance and physical education. Next year, the gym will be home to activities associated with home school partnership.
Gone from Roosevelt Gymnasium are basketball trophies and photos that now are in place along the large hallway near the Gold Gym at Kennedy Secondary School.
For many of us, basketball memories from previous years will always come to mind when driving by the Roosevelt Gymnasium.
We also realize that nothing lasts forever. It’s an exciting time with a new era at both the old and new gymnasiums.
World War I era coach
would be proud of Otters
The Otter girls basketball teams the past two years, with back-to-back state tournament appearances, accomplished something that hadn’t been done since 1916 and 1917. During those two years, in the World War I era, coach William Crays led the Fergus Falls High School boys to successive state boys basketball tournaments.
Otter boys also participated at state in 1920, 1957, 1984, 1986, 1990 and 2004. The Fergus girls first played at state in 2008.
As any fan knows, getting to state isn’t easy. Just ask Detroit Lakes fans. When their boys basketball team defeated the Otters and went to state in 2012, it was the first time since 1918. Fergus boys advanced to state only once in a span of 64 years, between 1920 and 1984. Cheers for the team from 1957.
In the early 1950s, former Fergus Falls Red Sox town team player Rudy Regalado played winter baseball with Fargo native Roger Maris in the Dominican Republic.
Both began their major league careers with the Cleveland Indians.
Sixty years ago, in the summer of 1953, Regalado played in the minor leagues for the Indians, as did Maris in his hometown of Fargo. The following year, during spring training, Regalado presumed he would be back in the minors. Then good fortune came into play.
The former Fergus Red Sox player could do no wrong during spring training in 1954.
He did so well in the field and at the plate, including home runs, that the Indians felt they had no choice but to keep him on the major league roster.
Regalado hit a modest .250 for the Indians as a backup during the regular season.
It was a thrill being part of the Cleveland team which played in the 1954 World Series. Regalado had one hit in three at bats, when the Indians lost the series to Willie Mays and the New York Giants.
Imagine for a minute playing shortstop for the Fergus Falls town baseball team. Then, two years later, you find yourself in the World Series. Regalado, among the first Latin American baseball players, was born on May 21, 1930, in Los Angeles.
In Fergus Falls, during the early 1950s, he played with teammates Harley Oyloe and Roland Harlow who still live in the community.
Other 1954 major league rookies, in addition to Regalado, were Washington Senators and future Minnesota Twins players Harmon Killebrew and Camilo Pascual.
The group also included Bill Skowron of Austin, Minn., future Twin Vic Power, Ryne Duren and Woodie Held.