FEATURED, MIDWEST, SUMMER BALL — July 27, 2011 6:18 pm St. Joseph Mustangs: 2011 M.I.N.K League Champions

Posted by Adrian Nevarez

The M.I.N.K League is one of those really interesting Collegiate Summer Leagues that resonate with amazing baseball history. Back in 1910, the league was started as an MLB Affiliated league that stood for Missouri-Iowa-Nebraska-Kansas League. It was a Class D Minor League that featured 6 teams. It was dropped as an MLB Affiliate in 1913, and since then has survived to become one of the respected Collegiate Summer League. In 2011, the St. Joseph’s Mustangs took the 2011 Championship in a way that baseball people could only dream of playing in or experiencing in some way. The town of St. Joseph Missouri was pleased to witness their Mustangs win a championship on nothing less than a no-hitter from Adam Maddox. I recently had the chance to talk to their head coach Matt Johnson about his club experience in the 2010 NBC World Series, his pet peeves, baseball in North Dakota, his players, and the incredible championship series of 2011. This is how it went down:

Question asked Coach Johnson of the St. Joe Mustangs:  How about Kris Koerper. You use him a lot in the clean up spot and as a first baseman as well. He’s put together 5HR, 28RBI, and a .280 batting average for you this summer. Tell us a little about how you managed the first base situation this summer. Also, where did Koerper play in the spring?

A. (COACH JOHNSON) Kris played last season at El Paso, Texas EPCC JC and will play at Delta State University (Cleveland, Mississippi) this coming fall.  Kris has come a long ways at First base but managing the first base situation has been fairly easy with the ability for Kris and Brock to DH.  They have really worked well together and continue to learn from each other both offensively and defensively.

Q. (BASEBALL TRENCHES) So are you guys scheduled to play in the NBC World Series again this year? When does that start? How many of your kids have had that experience? What do you expect?

A. (COACH JOHNSON) We are scheduled to play in the NBC World Series on July 31st with our time not yet announced.  We should find out in the next couple of days.  Our guys are ready to play in the world series.  We have over 10 guys on our team that have had post season experience and I feel that it will be a great asset to our team.  Our expectations are to go into the NBC World Series and put ourselves in the best position possible to win the tournament.

Check them out on the internet this Sunday

Kris Koerper Plays in NBC World Series in Wichita

2011 Mustangs Kris Koerper Award Winners

Kris Koerper won the Community Service award for 2011 in St. Joseph, Missouri playing Baseball this summer with the Mustangs.  Kris looks tough standing in the batter’s box waiting to hit another home run!

The Mustangs won their first Mink League Title and will be playing in the NBC World Series in Wichita, Kansas Sunday July 31st, 2011.

Don’t forget to root for Kris!

Karina Koerper Updates us on Kris!

Well just an update for ALL of you Kris Koerper fans out there….yes ALL of you, no one is exempt from this precious information.

EXCITING OPPORTUNITY FOR KRIS! He got to be on the radio station here in St. Joe (its AM 1550). He was invited to be part of the radio show where they interviewed him and asked him all about his baseball history. Basically, how he got to where he is today (playing for the St. Joe Mustangs). He was able to share with them how he was offered a position in the draft right after High School but he told the scouts that he was set on serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. How many people told him that he was making a big mistake and that he wouldn’t have the chance to play baseball again if he served a mission. WELL….THEY WERE WRONG! Kris talked all about how he knew that he would put God first no matter what and he knew the rest of his life would fall into place the way it’s supposed to. So that was so neat to share that with everyone (or at least everyone that was listening to 1550, not sure how many people that would be, but nonetheless a great thing!)

Of course he also went on and talked all about how he signed to play with BYU but then while on his mission he realized that he wanted to go to NMSU and play with his brother Joe instead. Well after his mission, it turned out he wouldn’t have a spot on NMSU’s team and so then he began looking for a Junior College to play for. When he didn’t hear back from any teams, he contemplated the possibility that maybe his baseball career was over after all. BUT THEN…(I know you’re in suspense) he heard from an old coach who told him to try out for El Paso Community College….and WA-LAA! That’s how he ended up in El Paso, where he also met his, “Beautiful Wife” (oh that’s right, he said those words exactly on the radio show…he obviously knows what’s best for him by giving his wonderful wife a shout-out on the air).

Then he talked about how another coach from another team referred him to the St. Joe Mustangs coach and that’s how he ended up in St. Joseph Missouri for the summer. So yup, that’s his story in a nutshell and he shared it with all of the St. Joseph Missouri folks that cared to listen.

THEN…(oh there’s more just hang on tight)… it was super neat because the radio host asked him to tell him more about, “serving a mission” and what that means exactly. BAM, a missionary opportunity and testimony opportunity to share with the community. I hope it provided hope for any LDS boys contemplating if it’s possible to play sports and serve a mission. Kris proves that if you put God first life will fall into place the way it’s supposed to.

So yeah it was overall a great interview, Kris did so well (which isn’t a surprise, he loves that stuff!)

As for the past couple of days:
Wednesday (6-1-11) They played their first MINK League game and won 15-6. Seemed like a blow out game but it really wasn’t, actually the Mustangs were down 5-4 in the 8th inning and then they just came through and scored 10 runs in one inning…pretty insane! Kris went 3 for 6 with one single and two doubles! Pretty sweet game!
Thursday (6-2-11) They played out in Nevada Missouri and ended up winning AGAIN with a score of 4-0. The pitcher Cody Cunningham pitched a NO HITTER (very rare) so that was awesome for him! Kris went 1 for 4 with a single. Great game Mustangs!

They play again tonight out in Sedelia and I will keep you posted on how that goes…

By Karina Koerper #34 Wife on June 3, 2011 11:50 pm(Edit)Reply

Fireworks and another Home Run!

Kris Koerper and teammates celebrate after Koerper's 3-run home runKris Koerper Celebrating a HOME RUN with his Team……The Mustangs Win Again!

It was their 3rd pre-season game and another win for the Mustangs!   Tonight they played the Regal Plastics on their home field in St. Joseph, Missouri and beat them 12-3.  It was a complete Team effort with great pitching, great fielding and another great home run by Kris Koerper plus a well played single with a RBI.

After the third win in three games and 2011 people in attendance they celebreated with Fire Works that awwwwed the crowd.  What a weekend for the Mustangs!  This promises to be a great summer wood bat season!  Go Team!

Kris got a Homerun for his Birthday!

Well it was another cold night at  Phil  Welch Stadium tonight as the Mustangs played their second pre-season game.  I leaned that they are an unaffiliated college level wood bat league made up of players as far away as Houston and El Paso, Texas but mostly local college baseball players participating in this summer league. They play at an historic stadium where several Hall of Fame baseball players have passed through over the years. This is the Mustangs third season as a franchise in the MINK League and last year they finished strong in 4th place.

Tonight was an exceptionally great evening even with the cold, damp air keeping the crowd smaller that the opening game last night.  The overcast skies probably discouraged a few to stay home too but it couldn’t have been a better night for Kristoffer Koerper to celebrate his 23rd birthday.  I wasn’t there but got a text message from Karina in all caps that Kris hit a homerun and brought in three runs.  I showed Paul the message as we had ate at House of Pizza with my grand-daughters and we all started clapping.  Karina said the crowd was stunned and thrilled as they gave him a standing ovation while he rounded third base towards home.  It must have been an exciting evening as the Mustangs won 8-3 against N Kansas City.

The GM also invited Kris out to the field tonight for a surprise chorus from the crowd of Happy Birthday!  I heard he was surpised and touched by the acknowledgement of his special day.  Hopefully Karina will share some more details with us from her first hand view of the game.

Happy Birthday Kris!

Today, May 27th, 2011, is Kristoffer Koerper’s Birthday!  From Las Cruces, New Mexico, his home and El Paso, Texas his second home……we wish him a Happy, Happy Birthday!

We look forward to seeing what Kris can do tonight as The Mustangs play another game on their home field in St. Joseph, Missouri!  Hit a homerun for your family Kris and have a wonderful Birthday Night!

Welcome to Kristoffer Koerper’s Fan Club!

Last night (Thrus May 26th, 2011) the St. Joseph Mustangs won their first game of the season 3-0!  The awesome pitching with” no hit” innings was the impressive part of the evening.  Kris Koerper played clean up hitter and batted 0-4 for the night to an overwhelmingly big crowd of local fans.  It was a bit disappointing for the big hitter, but his first time before such a big crowd was a bit nerve racking.  It’s always humbling the first time to bat in a new city.  After all, he just met his team-mates on Tuesday and this was the first time they played together.

It was a beautiful, crisp evening and some in the crowd were hoping to buy hot chocolate at the concession stand, but were disappointed!  They said the pizza slices were delicious!

Karina Koerper reported that the crowd was energizing and the team responsive to the awsome pitching.  The cold air made it a bit chilly in the stands but she enjoyed the bright lights and warm support from the local fans.  She’s a long way from El Paso, Texas but loves watching her husband play baseball and be his #1 Fan!  Go Kris!

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