The Minnesota Baseball Association honored Mike Barry with its Mike Downes Award Saturday at its meeting in St. Cloud after Barry’s long-time dedication to amateur baseball in Minnesota.
Barry, of Red Wing, has been elected into three hall of fames -- the Minnesota Baseball Hall of Fame, the Southwest State University Hall of Fame and the Red Wing Hall of Fame.
Barry not only played baseball but went on to manage town team baseball and serve as a section commissioner for many years. Barry played an instrumental role in reviving Red Wing amateur baseball. The modern-day Aces formed in 1971 with the help of Barry’s parents Pat and Lois. Lois won the contest to name the Aces and along with Pat, volunteered countless hours at the Red Wing Athletic Field and concession stand. Mike Barry later became manager of the club and was inducted into the inaugural Red Wing Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.
Barry’s involvement in baseball runs from the YMCA youth leagues to VFW to Legion to high school to college and of course, town team baseball.
The Mike Downes Award has been given out annually since 1981 for outstanding service to Minnesota Amatuer Baseball.
Downes was a league president and region commissioner for a long time from the Nashwauk area. He was instrumental in keeping town team baseball alive in the small communities on the Iron Range.