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Gene Halderson of the Willmar team takes aim at the pin on Thursday night at Rice Park. Halderson is from Madison but works at Bergh Fabrication in Willmar. (Tribune photo by Rand Middleton)

Evening pitchmen

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The old men, and a few at middle age, gather on Thursday evenings at parks in Clara City, Atwater, Lake Lillian and Willmar.

Someone, appointed in advance, brings a light lunch.


They play an ancient game that is competitive and relaxing at the same time.

Every pitch matters in horseshoes.

The men throw four games, 40 shoes per game.

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334