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Photo by Dan and Sharon Hanson Al Zinter Jr. and Jordan Smith have a number of things in common, besides a Willmar heritage. At left is former Minnesota Twins pitcher Scott Erickson, a pitching coach for the Class A Carolina Mudcats since 2012.

Willmar notebook: Meanwhile, at a desert oasis

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Let’s get away from this thick mid-March cover of white dust and for a moment join the snow birds in the Phoenix area.

Sharon (Corneil) Hanson graduated from the brand new high school on Seventh Street in 1960. Two years earlier she’d known senior Al Zinter, a fine baseball player who had got out in 1958.


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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