ST. CLOUD -- For St. Cloud Rox Assistant Coach Al Newman, the love of baseball began like most fans of the game.

"My dad took me to see the Kansas City Athletic's and the noise of the stadium, the grass, as a little kid I was just stunned."

It was the same love, passion and dedication which led him into youth baseball and eventually the major league.

"My career has been a flash and it all started in 1987 when I was traded to the Minnesota Twins."

It's been 30 years since a major Minnesota sports team has won a championship. An accomplishment Newman remembers like it was yesterday.

"I played with Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrebek and won a World Series Championship. You're talking about a year that was magical."

But his baseball career didn't end after leaving the majors. He joined the Twins staff as a coach, before coaching the Alexandria Beatles and then joining the St. Cloud Rox.

Today he passes his skills and knowledge of the game to a younger generation. Rox player Cameron Blaquiere says when Newman talks, you listen.

"The way he explains things is impressive. The way he explains the concepts of the games and how we should approach it, he's really helped me," says Blaquiere.

Newman says he loves everything about the game and looks forward to watching the love of the game grow in Central Minnesota.

"I love teaching the fundamentals to players and watching them grow into better players as they get older."

You can catch Newman on the bench at Joe Faber Field Thursday at 7:05 p.m.

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)