local baseball legend pens history of Eau Claire ball
Glenn St. Arnault moved to Eau Claire in 1946 at the age of eight. By 1954 he was coaching his first baseball team – part of the Parks and Recreation youth league – and he hasn’t turned back since. Arnault is renowned as an Eau Claire baseball guru, having coached at various levels around the area for going on sixty years. Arnault has compiled his history – which is much of the history of baseball in the Chippewa Valley – in his new book, Play Ball!
Play Ball! is a collection of articles, photos, scorecards, standings and recollections from Arnault that spans the last five decades of baseball in Eau Claire. Each season is broken down, highlighting Arnault’s favorite moments and the successes and struggles each team went through. Arnault’s memory is precise, and he hones in on specific game-changing moments that altered the trajectory of each season and recalls the exact moods that shifted in the dugouts as the games – of which Arnault has witnessed hundreds – made their mark on Eau Claire’s baseball history.
Arnault’s memory is precise, and he hones in on specific game-changing moments that altered the trajectory of each season and recalls the exact moods that shifted in the dugout.
The span of time Play Ball! presents allows you to follow through the changes to both the game of baseball and the community in Eau Claire, but also Arnault’s own life. In 1971, Arnault moved up from managing Little League teams and was one of the founding members of the Eau Claire Cavaliers. As he describes his time with the Cavaliers he seamlessly incorporates the changes in his own life – one that is solidly tied to baseball.
Arnault’s expertise in all aspects of baseball gives him a unique view on the broader history of baseball’s impact on the community and its future in Eau Claire. At the end he makes a plea for UW-Eau Claire to reinstate its varsity baseball program (which was dissolved in 1995). And hey, if they’re looking for a manager they may not have to look very far.
Play Ball! is available at The Local Store, 205 N. Dewey St.