Maplewood: Where pitching horseshoes is a passionby Marc Sanchez, Minnesota Public Radio
Maplewood, Minn. — You can spot the Maplewood horseshoe pitching courts off White Bear, just south of Highway 36.
There are about 20 courts lined up in a row, with a strip of neatly trimmed grass between each stake. Springfield, Minn., supplies the mushy, gray clay that sits beneath each stake.
The St. Paul Ramsey Co. Horseshoe Club is sanctioned by the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association, which means that each stake is set at a pre-determined angle and rules are strictly followed.
Dick Dvorak pitches at the Maplewood club as well as the West St. Paul Horseshoe club. He started pitching about 20 years ago. What began as a casual way to get together with friends has become a passion that brings him out to the courts at least four nights a week.
Camaraderie runs high in competitive horseshoe pitching. Dvorak says that "quiet is respected, and... all horseshoe pitchers are very supporting of each other."
The best sound for a pitcher to hear is the single clank of the horseshoe hitting the stake and thud of the clay beneath. That's a ringer for sure.