The PLABA shares condolences with family and friends of Phil Rooney who passed November 19. Phil served as President of the Prior Lake Jays when a dedicated group of local baseball enthusiasts started the “new Jays” for the 1987 season following years of no local Townball in Prior Lake following the folding of the 1975 & ’76 State Champion “green Jays”.
Phil (and wife Jeanne) were well known members of the Prior Lake business and sports communities having supported son Chris who was a 3 sport standout for PLHS and were fixtures at Jays games when the team started up for the 1987 season. The Jays and later PLABA have supported many of the improvements that took place at Memorial Park in part as a result of the success of the early teams that advanced to the MBA State Tournament in 7 of its 1st 10 seasons.
The early teams success drove the formation of the PL Mudcats in 1991 which then evolved into the PLABA Board directing operations of what was dedicated in the late 1990s as “Veterans Field”. Phil and the early PL Jays Boards, hustled 70+ sponsors as well presided over fundraisers supporting team & park operations and improvements to a diamond without lights, irrigation or grandstand until the Jays formed and the Townball Jays were able to become a partner with the City to help drive improvements for area fans that extended beyond his active involvement.
Phil had great knowledge of the game, was a straight shooter with his opinions on the local 9 as well quick with a smile to greet a familiar face at games. He was known to attend and support games after Chris stepped down from playing and grandsons Drew and Cole Brinkman brought him back as a regular when they served as batboys for the PL Jays several seasons in the early 2010s.
The PLABA extends sympathy and appreciation to Jeanne and the Rooney family for their contributions to PL baseball. Phil has and will be missed by his many friends at the park and in the community.
A visitation was held from 4-7PM on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at Ballard-Sunder Funeral Home, Prior Lake. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10AM with visitation 1-hour prior on Wednesday, November 23, 2022at St. Michael Catholic Church, 16400 Duluth Ave SE, Prior Lake.