Will there be baseball in BE this year?
Will we hear the umpire yell out, “Play Ball!” this year?
Those overseeing organizations such as Major League Baseball all the way down to the caretakers of youth leagues are pondering the answer to that question.
Winnebago/Blue Earth American Legion coach Paul Nienaber says a decision on Legion baseball could be made on May 9.
“I guess they (the Minnesota State American Legion) could postpone a final decision until after the governor’s most recent Stay at Home order expires,” Nienaber comments. “But I have concerns the season might be cancelled.”
Indeed, a decision has already been made on the national level as noted in the following statement posted on the American Legion website.
“As the coronavirus pandemic is creating unpredictability worldwide with its duration and public health regulations and restrictions across the nation, The American Legion is facing an improbable situation. “The Americanism Commission, in consultation with National Commander James William “Bill” Oxford, announces cancellation of all 2020 American Legion Baseball National Tournaments, inclusive of all eight 2020 Regional Tournaments and the 2020 American Legion World Series in Shelby, North Carolina.”
“It has been left up to each individual state Legion to decide what they want to do,” Nienaber explains. “Many of the states are following suit and cancelling their season.”
Minnesota is known for having a large number of teams who play Legion ball, notes the Legion sub-district coordinator Brent Legred.
“Because Legion baseball has such a large presence in Minnesota I think those in charge are trying to be patient and give the teams every opportunity to play,” Legred says.
Lee Hodges of the Blue Earth Pirates has similar concerns regarding Town Team baseball.
“The Minnesota Baseball Association has been meeting and so far they have taken a wait-and-see approach,” Hodges notes. “I would like to be more optimistic but I do not know at this time if the Pirates will play this year.”
The Blue Earth Area Youth Baseball Association is ready to play baseball this summer and has most all of its pieces in place for a successful 2020 season, according to Legred, who is the president of the Youth Baseball Association.
“We are ahead of the game and have purchased all of our needed supplies and have our coaching staff, player signups and team identified for Jr. Pirates, I-90 league, and VFW,” Legred shares. “The one league we have not completed is our in-house Twilight League because signups for grades one through three were cancelled due to the shut-down. Because it is an in-house program, we believe we can put it together quite quickly.”
Legred says all registrations are still open for age groups and an online registration option is available to sign kids up for any of the leagues.
“People can go to our website, BEAYBA.com and hit the “Play for us” tab,” Legred explains. “Then select “Registration form” in the upper right hand corner of the page.”
Another way to do this completely on line is to use https://forms.gle/r7EfssJF6Ab4EEMa7.
“We have not been given any direction nor made any decisions related to what the season may look like at this time but as we move closer to summer we will update everyone as soon as possible,” Legred says. “We know the children are eager to play baseball this summer. The safety of our players, families and fans is our top priority.”