It’s not a bad thing that the nonschool sports season seems to be lasting forever.
Believe it or not, we just reached the first official day of summer over the weekend. We’ve had nonschool baseball going on for around a month and other traditional summer sports are starting to come back as well, particularly youth softball and baseball.
The pathfinders have shown that we can have sports again in the COVID-19 world. Things have been a bit different, from social distancing both in the dugouts and outside the fences. Fans have found new favorite places to watch games.
We’ve got to be thankful that the city of Washington allowed the Washington Post 218 program to be able to host games at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field. It’s given safe haven to sports and has allowed us to have baseball games to watch and report as we cross the COVID-19 desert with no other events.
We’ve been very fortunate to have games there nearly every night, and it’s been a tremendous boost to morale.
Without a true league or playoff format for the summer baseball, we’ve seen teams play a lot of games and other teams play a few. There’s no pressure. Teams can do what they like without the stress of having to get all of the games played prior to a playoff deadline.
We saw a meeting of two programs at opposite ends of the spectrum Saturday in Washington. The host Post 218 AAA program has played about twice as many games as Union, but it turned out to be an amazing contest.
Union had just tied the game when Brandon Stahlman hit a two-run home run to lift Washington to the victory.
Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another month to see these two talented programs play each other again.
Washington has been able to play virtually all of its games at home so far, which has been extremely helpful.
The program also did some good acts Friday night around its game with Eureka. The high school seniors who lost their spring seasons got the senior night they missed. Washington honored each of the seniors prior to the game with parent first pitches, biographies and started all of them.
Additionally, it allowed parents to warm up with their sons prior to the game. After the game, children got the chance to run the bases, adding to the fun. The special moment might have been the All Abilities Athletics children running the bases with the Washington players. That’s been a feature of the annual event for years.
Unfortunately, Union has played its entire season on the road so far. While there’s talk of Union possibly hosting youth baseball this summer, the four Union older teams have no home. Upgrades are taking place at Wildcat Ballpark. The next time we go there, whenever that might be, there will be lights. That will be massive for the future of hosting contests there.
As for the composition of the Union AAA roster, there are some strong players and amazing hitters. In a non-COVID-19 environment, this team might have challenged for the Ninth District title.
Enjoy this while you can. As of right now, there are a lot of unknowns about fall sports. Schools are starting to hold camps once again this summer, but there’s a lot of speculation about what will happen once schools return to session, if they return to session later in the year.
You’ve probably heard the rumors, too. There’s speculation of everything from no sports to full resumption. Where the truth lies likely is somewhere in between. There likely will be new guidelines, extra rules and regulations. Don’t be surprised if crowd sizes are limited. Some sports might be quite different or not played at all. We’re still in the cone of unknown for that.
There’s a lot still unknown about COVID-19 right now. If the virus isn’t enough to halt events, the liability schools could face if someone were to get sick might be what stops events this fall.
We’ll have to see what takes place. At this point, nothing would surprise me.