Amateur baseball season is on hold for now
Like nearly everything else in the sporting world, amateur baseball’s season is on hold.
That was the decision made by the Minnesota Baseball Association in a virtual meeting Saturday.
“There will be no games played until further notice,” the board stated on its website, mnbaseball.org, after Saturday’s meeting.
“We are not going to play any games until the governor opens up baseball.”
Most leagues open by the end of April. The Northwest Border league, of which the Bemidji Blue Ox are members, normally begins play in mid- to late May. The league also includes the Marble Mallards, Roseau Royals, Thief River Bombers and Warroad Muskies.
The governor has stay-at-home orders until May 4. The earliest possible opening date would be May 5.
“Once the governor says go, our games can start the next day,” the board stated.
The board said that if there are any special rules, like social distancing, they would be explained on the MBA website.
It also said the board plans to send a letter to the governor “urging him to open up baseball.”
It also said the board is optimistic there will be a season.
This year’s state tournament for Class B and C teams is scheduled to be played in New Ulm and Springfield. The Blue Ox advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2019 Class C tournament.
Hi-10 President Mark Jorgenson said he’s had contact with the league managers. The Hi-10 features the New York Mills Millers, Deer Creek Shockers, Bluffton Braves and Perham Pirates.
Jorgenson believes the closure of amateur baseball will run parallel to Major League Baseball.
“When the Twins can start, I think they will tell us we can start, but that’s just my thinking,” Jorgenson said. “I haven’t talked to a board member about that. Nobody has really been through something like this and we are just playing it by ear.”
Jorgenson said one of the safety concerns with baseball is the amount of contact with the ball during a game.
“There are a lot of things that need to be thought of about that,” Jorgenson said. “You have people sharing the same bats and being together in the dugout. There is a lot of physical contact and things you don’t really think about. We are just waiting for the state board to give us the go ahead.”
Jason Groth from the Perham Focus and Austin Monteith from the Bemidji Pioneer contributed to this report.