Hollanders 2 Glencoe 0

by James Stitt

The Crow River Valley League is back in action, starting the baseball season this past week.

“I don’t think you would call it back to normalcy, but you could tell people were glad it’s back,” said Craig Pexa of the Cologne Hollanders. “We’re glad its back.”

With the state of Minnesota loosening restrictions related to COVID-19, the fields are opening up and allowing amateur baseball to return. The CRVL met last week and decided league play would start June 18, with nine league games taking place over the weekend.”

“It felt good, thats for sure,” said Brandon Stender of the Young America Cardinals. “It’s been a long spring waiting for it.”

Amateur baseball was one of many things put on hold this spring, but now the bats are swinging again. The CRVL has lost weeks of their season, but it was determined that the two divisions would act as one (instead of North standings and South standings) and each team would play each other once for a 13 game schedule in the 14 team league. This would mean the top two teams, regardless of division, would get a bye week in the first round of the playoffs and was ruled the best way to seed for the postseason.

The CRVL will also follow the safety guidelines decided upon by the Minnesota Baseball association that include social distancing by fans and players alike, hand sanitizer readily available and no spitting of any kind. The argument for the resumed play of amateur baseball is that social distancing at these ballparks can be done easily, with plenty of seating and open space around the field. And while youth sports like legion baseball were cancelled due to COVID-19, it has been argued in the letters from the MBA to the Governor that dugouts for amateur baseball are longer and often have several rows that could lead to easy social distancing, in addition to the more open seating options.

One concern addressed by the MBA is the close proximity of the catcher, batter and umpire behind home plate. Outlined in their safety guidelines is the option to have the umpire call balls and strikes from behind the pitcher for more space between those involved in the game. The CRVL plans to follow the guidelines in hopes that people can enjoy baseball safely.

“If we as fans follow those [guidelines] and are diligent with them, that will allow us to continue to play baseball,” said CRVL secretary/treasurer Jason Kuerschner. “If everybody does their part and is understanding, we’ll get to continue to play baseball.”

With the shortened season and several factors behind the scenes on scheduling games as some parts of the state have restrictions still, some games may be moved or rescheduled. But those hurdles are small obstacles to overcome for those looking to return to the game they love.

“All of the guys are really excited to get back on the field,” said Stender. “The main group of guys, the age they’re at, this is the funnest time of their life. Their getting to the point where they’re in their prime. So there is a lot of good baseball ahead of us.”

The Crow River Valley League is back in action, starting the baseball season this past week.“I don’t think you would call it back to normalcy, but you could tell people were glad it’s back,” said Craig Pexa of the Cologne Hollanders. “We’re glad its back.”With the state of Minnesota loosening restrictions related to COVID-19, the fields are opening up and allowing amateur baseball to return. The CRVL met last week and decided league play would start June 18, with nine league games taking place over the weekend.”“It felt good, thats for sure,” said Brandon Stender of the Young America Cardinals. “It’s been a long spring waiting for it.”Amateur baseball was one of many things put on hold this spring, but now the bats are swinging again. The CRVL has lost weeks of their season, but it was determined that the two divisions would act as one (instead of North standings and South standings) and each team would play each other once for a 13 game schedule in the 14 team league. This would mean the top two teams, regardless of division, would get a bye week in the first round of the playoffs and was ruled the best way to seed for the postseason.The CRVL will also follow the safety guidelines decided upon by the Minnesota Baseball association that include social distancing by fans and players alike, hand sanitizer readily available and no spitting of any kind. The argument for the resumed play of amateur baseball is that social distancing at these ballparks can be done easily, with plenty of seating and open space around the field. And while youth sports like legion baseball were cancelled due to COVID-19, it has been argued in the letters from the MBA to the Governor that dugouts for amateur baseball are longer and often have several rows that could lead to easy social distancing, in addition to the more open seating options.One concern addressed by the MBA is the close proximity of the catcher, batter and umpire behind home plate. Outlined in their safety guidelines is the option to have the umpire call balls and strikes from behind the pitcher for more space between those involved in the game. The CRVL plans to follow the guidelines in hopes that people can enjoy baseball safely.“If we as fans follow those [guidelines] and are diligent with them, that will allow us to continue to play baseball,” said CRVL secretary/treasurer Jason Kuerschner. “If everybody does their part and is understanding, we’ll get to continue to play baseball.”With the shortened season and several factors behind the scenes on scheduling games as some parts of the state have restrictions still, some games may be moved or rescheduled. But those hurdles are small obstacles to overcome for those looking to return to the game they love.“All of the guys are really excited to get back on the field,” said Stender. “The main group of guys, the age they’re at, this is the funnest time of their life. Their getting to the point where they’re in their prime. So there is a lot of good baseball ahead of us.”

Load comments