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Amateur baseball: Season is on hold for now

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Bluffton's Jake Dykhoff swings at a pitch during a 2019 meeting with the Wadena/Deer Creek Shockers. The Minnesota Baseball Association announced that amateur baseball was closed until the governor gives the go ahead to play games. (Jason Groth / Pioneer Journal)
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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.”

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Wadena-Deer Creek's Scott Schroeder delivers to the plate during a 2019 contest with the Bluffton Braves in Deer Creek. The 2020 season is currently closed until the Minnesota governor gives the go ahead for baseball to be played. (Jason Groth / Pioneer Journal)

Most leagues open by the end of April. 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 Sleepy Eye.

Hi-10 President Mark Jorgenson said he’s had contact with the league managers. The Hi-10 features the New York Mills Millers, the Deer Creek Shockers, the Bluffton Braves and the Perham Pirates.

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Jorgenson believes the closure of amatuer 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.”

The Deer Creek Shockers 2020 opener was set for May 17 against Sebeka in Deer Creek, while the Bluffton Braves were set to kick off the season with a Region 14C Championship rematch with the Perham Pirates in Bluffton on May 17.

Jason Groth from the Pioneer Journal contributed to this report.

Related Topics: BASEBALL
Tom Elliott has been the sports editor at the West Central Tribune since September 2019.
Contact him at telliott@wctrib.com or leave a message at 320-235-1150
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