Harrisburg, Pa. (WHTM) – Summer is right around the corner and for so many mid-state families, youth baseball is a vital part of the season.
But will COVID-19 keep the games from happening?
Aimee Lewis spoke with local team organizers, including Tony Reagins, the VP for Baseball and Softball Development for MLB.
“This pandemic has taken proms, has taken graduations, has taken economic capabilities of parents and families. It’s taken from America’s youth.
“They want to play. Young people want to play. They’re clamoring for that social interaction that they had in school with their classmates. They have a strong desire to have that emotional bonding that they experience while they’re on the diamond.”
Senator Pat Toomey alongside major league reps say youth baseball and softball leagues are vital to giving kids the sense of normalcy they need.
“I have a 10-year-old son, and if we could resume little league baseball where I live, I would sign him up tomorrow.”
Here in the mid-state, several local teams agree – it’s possible to play the game, safely.
Doug Marsico with the upper Allen Mechanicsburg Baseball Association says the interest is still there, despite the health risk, with more than 500 kids signed up to play this summer.
“It’s a big part of our community, we are a big baseball community.”
“We provided an opportunities for refunds, and the refund rate was only 15%.”
But they’ll have to make changes, like limiting the number of kids in the dugout, sanitizing equipment, and having adults wear masks.
The game might look different – but they’ll play ball – and take the added precautions.
“The days and nights at the park, watching our children play baseball, is very important to a lot of entertainment,” says Marisco.
Marisco says his organization is waiting on guidance from the governor as to when yellow counties like Cumberland and York can start back up.
They hope that practices can start in small groups by mid-June.