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Written By Ink Free News / Sports on Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Baseball returned to Boggs Park Tuesday as practice opened for the 2020 season set to begin in a couple weeks. InkFreeNews photos by Mike Deak

By Mike Deak

WARSAW – It was a familiar sound, and it looked like before. The feel was a little different, but it was everything those yearning for baseball have wanted all spring.

Baseball is back at Warsaw Little League.

After working through state restrictions, health guidelines and riding through the phases from the governor’s office, Boggs Park came alive Tuesday evening as orientation and practice opened for several teams.

It felt like summer. It looked like summer. It sounded like summer.

“Honestly, once you step on the field, everything else just goes away,” noted Jason Miller, who just finished tossing batting practice for over an hour during a minor league practice. “I’m just happy we have the opportunity. Once you get here, the focus is on the game and having some fun. That is what this is supposed to be.”

Cedric Poage was doing a little of everything across the walkway. Coaching the 14U Attack travel team, Poage and his coaching staff were also happy to be out on the fields again. Despite having been organized since the fall, Poage and his team were in a holding pattern. Restrictions in other states, including Michigan and Ohio, will also cut into who and where the Attack play. But Tuesday night, the boys were back.

“I think now more than ever, the kids are really appreciating the opportunity to get outside, to play team sports again and utilize the resources we have,” Poage said. “The mental health side of it is huge, and we’ve seen it already, just getting them active and not cooped up in the house. We did spend a couple weeks setting this up, some basic guidelines, like keeping the kids spread out. Some precautions to be mindful of their safety. The reality of sports is they won’t be apart 100 percent of the time in the field of play, but we can at least work with that off the field.”

Warsaw Little League is governed by Little League International. The national organization, in coordination with the leagues all over the country, asked for certain protocols be put in place for ensure social distancing and safety when at all possible. Warsaw’s response was lengthy, but reasonable.

In a form offered by league board member Kristie Maiers at the park Tuesday, Warsaw Little League is employing certain measures such as no dugout usage and marked areas outside the dugout measured six feet apart down each outfield line. Bleachers are closed every other row and bathrooms will be cleaned regularly each day.

There are over 20 new guidelines for Warsaw, which include no sunflower seeds allowed at the park, and high fives can be given with mitts after the games in replacement of hand-to-hand fives. The concession stand will also work in stages, with ordering at one window and picking up the food around the corner.

“It was a little sad not seeing the kids out here for so long,” said Boggs Park groundskeeper Mike Marsh. “We’re just excited to get out here and have kids here. We want to play baseball, but do it safe and organized. Every kid we’ve seen so far is thrilled to have baseball back. And, really, so are we.”

It’s not quite like 2019, and it wasn’t going to be after March and April. But on May 26, the teams, coaches and parents at Boggs Park will absolutely take it.

Baseball is back at Warsaw Little League.


Posted In: Boy's Sports > Baseball