Little League officials holding out hope for season

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By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News

The later it gets in the spring the closer the possible reality of a summer without baseball gets as the country continues to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.

What, if any, Major League Baseball season will look like is up in the air. The American Legion tournament, which is annually held in August, has been canceled, and last week Little League International canceled its World Series and region tournaments.

Initially, the Little League International Board of Directors strongly advised programs across the country to delay the opening of their seasons until at least May 11. Last week, Little League officials urged local leagues and districts to adhere to guidelines issued by their respective state, local and health authorities before resuming any activities.

In Connecticut, the state isn’t planning to start easing restrictions in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus until at least May 20.

Can it be that we will see a summer without baseball? Not if local leagues have anything to say about it.

“We just had a board meeting on Monday (April 27) and we all agreed that we will hold on as long as possible in order to get this season in,” Peter J. Foley Little League President Robert Didato said. “Even if we have to play into and through August, we feel it’s important to provide baseball not only for the kids and parents but for the community as well after this long isolation.”

“To have the park filled with everyone out to watch baseball under the lights is something that we are all still holding out hope for,” Didato added.

Prospect Little League President Brandon Avery is hoping that the season won’t be delayed much longer than May 20.

Erik Pulkkinen, president of the Robert A. Cole Baseball League in Beacon Falls, said the league will follow the recommendations of District 3, local and state officials before making any plans for opening day.

When, and if, local Little League officials get the go-ahead to resume play, Union City Little League President Dennis Sigetti said it won’t take the Naugatuck league long to get up and running.

“We should be able to have our draft and get teams set up in about a week or a week and a half,” he said. “After a couple of quick practices, we should be able to go.”