SPRINGFIELD, Mo–The minor league baseball teams are waiting just like the major league teams.
Here in Springfield, the Cardinals Double AA team is doing its best to stay ready and help out its community during this baseball shutdown.
Sometime this summer, the sounds of normalcy will echo throughout Hammons Field.
And baseball fans and the Springfield Cardinals will rejoice.
“We think people are going to be happy to get out to Hammons Field. To be able to socialize, eat those hot dogs and drink those Coca-Colas and Budweisers,” said Springfield General Manager Dan Reiter.
The Springfield Cardinals were not scheduled to open the home season until April 16th.
But that doesn’t mean the front office hasn’t been affected by the Covid-19 shutdown.
Reiter:”Like everyone it was a combination of fear, are we afraid. Also an element of unity. It’s not just about one sport or worried about one person. It’s really about our community and our country.”
While moving group ticket sales to later in the season, the Springfield Cardinals have gone on a full social media blitz on facebook, instagram and twitter.
Everything from coloring book pages for the kids, to baseball cards for health workers and EMT’s.
Reiter:”Our entire staff has been working under the phrase maximize the control. We can’t control it. We can’t even imagine to control it. But we can be a place for fun. A place for people to get together to escape their problems.”
When baseball gives the green light on the season, there will be some kind of training camp for all the players.
That could be in Florida or even at Hammons Field.
Either way, that would be a sign that baseball is on its way back.
Reiter:”Those guys are physical athletes and need time to prepare. I think that will be the biggest thing we’re looking forward to is when those dates are set.”
Because Springfield’s Double AA franchise is owned by the St. Louis Cardinals, the local employees have some financial security.
And the minor leaguers are getting a paycheck while waiting for a new opening day.
But in 2020 nothing in sports is normal.
Reiter:”I don’t think any baseball or sports organization is thinking of a banner year. Right now it’s survivor mode. We’re all working the best we can for the interest of everyone. Right now this is bigger then a game. This is about the health of our entire country. So it’s important for us to do our part to get along.”