June 14th, I received an email from my son’s North Kingstown/Wickford Little League coaching staff regarding the start of the 2020 Baseball Season. Better late than never and with some restrictions and a sense of optimism that Rhode Island baseball may actually happen in 2020. No games until Phase 3 of the ReOpeningRI plan, which meant June was for practice, getting back on the field, connecting with classmates in person as opposed to FaceTime, and gearing up for summer baseball, as opposed to the traditional spring start of baseball here in Rhode Island. The anticipation for the announcement of Phase 3 was palpable from Tee Ball to the Collegiate Amateur Leagues of Rhode Island. In July, we did move into Phase 3, allowing games to happen, and the Rhode Island Baseball Summer, 2020 would commence.
With my son playing games, my nephews playing games, and so much baseball to cover from Westerly to Woonsocket, I was in baseball heaven once July hit. Seemingly, every day, at varied times, there was a game to watch, photograph, view as a fan. Youth baseball games kicked into high gear at our local baseball parks. AAU and showcase teams hit the “big fields” of Rhode Island. Amateur baseball reinvented itself with the Newport Collegiate Baseball League, and stayed the course with its local treasure, George Donnelly Sunset League. Connie Mack, American Legion, Babe Ruth, Little League – they all got an opportunity to get on the amazing fields of Rhode Island and play baseball this summer. At times, it felt off because of the social distancing guidelines at parks, the masks worn by players, coaches, and fans, and the fact that teams were playing meaningful games in August, whereas in years past they would be home or playing another sport or leaving for college. But for the most part, it felt incredible that baseball was alive and well at the baseball field.
The fan’s view of the game behind home plate is one of the best in any ballpark. As a fan, I tried to capture the moments in time that make baseball so special to me. Here is a photo gallery of the baseball games and events I was privileged to attend in the Rhode Island Summer Baseball Season of 2020, a season I could only hope would happen just a few short months ago.