As I am writing this blog, it is snowing outside my windows here in North Kingstown. It is late October and the average normal high temperature, according to WJAR 10 Weather’s website (www.turnto10.com/weather) is 59°. I think we can pretty much toss the word “normal” out of most of our 2020 experiences. So, what are some of your favorite Rhode Island Baseball Experiences that happened (so far) in this not so normal 2020? Here are a few of mine….
Shortly before the restrictions on collegiate baseball were put into place, I made an effort to visit some of our incredible Rhode Island fields populated each season by our RI college baseball players. I was able to get to URI, CCRI, Salve Regina, Roger Williams, and Johnson & Wales fields and take photos and videos. I was not able to get to Bryant nor Brown, as their seasons along with every other school were cancelled. I’m hoping to get to those schools in 2021.
As leagues, teams, players, coaches, and families began to prepare to start their baseball seasons later than normal, local baseball fields began to coat their fields with signage. Covid-19 warning posters, community signage about social distancing, instructions on when you should and should not attend a baseball game. All of these signs zip tied to the fences, clearly marked, so communities could be safer at baseball fields. Some leagues used caution tape to section off bleachers, others took bleachers and moved them to another part of their parks. Rhode Island Baseball needed these signs to be compliant with the state’s recommendations on safety and leagues all over Rhode Island made this signs a part of their fields.
The New England Collegiate Baseball League season was cancelled in 2020. A number of factors were involved including safety of the players, players traveling from other states staying with host families, and mostly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Newport College Baseball League was formed to give college baseball players staying/living in and around Rhode Island the opportunity to play a competitive baseball season. I was one of a handful of media allowed in Cardines Field to watch and blog about the games. Cardines Field, per the City of Newport, did not allow fans to attend the game inside of the park. Instead, fans were allowed to watch outside the park, on the stone wall in left field, in the playground behind the left field fence, in the alleyways of Newport, and on YouTube.
There is nothing more exciting than a youth baseball tournament. Teams this summer were robbed of the opportunity to advance to the ultimate youth baseball prize, a trip to the Little League World Series. In its place, Chariho Little League’s Chris Charette and a team of volunteers organized two Rhode Island All Star State Tournaments – 12U and 10U. Each tournament had about 16 to 20 teams competing at various fields throughout Rhode Island. Then, the tournament shifted to Dow Field in Chariho for the quarterfinals, semifinals, and eventual championship game. The fans were in heaven watching their youth baseball stars shine brightly in this tournament. Chris and his Chariho Little League volunteers did an amazing job with the tournament!
So what are some of your awesome Rhode Island Baseball Experiences? Send me a photo, a small note, and I will share it with others on my pages. 2020 is not over yet and I am sure there are more surprises ahead of us in the coming months. Let’s spread some Rhode Island Baseball positivity and let me hear about about your cool baseball experiences in 2020.