Babe Ruth still optimistic for 2020 baseball season

Westfield celebrates its first win of the 2019 Babe Ruth Baseball 13-Year-Old World Series, turning back Janesville (Wisconsin) 7-3 at Bullens Field. While the coronavirus outbreak has delayed the start of the 2020 Babe Ruth season in Westfield, there is still hope among league officials, managers and coaches that baseball will return sometime this spring or summer. (THE WESTFIELD NEWS FILE PHOTO)

WESTFIELD – Despite the recent rash of cancelations and delays due to COVID-19, the Greater Westfield Babe Ruth League remains optimistic there will still be a baseball season for its teams in 2020.
Westfield Babe Ruth managers and coaches voiced their optimism at a recent board meeting, echoing each other’s sentiments that it would be best to get local players out of the house and back on the ball field as soon as restrictions are lifted.
“While the U.S., our state, and our community are all following the guidelines for social distancing and ‘stay-at-home’ orders, we have strong hopes for our season,” Greater Westfield Babe Ruth League President Dan Welch said. “While we missed our planned opening day scheduled for April 4th, we continue to look for alternatives for our 2020 season.”
Indoor practices, which began in February and involved some 80 players, were halted in early March when the coronavirus outbreak forced the shutdown of schools and several businesses throughout the community and all across the country. With the uncertainty of when the social distancing restriction might be eased, baseball plans remain in limbo.
“No matter when things return to normal and group activities are allowed, we desperately want to play some baseball,” Welch said. “Even if our season could not start until June, there is still plenty of time to play the game we all love again in 2020.”
Welch said the traditional City Cup Tournament could still be salvaged and played into July in some form or other.
“It wouldn’t take long to create a new schedule, get the players into mid-season shape and back onto the field,” he said. “All of us want to get out on the field again, but it is important that the safety of the players, their families and the community is first, and foremost, in the decisions that we make. In the meantime, please stay home (and) stay safe.”

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