Baseball 2019-04-27 065
Local News

Youth baseball seasons delayed by COVID-19 uncertainty

Players march in the 2019 Flossmoor Baseball and Softball opening day parade. This year’s festivities, originally scheduled for April 18, could be pushed back as late as May. FBS officials continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and plan to make an announcement April 1. (Chronicle file photo)

Players march in the 2019 Flossmoor Baseball and Softball opening day parade. This year’s festivities, originally scheduled for April 18, could be pushed back as late as May. FBS officials continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and plan to make an announcement April 1. (Chronicle file photo)

The youth baseball season was set to launch on Saturday, April 18, with both Flossmoor Baseball & Softball and Homewood Baseball & Softball holding opening day parades, first-pitch ceremonies and games.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the postponement of the season, and league officials in both villages are monitoring the situation, hoping the season can eventually get under way.

Flossmoor baseball posted a notice on its website explaining that the board would assess the situation on April 1.

“If things are looking better on April 1, we will essentially push the season back three weeks,” according to the statement. “This means that the earliest date we will have opening day is May 9.”

If the situation has not improved, the board might choose to delay the season further. 

“Our board is committed to our families to play baseball and softball this year, even if that means having a 2020 fall program.”

Other preliminary events were canceled, including team drafts on March 15, field cleanup on April 4 and April 11 and a league kickoff party on April 5.

The statement was issued before Friday, March 20, when Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order that extends at least until April 7.

Homewood Baseball and Softball Board of Directors held a virtual meeting Thursday, March 19, and issued a statement that included a guarantee: “There will be baseball and softball this year!”

A player warms up his arm during the 2018 Homewood Baseball and Softball season-opening parade, where tossing candy to spectators is a tradition. (Chronicle file photo)

But for now, the HBS season is on hold.

“Based on advice and direction from government agencies, we have decided to make the difficult decision to postpone our opening day parade and games. At this point, we believe it is too early to try to set a new date,” the statement read. “We are committed to bringing you some semblance of a season just as soon as we are legally able to do so.”

The board also alerted families that individual team meetings and practices must be canceled, season-opening clean up dates will be rescheduled, the season-opening party April 4 has been canceled and equipment bag pickup will be rescheduled.

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