Many wouldn’t believe we are entering our third month of lockdown from Covid-19, but some things  are starting to open again,  and sports fans across the mountains will gladly welcome any type of sporting event that they can see live.

The Paintsville Herald recently talked with Johnson County Cal Ripken League president Craig Delong on his plans to get baseball and softball started back as soon as possible, and all the safety precautions that have to be made in order to return somewhat back to normal.  

“All I can say is I think it’s really important for our kids to get back to some kind of normalcy and we hope with baseball and softball we can give them that,” Delong said.

This season, play for Cal Ripken is scheduled to start on the 29th of June and resume through August. There will be four teams in T-ball and four teams featuring coach pitch.

The league will have three 10 and under minor league baseball, and three 12 and under minor league baseball teams. Delong says there will be three eight and under softball teams, four 10 and under and three 12 and under softball teams.

“We’re going to strive to make it as enjoyable as possible, while being as safe as possible, and following the state’s guidelines,” said Delong.

Due to the virus, the schedule may be altered, but the league plans to play on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. There will also be play on some weekends.

“The kids in our community have been locked away from each other for three months now,” Delong said.

Delong and the league plan to make the best of what’s left of the 2020 season and give kids in our area some type of release.

“If we can put a smile on their face and give them some enjoyment for their summer, that’s all we can ask for,” said Delong.

It will be a welcomed sight to see children out playing their national pastime on our local fields, even if, things are slightly modified. It’s a big part of our country reopening. Most high school seniors lost out on their entire season of baseball and softball and football is even under threat of being modified or changed in some way. However, it will be good to see the kids playing their favorite sports again.

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