Minnesota Baseball Association making pitch to play town ball in 2020

Most town ball games originally on the schedule on Sunday in Minnesota would’ve surely been a wash out.

The Minnesota Baseball Association is also trying to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to the season.

“People are just clamoring,” MBA Vice President Mark Forsman said of town ball’s push to play in 2020. “We’re getting phone calls and emails saying ‘we want to get on the field’.”

Like organized sports around the country, Minnesota town ball is at a standstill.

The MBA stepping up to the plate by sending multiple letters in the last few weeks to Governor Tim Walz and state legislators with recommendations with how they could safely operate, while seeking clarification on when a season could start.

At this point, they are still waiting for official word.

“We’d like to hear as soon as tomorrow,” MBA President Fred Roufs said. “We’re ready to go.”

“We need to keep stepping forward to see how things are going to go, and we’re the logical next step,” MBA Secretary/Treasurer Mike Nagel said. “Governor Walz is in a terrible position. I would not want his job, but we’re ready. We can do any of the things the essential businesses have done.

A major part of the association’s pitch is the size of most stadiums that teams play in relative to crowds for a given regular season game.

According to the MBA, crowds average from 25-100 fans in facilities that can hold 600-1,000 people. Numbers that the association says will allow ample space for people to social distance while attending town ball games.

“We don’t think we’ll be without fans, we just think fans will make good decisions,” Roufs said.

As for players on the field, association board members are confident that social distancing can be maintained

“Most town ball teams have 15 players, in fact when I’m managing Bird Island’s team sometimes I’m the only one in the dugout when they’re on defense,” Mike said. “We aren’t congregated together. These are adults, they’re smart people.”

For guidance of how to operate, the Minnesota Baseball Association says that they will not have to look far.

South Dakota will begin amateur baseball play on May 31, according to the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Association.

“That gives us some real good hope,” Roufs said. “Our citizens are like their citizens, and we’ll figure out a way to make it safe for everybody.”

Under current Minnesota orders, teams can practice in groups of up to 10 people while social distancing on the diamond.

For now, 277 amateur teams across the state are in limbo but hopeful that this storm will clear up before summer.

“We will play,” Nagel said. “It’s a logical, reasonable and thought out next step. I’m not even thinking about not playing.”

“I’m hoping that June 1st at the latest is when we start,” Nagel add