ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - It’s that time of the year, when the great American pastime usually gets underway. For the St. Paul Saints, it’s also around this time when open tryouts are held at CHS Field. This year’s edition is yet another event struck out by COVID-19.
Leave it to the Saints to find a way to make it happen though.
“We started getting a lot more questions, 'Are you guys going to have [tryouts] or not going to have them?’” Saints director of broadcasting Sean Aronson said. “We thought that we should at least do something!”
The Saints are doing virtual tryouts in 2020. Potential players submit videos on social media with the hashtag: #SaintsVirtualTryout. Coaches will pick a “Top Three” and fans will vote on which player will join camp whenever the Saints start up the season. Submissions are due at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 1.
“Now the country, or the world for that matter, is an opportunity,” Aronson said of the new way of having tryouts. “Every once in a while you’ll get a gem or two that wind up coming into camp."
It’s a blend of serious and silly, in true Saints fashion.
“We’re obviously looking for the best players, but we want to have fun with it at the same time,” Aronson said. “I think you’re going to find a lot of ‘social media stars’ coming out of this because everyone’s trying to get quirky and crazy right now.”
Like many ideas right now, this process is one born out of adapting to curveballs thrown the way. But the Saints’ digital way of doing things could potentially be a home run in the coming years, giving players from a wide-range of experience and locations a chance to participate.
It's an idea to pick up a new player while picking up spirits in the process.
“We’re trying to find different ways to entertain people, and I think we all need entertainment right now,” Aronson said. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”