Baseball diamonds around the country have been eerily quiet recently. Due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the world has changed significantly over the past year. From six-foot social distancing to intense sanitation, from face masks to quarantine orders; we have had to adjust to new norms. Another major change we all had to get used to was the immediate suspension of sports around the country last March, which led to all college athletics being canceled last spring and Major League Baseball facing a shortened season. The unfortunate continuation of COVID-19 outbreaks then took its toll on the Cortland Crush as the 2020 NYCBL season was canceled as well. Needless to say, it has been a rough year for baseball fans and especially for baseball players at all levels.
The new year brings new opportunities as baseball is back, and with that so is the NYCBL and the Crush. As a fan of the game, I’m thrilled to see that spring training is underway and the MLB is slated to start on time and as planned. More importantly, throughout the country college baseball teams are preparing for their 2021 seasons as well. Some of those seasons may look slightly different than usual with the pandemic still a factor, but there is no doubt that more baseball will be played this year than last, and it’s got me and many others excited!
“It’s been a long time since baseball has been played and a lot of us may be a little rusty, but I think we’re all pumped that baseball is back” said returning Crusher and sophomore catcher at Utica College Noah Barber when asked about how he feels about baseball this year.
“Fortunately, my team is lucky enough to have a season this year so it’ll be fun to start getting more swings and reps. Hope to see the Phillies do well in the MLB and I can’t wait to get back with the Crush boys this summer after going to the NYCBL championship game in 2019.”
I also got a chance to speak with Crush head coach Bill McConnell who had this to say when asked about upcoming baseball this year.
“Baseball in 2021 is a must. It’s a step for the American people getting back to our normal summers. Normal summers to be defined as we go, but surveys in the Cortland region for the NYCBL show that people are craving baseball at all levels; youth, collegiate, summer ball, and professional. So, we want to get it back here and the Crush are going to come back strong this year.”
The Crush are slated to return to Cortland in June and the official NYCBL season schedule will be announced later in the year. Until then, we’ve got plenty of baseball being played to keep us fans busy and satisfied.