Baseball during COVID-19

Nazareth baseball players huddle pre-COVID-19

Photo by Karen Milano

Nazareth baseball players huddle pre-COVID-19

Gabby Walsh

The Nazareth Academy baseball season was cut short last year because of COVID-19. Naz was not alone; as a result of the restrictions put on school sports, many student athletes from around the world were prevented from being able to take part in their sports’ seasons.

Major League Baseball was even affected by the pandemic when the regular season that should have started in April of 2020 was postponed. The MLB website made the announcement in March. “Major League Baseball, in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, has suspended the remainder of Spring Training games and has delayed the start of the 2020 regular season and fans will have to wait longer than expected for a baseball season to start.”

Many on the Naz baseball team were excited for the season to begin and they believed they were off to a great start. They were disappointed when they found out they were not able to play and enjoy the  upcoming season. “I was super sad because I felt we were going to have a really good season and our team was looking up for this season,” said Sophomore Jude Cortez.  

“When the IHSA released its first schedule for high school baseball for the coming Spring of 2020, I felt cheated…””

— Jude Cortez

During the pandemic, Major League Baseball (MLB) has also taken special precautions as to what players are expected to do. Before the season started, they announced that it would be shortened and that no spectators would be allowed in person.  

While it might seem like there is a big difference between high school and professional athletes, when it comes to the challenges of COVID-19, there is not much difference in the way the athletes feel. Washington Nationals outfielder, Adam Eaton told The Announcer, “Other than the rules set forth by Major League Baseball, the team dynamic really hasn’t changed. We must social distance in the locker room; we have to temper our “high fiving” or general excitement expressed to our fellow teammates when they hit a home run or make a great play.” 

The Nazareth baseball team has had some thoughts as to what will happen this coming spring season. Senior Joe Milano says, “My prediction is that we will be a talented team. We will come back stronger than before since there was no season last year. We will have ten seniors on the Varsity team this year. If we have a state tournament I think this team can make a deep run in the playoffs.”

Obviously there are many factors that play into a regular Nazareth baseball season as well as the Major League Baseball season. Most fans would love to enjoy a summer baseball game in person, but there is still enjoyment in watching professional baseball on TV. By next spring, baseball fans are hoping baseball players will be back on the field so they can be back in the stands.