One year of changes was not enough to stop our kids from continuing their baseball development as well as not waste a year of their lives. Nobody would have believed it would get to where we are now, but here we are. “Two weeks” turned into months, into indefinitely. But we have a light at the end of the tunnel now. While masks have covered our faces, baseball has helped form some sort of normalcy for our players, coaches, and parents alike.
Almost all of us remember where we were when the news hit of the initial shutdown, whether you were in a restaurant, watching tv, or in the batting cage, it is a vivid memory. As we began to grow accustomed to the new normal, we understood that we couldn’t just wait it out. There was a key part of life missing. Socially distant practices, limited attendance, and masks on at all times are just a few of the changes, but we were glad to oblige if we all stayed safe and could continue the passion we have for baseball.
As we saw at the professional ranks, one year off can terribly affect the on-field performance. However, players across all age groups were hitting personal bests as they remained diligent in their practices. Several players were able to commit to universities in North America, continuing the development their organizations laid the groundwork for.
A huge part of baseball growing up is the social component. Friendships that last a lifetime are made at the grassroots level and even more memories. Roadtrips, tournament wins, and walk-offs are just a few that every player can recall years later. But it’s the little things that touch us. The way your throwing partner teases you when you airmail the warmup toss over their head, or even the laughs you get from the team when you stand up and try that joke you were working on. Even though the season was a different one from years past, we did not chalk up 2020 as a loss and made the most of it with the precautions in place.
The upcoming PBLO season is currently planned to go ahead as scheduled, which is a major feat given the lack of hope we had for the majority of 2020. Safety protocols are still in place for the season, but at least the league play looks to continue with no stoppages at this point. As the availability of vaccines increases, the future looks bright for the upcoming generation of Canadian baseball players as their growth continues onward.