After a two-month delay, the 2021 PBLO regular season kicked off on Saturday as seven different organizations across three divisions showcased some of the finest youth baseball prospects in the province. Both coaches and players alike raved about how excited they were to have competitive games again. And despite the wait, it marked the beginning of things returning to normal again.
Across the 15U, 16U, and 18U divisions, everyone was ecstatic about returning ot the diamond. No longer will we have to hope that “baseball will come back, we just have to be patient.” Now, we all can get into the mentality — similar to fans of football — where we can prepare each weekend for the next opponent. Quietly checking the standings and schedule as you make scenarios that cumulate to a league championship. That is the baseball we grew up with and that is what has come back to our lives. And it’s about time.
In the shuffle of the season, we forget that this past weekend was the debut for many players who wish to play elite baseball before college. Will Lewis of the 16U Tecumseh Thunder is one of those players, and he expressed his gratitude for finally getting to compete on the field. “Overall for my first game of genuine elite baseball, I had a blast.” Lewis showed up in a big way pitching four innings without giving up a hit, racking up four strikeouts against the 16U Ontario Yankees. “It felt for the first time I was actually able to play real baseball which I haven’t done in forever,” exclaimed Lewis. “We had a competitive game on Sunday and I really enjoyed it even though we lost.” Even in the losses, players are happy to get baseball back into their lives again.
As expected, coaches and executives around the league were thrilled to hear that baseball was resuming play for this past weekend. Ken Babcock, Franchise Director of the Oshawa Legionaires, had a wonderful time watching the games unfold this weekend. “It was exciting to see the return of PBLO baseball this past weekend across the province. It provided a sense of normal and it was amazing to see players, coaches and teams back on the diamond doing what they love.”
As each week progresses, we will see which teams make the push to the front of the pack in each division. Players have this time to prove how hard they worked during the stoppage, bringing their competitive nature to the forefront of each opportunity they get in the field. Babcock and the rest of the province can’t wait to watch how the next few months resolve themselves in the shortened season. “It was a very positive start to the 2021 season that was finally able to resume and it sets the tone for some very entertaining elite baseball this season leading up to the PBLO Championships in late August.”