Players and coaches with Pasadena American Little League are eager for the moment public health officials give the OK to “play ball.”
Games have been on hold for the duration of the pandemic, but the league’s teams continue to hold practices in an adjusted, socially distanced manner, said PALL Vice President James Yin.
“We’re just waiting for them to let us know when we could play games,” he said.
In the meantime, coaches have been getting innovative to keep players’ skills sharp.
“Just a simple play going down to first base, you’re going to have to create a second base, just off to the side, six feet apart,” Yin said. “So we kind of do those kinds of socially distanced practices.”
“We do need to get back to games, because that kind of practice isn’t as useful as if they don’t have something to work towards, like game time,” Yin added. “Our whole goal is to get out there playing again.”
Last year’s opening day was Feb. 22.
Since in-person tryouts this year were precluded by pandemic precautions, the league asked players to send videos of themselves tossing a ball and demonstrating their skills “so we can create a little parity between our teams,” he said.
The number of players in the league dropped from around 500 to about 450 this season, according to Yin. “We expected a lot worse.”
Being unable to host in-person fundraisers has also dealt a blow to the league, he said.
For the players, baseball is more than just a game, Yin said.
“We think it’s important: The sense of community and camaraderie that the kids have just being with each other… kids their same age… and just be outside and run around and see their old baseball friends,” according to Yin.
More information on Pasadena American Little League is available online at http://pall.website.sportssignup.com.