On June 30, 2020, Minor League Baseball officially canceled its 2020 season. Caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the cancellation marks the first time since its founding in 1901, that the Minor League Baseball has had to cancel a season for America’s favorite pastime.
The historic announcement, though not surprising at the time as it came on the heels of other shutdowns hitting the country, sent shock waves through the entire baseball community. From fans to players, advertisers to concessionaires, not one member of the baseball family was left untouched by the crippling situation.
If baseball is a quintessential American experience (and it is), then its response to the pandemic should be an “American” one, marked by optimistic grit, perseverance, and ingenuity. Which is what we’ve seen from many minor league teams. For example, instead of mothballing stadiums, some teams are renting field space for farmers markets and drive-in movies.
“The Pensacola Blue Wahoos and Salem-Keizer Volcanoes have turned their ballparks into AirBnB properties for fans to rent out overnight. Others have begun hosting in-park restaurants, farmers markets, drive-in movies and anything else teams can dream up to get a few drops of revenue in an otherwise arid season.”https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/the-2020-minor-league-season-is-canceled-so-what-happens-next/
The pain that baseball is experiencing is a reflection of the pain the entire country is feeling in light of this year’s pandemic. And even though we aren’t able to spend a summer afternoon in the grand stands watching a game while munching on a hotdog, Americans can still benefit from what baseball is doing for us during the pandemic: baseball is teaching us how to be innovative, how to be optimistic, and how to be enterprising.
Baseball will pull through this pandemic, and so will all of us. Let’s remain focuses, optimistic, careful, and encouraging for those around us. Before you know it, this pandemic will be over and we’ll once again gather together in the grand stands, where I look forward to singing “Take me out to the ball game!” with you, soon!