SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport Little Leaguers are anxiously awaiting their chance to take another swing at their spring season.
From thefts threatening to sideline the start of play, to now the pandemic postponing it. The spring 2020 season will be one for the league’s record books.
Right now, the season should be in full swing. Instead, it’s been rain delayed and not because of the weather.
America’s pastime put on hold.
Shreveport Little League’s diamonds deserted due to COVID-19.
“Nothing’s been canceled, Little League’s calling this an ‘extended rain delay,'” said Shreveport Little League President Beau Raines.
The pandemic preventing players from stepping up to the plate.
Now the home team is really playing at “home.”
Raines is currently coaching his three sons one-on-one instead of his two teams.
“I get to spend a ton of time just working with them,” said Raines. “I’ve probably spent more time in the last two weeks just with them practicing than I have in two years.”
“It’s different because we have to practice at home,” said Jake Raines, 8. “It’s not at the field and it’s just different.”
“It’s boring,” admitted Drew Raines, 10.
The first week of March, more than 700 players gathered to celebrate opening ceremonies for the spring season.
A season that almost didn’t start.
Leading up to the first pitch, thieves stole some heavy equipment from the non-profit and damaged part of the property.
Now, in the first week of April, the only folks on the field are a flock of birds.
With the season at a stand-still, the Raines team is making the most of their time. They’re working to strengthen skills, but ready to get back in the game.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm and people want to get out on the field and are looking forward to it, when that time comes,” said Raines.
“I love baseball,” said Luke Raines, 3.
Players and coaches are still hopeful the season isn’t a complete washout. At this time, gameplay is scheduled to resume next month at around the same time their regular season was originally scheduled to end.
President Donald Trump is rooting for the games to go on, as well.
In a tweet Saturday afternoon, President Trump told Little League players to “…hang in there! We will get you back out on the fields and know that you will be playing baseball again soon…”