***Disclaimer: This is a sports column that represents the sole opinion of the writer.***
In Major League Baseball, the first game of the season is played April 5 this year between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. They start then after having spring training start on March 1 in Florida, so the snow has no effect on them. At Plattsburgh State, it is a different story.
The season for the Plattsburgh State men’s baseball team started Feb. 14 with the team traveling to Fredericksburg, Va., for a set of three games against the University of Mary Washington. The team had to travel nine hours to get to the games and played only two out of the three scheduled games — a double header on Saturday was played — and the one game Sunday was canceled because of the weather.
In Feburary most places in the Northeast still have snow on the ground because it is still winter time, but the baseball team has its games scheduled during that time to play in places where they may have snow on the ground and it is too cold to play. The game on Sunday, for example, was canceled because it was going to snow.
Last season, the Cardinals season didn’t start till March 8. That is almost a month difference between the start times of the season. How does it make sense to start the game a whole month earlier when professional sports don’t start the season until April?
PSUC last season had three games postponed and one canceled because they were unable to play because of weather. Of the games postponed, the teams never made up the games, losing four games overall from its schedule, which could have affected their record for the better.
In Upstate New York, the snow stays around till March and sometimes even early April. This gives teams no ability to be able to play outside because the fields are either covered by snow or it is still snowing outside.
While I know that, since this is a college team, the season would have to end in May when the school year ends, it still doesn’t make sense to have kids playing in the cold and snow. Baseball isn’t played like that.
Baseball is a game where you need to be able to have a feel for the baseball, to be able to throw your pitches better, have soft ground to be able to move more freely to make a play on the ball, be able to feel the bat in your hand to know where in the zone you are swinging.
If the season does need to start this early to be able to get all the games in, the schools may want to think of trying to get an indoor baseball field. While I am not talking a professional stadium, a smaller version could work for a college campus.
I understand that the campus may not be able to swing it money wise, even if they found a way to make the already existing field have the ability to be cleaned off easier or give people a chance to actually use it, then the Cards may have a chance to have their first home games earlier then April 16, two months into their season.
There needs to be a change, so baseball in Plattsburgh can play a full season. In the professionals, the season is played during the warmer months because that’s when it is best and the most games can be played. College baseball players in upstate New York need to have the ability to play the games without the worry of snow or freezing weather.
Email Nick Topping at firstname.lastname@example.org