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Out of town action at Tottenham baseball diamond

August 13, 2020   ·   0 Comments

The baseball diamond at the Tottenham Community Centre is getting a lot of action these days, but the teams that are making it their home field all happen to be from out of town.

With teams having difficulty securing facilities in their hometown, several leagues are booking the Tottenham diamond for home games.

“Our home facility is at St. Andrews College (Aurora),” explained Titans head coach Lawrence Vera. “Due to the pandemic, the College has been restricted outside renters the use of the facility for safety reasons. We’ve had to look at alternatives. Our kids come from all over Ontario. We have kids from York Region, Peel, even Durham. It’s travel team so we travel as far west as Windsor and as far east as Ottawa.”
On Sunday, August 9, the Titans were playing a double header against the Rockies who hail from Hamilton. It is an 18 and under division.

Many areas have still not opened baseball diamonds so teams that want to play have to look elsewhere.

“I’m just glad we have a place to play,” Vera said. “Diamonds are very tough to come across in this province. One of two hardball diamonds are open in Newmarket and the local association gets first rights at it, so we don’t really have a chance there.”

Teams playing the sport are limited to certain restrictions that effect players, coaches, and spectators.

Players are not allowed in the dugout and sit outside spaced six feet apart. Spectators must adhere to social distancing and are not allowed to use the bleachers.

There are also limitations on the diamond during play, including having only one umpire who makes the calls from a place behind the pitcher. That not only makes it difficult to make a call if a play happens at more than one base, it’s difficult to judge a ball going down the foul line from that angle.

The Titans’ season got underway on August 1. Normally, they would be wrapping up the season at the time.

“The challenge really is the foul lines,” Vera explained. “They can’t see the lines from there. Right now, we’re using the coaches to help out for that. Nobody is allowed in the dugout, they all have to stay six feet apart. Coaches have to wear a mask if they go out to the mound to talk to the pitcher. Every team, when on defence has to use their own ball. The umpires aren’t holding balls, we throw them out from the dugout. Each team has to retrieve their own foul balls.”

Despite the challenges, the players are enthusiastic about just getting out there and enjoying their sport.

“Most kids are just happy to be out there. Adjusting to the strike zone will be a little different. I’m just happy to be playing baseball,” Vera said.

By Brian Lockhart

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