ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Little League World Series was canceled last week for the first time in its history, crushing the dreams of 12-year-olds who were hoping for their chance to play at Williamsport.
“A lot of kids, that’s their year, when they’re 12-years-old, to try and make that team, to get to the Little League World Series,” says Tom Caputo, Fairport Little League President. “A lot of kids were really disappointed with that.”
However, there’s still hope that a season can happen for teams locally, with leagues optimistic they can provide some normalcy for their kids.
“The key mission of Little League is, and youth baseball or youth sports, in general, is to just get the kids out playing,” says Alan Dungey, Webster Athletic Association Baseball President. “The top rewards, the world championships, aren’t nearly as relevant right now as giving the kids a chance to get out and play.”
The leagues will heed the guidance of local health officials, with many precautions being considered to keep everyone safe.
“It’s still in conversation, how many fans we have there, whether or not the kids can be in the dugouts next to each other,” says Caputo. “So, we’re still working on that, still working on if the kids are going to have to play with masks. We really don’t know those yet.”
With Governor Cuomo’s phases in mind, district organizers figure that the season won’t be able to start until July 1st or later. The priority will be getting as many games in as possible for everyone.
“We’re out here, we’re ready to go, and as soon as they allow us, I want the kids to know that we have a great group of people that are going to do whatever we can to make sure they get to play some baseball this summer,” says Dungey.