POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - "I can't wait to hear the crack of the bat and hear the umpire yell play ball again." Gate City Grays owner Terry Fredrickson is eager to get the 2020 season started. He just doesn't know exactly when that will happen.
Large venues such as Halliwell Park can open in phase four of Governor Brad Little's plan to reopen Idaho. That is expected to start on June 13.
Fredrickson hopes that can be a starting point to get the season in motion. Preparing for this season means making sure Covid-19 precautions are in place.
"We're working extremely close with the Southeast Idaho Health District to help us know protocols and procedures." Fredrickson says he is watching MLB and the Idaho Falls Chukars for ideas on how to handle the situation.
Building the team itself has been a challenge during the Pandemic. "What we do during the spring is recruit. We have our coaches out looking for guys. We have a scout out there looking for guys. Come March 1st, none of that happened."
Fortunately, Pocatello is a popular place to play. "There are guys constantly reaching out to us. One of the big draws of coming to Pocatello is that they love playing in front of this many people. It's so awesome to come out here and have this fan base."
Many professional leagues are considering playing without fans this season. Fredrickson says that is something they have talked about. "We have some people that are like, yeah, let's just have it online. And we have other people that are like, no. I want to go out there. I want to smell the grill. I want to see the grass. So we've gotten mixed reviews on that."
Safety will be the top priority when baseball returns to Halliwell Park. "The last thing you want to do is to have someone potentially put their life at risk. So it is something that we are taking extremely serious."