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Start of 2020 Slammers' season delayed

Unclear when team's season will resume in Joliet

By Rex Robinsonn | 4/7/2020, 11:11 p.m.
Spring is in the air and so is - at least for some - a deadly virus. That combination is ...
It is unclear when the Slammers' 2020 season will begin at DuPage Medical Group Field in downtown Joliet.

Spring is in the air and so is - at least for some - a deadly virus.

That combination is resulting in events involving the gathering of people, especially in large groups, being delayed or cancelled for the unforeseeable future.

The Coronavirus is impacting our lives in myriad ways from businesses being forced to close to people losing their jobs. A stay-at-home order in place in Illinois is designed to reduce the spread of the virus. That order was extended into May by Gov. J.B Pritzker.

That’s bad news for Joliet baseball fans. The Frontier League, which includes the Joliet Slammers which plays at DuPage Medical Group Field in Joliet, has announced they are officially delaying the scheduled May 14th start of the 2020 Frontier League season, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The League, which is the largest independent baseball league in North America, will continue to monitor the situation, and announce a start date for the 2020 season at the appropriate time, league officials said.

“The safety of our fans, players and team employees is our highest priority at this time,” League Commissioner Bill Lee said. “We are committed to doing everything in our power to play baseball in 2020 and will continue to track the pandemic as well as Federal, State and local social distancing requirements in all of our markets.”

The Frontier League has also announced the delay of the League’s annual Tryout Camp and draft scheduled for April 27th and 28th in Avon, Ohio. “It is our goal to hold our tryout camp, spring training and start our season as soon as possible,” Lee added. “Our Board of Directors is meeting weekly to monitor and discuss the situation, and we will provide updates as the pandemic progresses. We ask all of our fans, players and staff members to follow the recommendations of Federal, State and their local health officials, in hopes of slowing the spread of this virus.”

The delay of the season by the Frontier League came as no surprise to Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk.

“As far as I know everything has been delayed or cancelled,” he said. “I think right now everyone is waiting to see when we can pull out of this and start moving back to normal. I think the expectations are that numbers will continue to climb until mid-month and then hopefully the measures we all are taking will start to show some results. I would imagine that when these orders start being lifted there will be a gradual move back towards normalization.”

More information about the Frontier League can be found at www.frontierleague.com or by contacting office@frontierleague.com.