TORRINGTON – When restrictions due to COVID-19 were loosened by Governor Mark Gordon, allowing public gatherings of up to 25, the Torrington Tigers and the rest of Legion baseball teams from around the state were able to finally to practice as one team.
“It was nice to get everyone out there together, working through the same drills,” Tiger manager Rob Mortimore said. “We kept the infielders with the infielders and outfielders with the outfielders for the first couple weeks so there wasn’t any real comradery going on yet. It was nice to get them all out there together, let them go and have some fun.”
As a result of the loosening of the restrictions, the Wyoming American Legion chairman Cody Beers gave the go-ahead for teams around the state to begin playing games as early as Wednesday, May 20.
Social distancing guidelines will be in place at games with the six-foot rule, no handshakes, teams must stay away from each other as much as possible, entry and exit plans for teams and fans, directions for concession stands, and other mandatory team and player restrictions.
One of the biggest hurdle’s teams will face is the fact the dugouts are considered a confined space, so an entire team cannot be in the dugout at one time, forcing some members of the team to watch from the bullpen.
On the bright side to the restrictions, fans will be allowed to view the games from the stands.
“That’s the plan as of right now,” Mortimore said. “Whoever the home team is will police this. Obviously immediate families will stay together with social distancing guidelines. If we keep six feet between everybody, I think we’ll be okay. Most of the fields we have, you have the ability to park around the outfield so you can watch from there.”
For games through May 31, only a maximum of 25 persons are allowed on a playing field at a time. This includes players, coaches and two umpires. However, each team will be considered a single group.
As of now, the Torrington Tigers are scheduled to begin their season on Wednesday, May 27 on the road against conference-foe Wheatland.
“I’ve reached out to a couple teams about getting some games in this weekend to get a couple games under our belts before we go to Wheatland for a conference game. I’m hopeful we can get a game. If not, we’ll do an individual scrimmage on Saturday to see some live pitching,” Mortimore said. “I’m excited about this group. They are working well together. They aren’t taking it for granted that they are on the field. They working hard and having fun.”