Upper Peninsula U-19 Baseball League continues to take COVID-19 guidelines, prevention, seriously

UP U-19 Baseball League
UP U-19 Baseball League(RRN Sports)
Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 2:16 PM EDT
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Marquette Little League was forced to shut down last week after a coach tested positive for COVID-19, but other sports are still in play here in the Upper Peninsula.

The Upper Peninsula U-19 Baseball League has been playing games across upper Michigan for more than a month now without incident.

"We've done a good job as far as trying to social distance and space everything out, and making sure everyone is aware that even when we're done playing baseball, use common sense as it relates to being out in the public, and just being aware of your surroundings," said Derek Swajanen, manager of the Marquette Blues.

Coaches, players, and fans have been taking COVID-19 seriously, cleaning, and respecting social distancing guidelines.

“The kids are doing a great job of staying away from each other,” said Paul Julian, president of the league. “The high fives have stopped, at most there’s maybe an elbow through the line at the end of the game.”

While this is still baseball as we know it, things are different from what the players are used to; mainly, there's less interaction, and less games.

“We’re not doing overnighters, we’re not doing doubleheaders so people can get home early,” said Julian. “When we go out of town with our team, we don’t stop at restaurants, we don’t stop anywhere, we make sure that we have a full tank of gas before we leave town.”

They know that even a single positive test could mean the end of their season.

"They know that one bad thing that happens, and the next thing you know, you're not going to be doing anything until September," said Swajanen.

There's a little more than three weeks left in the season, and all involved hope to make it through the final game without anyone getting sick. Organizers believe that can be accomplished by remaining vigilant.

“We all have grandparents, parents, people where, COVID-19 affects their age, so it’s important for their loved ones that they do so,” said Julian.

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