Jefferson County Poised to Host Baseball
STEUBENVILLE — Although American Legion baseball has been sidelined for the summer, on both the national and state levels due to the global COVID-19 epidemic, there will be ‘independent’ baseball played in Jefferson County in 2020.
According to Anthony Pierro, who managed Jefferson County Teramana Post 33 last summer, three teams will make up the Jefferson County Elite this year. They are 19-and-under, 18-and-under and 16-and-under.
“We’ve got close to 50 kids that want to play baseball. We’ve got parents that want their kids to play baseball,” Pierro stressed. He said the teams will be comprised of players from Steubenville, Steubenville Catholic, Indian Creek, Edison, Toronto and Buckeye Local. “We have one kid from Toronto and a couple from Buckeye Local.”
He said tryouts will be conducted starting Tuesday at State Lake Park in Richmond, which will also serve as one of the two home fields. The other is at Indian Creek Middle School on Wilson Avenue in Mingo.
“We’re ready to go. We will be playing in 4-5 tournaments on weekends and we will also play games during the week,” he noted.
With the national and state legions pulling the plug on this summer, Pierro and his staff were left scrambling to find sponsors and such.
“We’ve had 6-7 businesses in town that have really stepped up to the plate and helped us out tremendously,” he acknowledged. “Without their support, we would not be able to do this.”
Uniforms will not have any affiliation with legion baseball.
Pierro said the 19U and 18U teams will probably get a few more games this summer than the 16U just because of the amount of kids.
“I think we’ve got about 30-40 games scheduled,” he added. “That will vary with the weather and everything.”
Pierro said the teams will abide by health and safety guidelines set forth by Gov. Mike DeWine.
“The only one I have a problem with is wearing the masks,” he said. “I understand why, but I think it is a little much. We’ve ordered them, though.
“Our goal is the same as it has always been. We’re trying to get the best options of playing as many games as possible,” he said. “We want to make kids better for college.”
According to the manager, the 19U team has a good nucleus of talented players returning.
“We were looking for another good summer. We’ve got close to 10 kids returning that were at the college level last year.”
He hopes to be playing by June 7.