Season for Locos, GLCL pushed back to July 1

By Tom Usher -

LIMA — The Lima Locos’ season remains in flux.

For now, the Great Lakes Collegiate League pushed back the start of its season from the first week in June to July 1. A final decision on the wood-bat baseball season has yet to be made.

The GLCL’s teams held a virtual meeting late Monday night to look at possible options for this summer.

The league reviewed everything that has been laid out for businesses and crowds by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

“We have and will continue to monitor updates from health and government officials considering the impact of this pandemic,” GLCL commissioner Deron Brown said in a Tuesday release.

Brown said the next Board of Directors GLCL meeting will be held on June 1.

“At that time, we will decide whether to continue the July 1 start,” Brown said.

With all the major sports currently shut down because of the coronavirus, the Locos were scheduled to start the year on Friday, June 5, at Grand Lake’s Montgomery Field in Celina.

Many of the teams have players coming from multiple states. The Locos have players from many regions of the country.

With the coronavirus, this has created concerns around the league, including the housing of the players.

“I understand that the uncertainty of our operations is causing some anxiety and consternation,” Brown continued in his release. “Because of this highly fluid situation, we feel we need to take as much time as possible to give us the greatest chance to play.

“Our thoughts continue to be with those that have been impacted across the country. … Thank you for your support and understanding.’’

Another concern is how many fans, if any, will be allowed to attend.

Ohio limits events to 10 people maximum, which would currently rule out crowds.

That rule could change by the summer.

But for the Locos, it would difficult on several levels to operate a season without fans. The Locos are always one of the top drawing teams in the league, and a good portion of the team’s income comes from tickets and concessions.

GLCL members Cincinnati, St. Clair (Ontario) and Southern Ohio have decided not to field a team this summer because of the coronavirus.

All three have said they plan to return next summer.

Brown said in his release that would leave the GLCL with nine teams.

The Michigan Monarchs left the league this year, while Sandusky returned to the GLCL.

The Locos won the GLCL championship last year. They defeating Licking County two games to one in the best-of-three championship series.

The Locos have won six GLCL championships (1993, 2004, 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2019).

Columbus, which is no longer in the league, has won the most titles with eight.

The Locos are a charter member of the wood-bat GLCL, which was established in 1987.

By Tom Usher

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