The rosters are set and the location has been finalized and all that appears that is left to be done is to play ball.
The Ohio Veterans 4 County Memorial All-Star Games will take place at Ottawa Memorial Park with four games beginning at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The first contest will feature the WZOQ BVC All-Stars taking on the WZOQ BVC All-Stars beginning at 5 p.m. followed by a game at 7:30 p.m. featuring players from Lima Senior, Findlay, Ottawa-Glandorf, Perry, Elida and Delphos St. John’s against a team comprised of players from Shawnee, Celina, Bath, Kenton, Van Wert and St. Marys.
On Saturday, a doubleheader will be held featuring the WZOQ Putnam County League All-Stars facing off against each other with recent high school graduates from Continental, Miller City and Kalida against Pandora-Gilboa, Columbus Grove, Leipsic and Fort Jennings players as the opposition. This will be followed by an NWC All-Star game featuring players from Ada, Bluffton, Allen East, Paulding, Spencerville, Delphos Jefferson, Crestview, Hardin Northern, Upper Scioto Valley and Lincolnview.
Abram Escamilla, head coach at Allen East and organizer of the event, said it as been a tough process but worth it to see seniors get one final opportunity to get on the diamond.
“It is going to be a fun night,” Escamilla said. “Everybody said it is a lot of work and I am willing to do the work because I am doing it for the seniors and to give them one last chance to play. This is what we are doing it for. A lot of hard work went into this for it to happen.”
Finding the facilities and ironing out the details on what could and could not be done was one of the toughest tasks that Escamilla dealt with for the event.
“We had to go through a lot of little details,” said Escamilla who said he got tremendous help from Dave Kersh. “Obviously we got the (Putnam County) health department on board to help us out with everything that we needed to do. We talked to everybody from the park committee, the mayor and the health department just to make sure we were following all the guidelines that were set forth and making sure everything was in order to be able to hold this event there.”
Escamilla said spectators, media and players will all have to follow the strict guidelines. Spectators must adhere to the 6-foot social distancing practice in and around the bleachers for anyone not in the same family.
Coaches, media and umpires must also adhere to social distancing. Players will have their own restroom facilities to use and avoid high fives and handshake lines as well as not sharing water or equipment. No spitting or using seeds, gum or other similar products.
“We are also going to announce that every inning or as much as we can over the PA to practice social distancing and also when players are in the field of play they are not allowed to leave,” Escamilla said. “Just some little things like that that we are doing. We are trying to keep everyone as safe as we can.”
Climbing on board to help broadcast the games was Zsportslive.com and three of its outlets, wzoqradio.com, zportslive.com and zsports3.com will be airing the event live. In addition it will be shown on its Facebook page live.
“We are also going to record the games and at a later date it is going to be shown on the Glandorf local channel just to allow other people who are worried about coming out (to view the games),” Escamilla said.
As far as fans are concerned, Escamilla said they are recommending that family, media and coaches and volunteers to come out but added that they won’t turn anyone away based on capacity and restrictions in the stands.
Escamilla added that they are still looking for volunteers to help with registration of players, crowd control and other areas where individuals might be needed.
As for on the field, Escamilla is excited about the number of players willing to participate in the event. Because a number of these players, in particular pitchers, have not seen live action there will be ample opportunity for these guys to see game action.
“There is just a lot of talented baseball players in this area,” Escamilla said. “It is good that some of them agreed to it and want to do their best. “
Pitchers will be limited to one inning, possibly two depending on pitch count.
“We are looking at just one inning per pitcher,” Escamilla said. “We have enough good arms that we can get through a seven inning game. I am excited because there are a lot of good arms that will be showcased.”
For more information go to the 4 County All Star Game Facebook page.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.