SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For baseball players across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has postponed or even cancelled their seasons. But this weekend, 16 teams from across the country are getting the chance to play again at the Sioux Falls Cyclones Swingfest.
Teams from as far away as Washington made the trek to Sioux Falls this weekend, just to play some baseball.
“We can’t even practice, can’t do anything. the senior’s are missing their senior year of baseball. We did a little research, found out baseball was going to be resuming out here so we made a choice as a program to take a road trip and come out where they’re playing baseball,” Avengers Baseball Club President Errin Jewell said.
For many of the Avengers players, this was their first time visiting South Dakota. So they took advantage of the 24-hour road trip.
“I think they’re having a great time. We stopped in Rapid City, we got to see Mount Rushmore, Deadwood, and just got to see a lot of the country. We had a great time traveling. We made a few stops at National Parks along that way that were open thank goodness. We’re just making a long trip of it,” Jewell said.
Teams have also come from Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin, and their feedback has been positive.
“I know that they’ve gone out to Great Shots, you know did a little R and R out there. You know, gone out also to here with the parks, did their practice. It’s been fantastic. They loved it,” Tournament Director Lloyd Nickel said.
Tournament officials hope the players can take some joy from a weekend back out on the diamond.
“Get an opportunity to come out and see baseball. Get away from what’s happening in the world right now, and just kind of get a little escape. Just enjoy something that we’ve not had since last year,” Nickel said.
To ensure safety, the tournament is providing safety tents with sanitizing supplies, wiping down all dugouts after use, and not allowing umpires behind home plate.
Coming up tonight at 10 p.m., KELOLAND’s Travis Fossing shows you how organizers are keeping fans safe during the tournament.