Kalamazoo, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers and Mac Daddies are postponing tonight’s game, July 8th after the Kalamazoo County Health Department and Sheriff’s office visit to the stadium this morning informing the teams not to play the game of baseball.
The team was notified that if the team played under the premise of Executive Order 2020-133 “Restarting professional sports”, that professional players are safe to play baseball if 6 feet distancing was maintained to the extent compatible with the sporting activity. Because the teams are composed of college athletes, the teams do not qualify for the professional sports exception unless their players were paid, which would forfeit their college eligibility.
If the team played under the premise that the players were amateur athletes, the same sport of baseball that is safe to play for professional athletes under Order 2020-133 is not permissible for amateur athletes because they must maintain six feet distance from one another “at all times” during such activities, pursuant to Executive Order 2020-110.
All players are tested for COVID-19 upon their arrival. Players, coaches, umpires and staff take a health screening and daily temperature check. Bronson Sports Medicine trainers are on site every game and practice and team doctors are advising the team on safety precautions. Equipment is designated for each player and wiped down throughout the game. Staff, players and coaches are required to wear masks when not actively participating in the game and players are maintaining 6 feet distance in dugouts, bullpens, national anthems, and all other areas pre-game and post-game to the maximum extent possible.
The Growlers were only allowing 100 attendees in their 4,000+ seat stadium (2.5%). Although they are still allowed to have spectators at the field, they have been informed that they may not allow amateur baseball players to perform in front of those spectators because amateur baseball players cannot be within six feet of each other during the game. The Growlers hope to have more clarity as to the timing and reasoning behind this abrupt decision after receiving prior approvals as of June 29th. The Growlers have consulted its legal counsel, Willis Law, which is currently addressing this matter with the County and Attorney General.
Anyone that has tickets for games missed will have tickets for future games later this summer and Growlers representatives will be contacting those ticket holders with updates. Games later this week could be postponed as well and the team will have future updates as the team is notified.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.growlersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Growlers as your favorite team.