Honkers “Ready”, Eager to Play
ROCHESTER, MN. – The Rochester Honkers baseball club announced today that they have their Readiness Plan in place to open Mayo Field and are eager to begin their 2020 season whenever they are provided clearance to open.
Rochester, one of the Northwoods League’s founding teams, has continued preparing for it’s 27th season of play despite the restrictions that have been put in place in the state of Minnesota. Noting that other teams within the Northwoods League have begun preparations to play, the Honkers want to join their fellow affiliates.
“While we are certainly happy for them, it’s also frustrating at the same time to see other teams within our same league now being able to get their stadiums ready to play and start inviting their players to their respective cities to begin pre-season workouts,” exclaimed Honkers co-owner Chris Goodell, who is also part of the groups that manage the La Crosse (Wis.) Loggers and Mankato MoonDogs.
The Bismarck (N.D.) Larks have publicly stated that they are looking to begin play on June 15 while multiple teams from Wisconsin are receiving the go-ahead to play, including the La Crosse Loggers and Green Bay Booyah. All five Northwoods League teams in the state of Minnesota continue to wait without the ability to generate much needed revenue to keep their baseball businesses moving forward. Like the Honkers, the Willmar Stingers are also ready and awaiting the green light.
“It’s no secret that we’re a seasonal business that fully depends on fans in our stands during the summer months and the support from our great community sponsors to operate,” shared Goodell. “We only have a finite window to get in our home games and, if we don’t get clearance soon, that window will be closing.”
Being outside in a facility like Mayo Field certainly provides its advantages when it comes to providing a safe haven for fans says Honkers general manager Jeremy Aagard. “Our readiness safety plan illustrates that we can provide social distance seating options in our ballpark and being outdoors during this time is definitely advantageous. Furthermore, the game of baseball itself provides a great deal of social distancing within the game.” Aagard continued, “We’ve provided our readiness safety plan to the park & recreation department who oversees Mayo Field, they’ve been tremendously helpful and great to work with.”
The Rochester Honkers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 27th 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 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including 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 Zimmerman (DET) and Curtis Granderson. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.rochesterhonkers.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Honkers as your favorite team.