MYB not ready to give up hope for potential season

Cash Martin prepares to throw an off-speed pitch to the plate in a McNary Youth Baseball game from last summer (File).

There have been several youth baseball organizations across the state that have thrown in the towel on their chances to have a season this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

McNary Youth Baseball (MYB), however is still in wait-and-see mode.

The MYB baseball program, which is in its first year in the Clackamas County Junior Baseball Association (CCJBA), is still is hoping to facilitate some kind of abbreviated season, despite multiple programs in the league saying that they won’t be participating in any kind of baseball activities this season.

“We still have a lot of people willing to stick it out and play the waiting game,” MYB President Bo Lane said. “Once stuff begins to open back up again, we will continue to push forward.”

Cleveland, Colton, Putnam, North Marion and Gladstone are just a handful of the programs in the league that have already decided to cancel their respective seasons. 

Earlier this month, the MYB board sent out a survey to all parents in the program, asking if families would rather pull their child out of the program and get a refund, or if they want to wait for restrictions to lift and have a possible season take place.

According to Lane, 66 percent of the parents said that they wanted to wait, and 34 percent of parents said that they would want to pull their kids out of the program — although Lane said that only half the parents in the program participated in the survey. 

Because of the results of the survey, the MYB board decided that they would accept refund requests for any family that got tired of playing the waiting game. 

“We respect whatever parents decided. We know they have their child’s best interest at heart and so do we,” Lane said. 

Based on those numbers, Lane says they will still be able to have a modified season if they get clearance.

“We may have to re-organize some of the teams, but there is still a lot of potential baseball to be played,” Lane said. “But we take a lot of direction from our district, so if they pull the plug, then we will too.”

Last month, Misty Gendharr, the president of CCJBA, said in a Facebook post that she believes that the organization will have a start date in May — although Lane believes a more likely start date will take place in late-June or July if they get approval. 

The MYB softball program, on the other hand, plays in the Valley Softball League. And if the league can’t start games by July 1, there won’t be a season.

One glimmer of hope for MYB is that Gov. Kate Brown announced on Thursday, May 7 new guidelines to gradually re-open the state starting on Friday, May 15, meaning that things like parks will be able to come back to existence, provided that counties get approval to begin the reopening process. 

The bad news: Brown also stated that sporting events with large crowds will not be returning in the next four months until effective prevention and treatment for the coronavirus, such as a vaccine, is available. Brown, however did not give an exact number as to what constitutes a large crowd.

“There are so many things that are up for for interpretation But the truth is we still don’t know a lot right now. Once we get clear guidelines, we will have better knowledge of our chances to play,” Lane said.