It might look quite a bit different than usual, but the Boulder Collegians aren’t going to sit out the 2020 summer baseball season.
And they’re also bringing the local show back home to Boulder.
After spending the early portion of the summer playing their home games in isolation at Bigfoot Turf Farm in La Salle, Colo., the Collegians have brokered a deal with the city of Boulder to return to their true home at Scott Carpenter Park in July. Their first game back at “Scotty” will be July 5.
“We’ve been working with the city and trying to finalize some things,” Collegians general manager Matthew Jensen said. “Unfortunately, our tradition of playing on the Fourth of July won’t happen this year for the first time since the Collegians returned. But while we’re disappointed about that, we are excited about being able to get back home. It’s really for the guys more than anything.”
While they are planning to return to their home ball park, the Collegians experience will likely be a little subdued because the club is respecting the social distancing guidelines set forth by the local city and health officials. Anyone who enters the park to attend a Collegians game must have their temperature checked, sign a liability waiver and wear a mask.
Current players on the local summer baseball club that can claim former players such as Tony Gwynn, Joe Carter and Joe Maddon have been wearing masks sewn by former head coach Taylor Henry’s grandmother and taking stringent precautions during the current pandemic. Games are being played without sharing of equipment or water, and even without sunflower seeds.
Riding a six-game win streak and with a record of 7-2, Jensen said the Collegians have enjoyed their time playing at Bigfoot Turf Farm and live-streaming games online. But there truly is no place like home, no matter the circumstances.
“For the guys, it’s been really challenging,” said Jensen, whose roster includes several former local prep-level players. “We like to tout the Collegians as the best team in the state and one of the reasons we’re able to do that is because of our facilities. When I passed out waivers to play at Scott Carpenter, the smiles were ear-to-ear. It’s a big deal to be able to play under the lights at ‘Scotty’ because it’s important to us to be playing in front of our home fans. It’s a big deal to be able to play the game at all, but being back at home is a big deal.”