I was on my Florida spring baseball trip when all the cancellations started. I am a freshman baseball player at Westminster College, a small division three school in Pennsylvania. All I heard about since I arrived at school was how much fun this trip was and how I was going to make memories that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. On Thursday night, the seniors were all called to the coach’s house for a meeting. We all knew what it was about. During the trip, we didn’t think about the virus at all before that night. Obviously, we knew what was going on, but our main focus was to go out there and play ball. The hours we spent in the gym, in the cage, and on the field were finally going to pay off.
At this time, the NBA was suspended, the NCAA just came out and canceled all winter and spring championships, the MLB suspended its operations, and tons of other events were being postponed. When the seniors came back, we saw the looks on their faces and immediately knew something was up. They told us that our conference play was suspended but our games will go on tomorrow. I couldn’t imagine what was going through the seniors heads. The thought of their season coming to a close so soon. It was late so we went to sleep, not knowing what tomorrow would bring.
Friday morning didn’t feel right and I will never have the words to describe the atmosphere. I personally, didn’t feel like playing and our minds were on one thing. No one spoke throughout warmups and during BP there was hardly any chatter. The game began and we knew this could be it for our seniors. In the top of the third our coach got a call and I would’ve never imagined what was going to happen next.
He pulled us off the field and at that moment everyone knew what was going on. He called us over to left field and told us, “The president of the school has suspended all athletics until further notice”. We all knew what that meant, that was it. We all burst into tears. It felt like someone died and I truly hope I never go through any of that again. I wasn’t crying because my season was over. I was crying because their season was over. They took me under their wing, showed me the way, showed me what the “grind” truly was. They did so much for me on and off the field in the short time I got to know them. They became my brothers and my heart was broken for them. The game that they have been playing since they were little. The year they had been preparing for since they first got to school. The game they got up for at 6 AM and worked their tail off for. It was their moment, their year, and it was taken from them in a matter of seconds.
To the people who say, “It’s just a game”, they are wrong and they have never had a passion for anything. It’s not just a game. It’s a bond. You build relationships that you can’t build anywhere else in the world. The memories you’ll have and the stories you will tell. Your teammates become family members. I know there are thousands of athletes who are all going through the same thing right now. Whether it is in high school or college, we all feel the same pain. This is uncharted water for everyone, but we’ll get through it. To all the seniors, I hope you find your peace and I am truly sorry for all of you.
I understand and respect the decision that every pro or college organization has made. During this time it just made me think. We take sports for granted. I know whenever I need to ease my mind, the baseball diamond is the first place I go. I know so many other athletes do this on so many other sports. I feel a part of me is gone without sports, and I know many people feel the same way. We will get through this and tell our family about the events that took place and tell them what we were doing when the sports world stood still. For now, we’ll stay ready and hope our season will continue and the suspension will end. I guess out of all of this I learned there is truly nothing like sports. I already knew that, but now it makes complete sense.