American Legion

‘Eager’ 76ers, Giants not ready to return just yet

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By Ray Hamill — As the Humboldt Eagles get set for tryouts on Monday, the county’s other American Legion baseball teams are taking a more cautious approach for now.

Both the Northern Humboldt Giants and Southern Humboldt 76ers remain optimistic of a summer season but won’t be taking any steps for at least a couple of weeks.

“We’re not moving forward quite yet like the Eagles are,” 76ers head coach Andy Olsen said. “We’re looking at the early part of June, and we’ll kind of wait and see.

“We’re eager to get going. The kids are hoping that the season will happen. They’re chomping at the bit. But at this point we just think it’s a little early.”

Giants coach Troy Ghisetti echoed the sentiment.

“Safety is No. 1,” he said. “And once we can get out there and hit the field, we will. I think all the kids want to get back on the field and play some baseball.”

Ghisetti and the Giants also will reconsider the situation in early June.

“When it’s safe and when it’s the right time to get back out there we will,” he said.

Both coaches added that they normally don’t begin until early June anyway, after the high school baseball season ends.

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“We’ll reevaluate that in two to three weeks and see what’s happening with the county regulations,” Olsen said. “We’re going to do what we feel is best and we’re going to put the players’ safety No. 1.”

The Eagles will hold their tryouts at the Redwood Fields in Cutten on Monday for three teams, their 19U, 17U and 16U.

The club board voted on Tuesday night to begin the process with “very restricted conditions,” according to 19U head coach Matt Tomlin.

“We’re going to be really careful and do it right,” Tomlin said. “And that’s the biggest thing the board stressed.”

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Restrictions will include having less than 10 players on a field at the same time, and all of them working out in separate stations to maintain social distancing.

Games will not be permitted until the county reaches phase three of the state’s reopening plan.

Tomlin says he has already received enquiries about potential games from a Sacramento team ready to travel here as soon as the restrictions are lifted.

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