If you had said a year ago that the New Ulm City Council would split 3-2 on whether the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Association (MABA) state tournament should be held in New Ulm, we would have laughed. Derisively. New Ulm loves baseball and is spending lots of money to make Johnson Park a better place to play and watch the game. Of COURSE they would let the tournament play on the city’s fields.
But the COVID-19 virus wasn’t around last year. The disease this virus causes has claimed the lives of over 134,000 people in the U.S. since March, including 1,485 in Minnesota as of Wednesday. Nearly 40,000 cases have been detected by tests in the state. For months, people have stayed home from their jobs, from school, from restaurants and bars to avoid the contact that might spread this disease.
When New Ulm was give the honor — and it is an honor — of hosting the 2020 tournament, no one anticipated a global pandemic. Now, the thought of bringing that many people from out of town into New Ulm is giving people the jitters. Will we be putting our own citizens’ health at risk by hosting this tournament?
The city council voted 3-2 on Tuesday to allow the tournament. They are putting a lot of trust in the ability of the MABA to run a health, safe tournament. We hope they are right.