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VFW baseball practices begin in New Ulm

NEW ULM — Last week, New Ulm VFW Silver coach Mark Grossmann got the news he’s been waiting to hear for a long time: baseball practice and activities can resume.

New Ulm VFW had an unofficial practice on Saturday at the New Ulm Middle School field. There were about 15 players that reported for the last-minute practice.

“Last Monday, two of the VFW 15-year-olds called me and asked me if we were going to have VFW ball, and I told them probably not, it doesn’t look good,” Grossmann said. “On Tuesday, I got an email from John Fischer that said that we’re calling legion board meeting because the state VFW has not closed and District 2 would like to make a league schedule. So I texted those two kids back and said there’s practice at 10 o’clock on Saturday.”

As of now, Grossmann said that New Ulm would have the VFW Gold (16-U) and VFW Silver teams this summer and he thinks there will be around 26 or so players out this summer for VFW baseball. He said that the goal is to have games going by July 1, but the league will schedule games the weekend of June 27th in case they are able to play them. Bob Weier was approved to coach the New Ulm VFW Gold team on Monday.

Of course, the state has to clear baseball as a sport that can be resumed. Once that happens, there’s still no idea as to where they would play their games with the possibility of American Legion baseball being able to play some games and amateur baseball that is hoping to get going locally.

“That is something that we honestly don’t have an answer to right now in any way shape or form,” Grossmann said. “As far as park usage, we honestly don’t know.”

Grossmann said that there will be practice at North Park at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Those aged 15-16 can call him at 507-276-1947 or just show up if they’re interested in playing this summer.

While there are plenty of questions that remain to be answered, Saturday was a step in the right direction for baseball in New Ulm.

“It was a light practice, the kids seemed to like being there a lot, it’s a little bit like they got a sense of normalcy back for an hour and a half,” Grossmann said. “I had one that messaged me and he told me point blank that he didn’t know how much he missed baseball until they took it away from him. I think they’re pretty excited.”

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