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Summer baseball returns to northeast Mississippi

They say baseball is America's past time, well according to some of the players from the Tupelo 49ers, it's past time that baseball returns.

Posted: Jun 4, 2020 10:45 PM
Updated: Jun 5, 2020 11:57 AM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Baseball is coming back to northeast Mississippi.

When the coronavirus outbreak hit, baseball and softball players from across the country had their seasons taken away.

On Friday Junior and Senior legion teams will compete for the first time in months.

They say baseball is America's past time, well according to some of the players from the Tupelo 49ers, it's past time that baseball returns.

"Getting back out on the field, playing the game you love with some of your friends, can't get better than that," 49ers pitcher and 1st baseman Caleb Goddard said.

Goddard was one of the many seniors who missed out on playing their final season of high school baseball, but making the 49ers team gave him a much needed morale boost.

"It's like, the last high school games you didn't know you weren't going to get to play are gone and out the window," Goddard said. "This is something to look forward to, so that's a big plus."

49ers catcher Reed Shackelford is entering his senior year at Ripley. Two of his teammates on the Tigers were seniors. One of them he gets to play with again this summer.

"The rest of our high school season was taken away, so it's big to be able to play with a bunch of guys that I know," Shackelford said. "Just being out there behind the plate, catching and hopefully we win."

The American Legion actually canceled the 2020 season. 49ers coach Mckinley Holland and other coaches in the area decided to formulate their own leagues to get their players back on the field.

"When they canceled, we all kind of got together," Holland said. "Teams that we haven't played before have reached out and said, 'Hey, we're still playing and if you guys want to play, we'd love to have you, love to come to you.'"

Even though coaches, players, and fans are ready to go and play ball, Holland and organizers are ensuring that spectators and players abide by the health guidelines put into place by the state during the tournaments. That includes an increase in hand santizer stations, volunteers will have masks and gloves on, but Holland asks fans to do their part as well.

"We've got plenty of room for people to social distance," Holland said. "We ask that you bring your chairs, stay six apart and enjoy the game because we're happy to see them here too, just like they're happy to see baseball."

The Juniors kick things off Friday at 5:30 p.m. with the Seniors following at 7:30 at the baseball field by Tupelo Middle School. The collegiate Cotton States League in New Albany is also playing its first games of the summer at BNC Park at 5 p.m.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 320107

Reported Deaths: 7378
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22291269
Hinds20741421
Harrison18444317
Rankin13917282
Jackson13731249
Madison10270224
Lee10060176
Jones8473167
Forrest7834153
Lauderdale7263242
Lowndes6523150
Lamar636088
Lafayette6314121
Washington5426137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4671110
Oktibbeha466398
Pearl River4606147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425973
Monroe4161136
Union415877
Neshoba4064180
Lincoln4009113
Hancock387087
Leflore3516125
Tate342586
Sunflower339491
Pike3372111
Alcorn327473
Scott320374
Yazoo314371
Adams308386
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298984
Simpson298589
Tippah292268
Prentiss284261
Leake272274
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264842
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248963
Tishomingo232268
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215173
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Stone188733
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174232
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135447
Greene131834
Lawrence131224
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127538
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108334
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96729
Franklin85023
Quitman82316
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66328
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 549013

Reported Deaths: 11311
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810461571
Mobile42145831
Madison35718525
Tuscaloosa26179458
Shelby25626254
Montgomery25089614
Baldwin21901314
Lee16287176
Calhoun14724327
Morgan14639285
Etowah14183364
Marshall12454230
Houston10791287
Elmore10301214
Limestone10188157
St. Clair10161251
Cullman9958201
Lauderdale9612250
DeKalb8977190
Talladega8462184
Walker7341280
Autauga7242113
Jackson6953113
Blount6950139
Colbert6415140
Coffee5638127
Dale4930116
Russell454941
Chilton4478116
Franklin431782
Covington4279122
Tallapoosa4144155
Escambia401880
Chambers3728124
Dallas3610158
Clarke353161
Marion3245107
Pike314578
Lawrence3134100
Winston283572
Bibb268564
Geneva258481
Marengo250665
Pickens237062
Barbour234559
Hale227178
Butler224671
Fayette218962
Henry194443
Randolph187644
Cherokee187345
Monroe180641
Washington170739
Macon163051
Clay160159
Crenshaw156357
Cleburne153644
Lamar146937
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124542
Conecuh113630
Coosa111629
Perry108626
Sumter105832
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
Out of AL00
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Tupelo
Clear
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Hi: 80° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 76°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 80° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 80°
Oxford
Clear
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Hi: 78° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 73°
Starkville
Clear
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Feels Like: 75°
Last night's cold front has moved on, leaving us a bit cooler and drier into Tuesday. Clouds clear out quickly, leaving us sunny into the afternoon with low humidity.
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