Dowagiac cancels summer baseball, softball seasons

DOWAGIAC — The Dowagiac Youth Baseball and Softball Association has joined the growing ranks of summer youth sports leagues in canceling its 2020 season.

Tim Feirick, league president, announced on Thursday night that the league would have to cancel the season as there is no way to hold a meaningful season with the time left.

Dowagiac had set a deadline of June 1 to get practices under way and host games shortly after that, but when Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced she was extending the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through June 12, a decision had to be made.

“We hung on as long as we could,” Feirick said. “With other communities canceling their seasons, that meant less opponents that we would have for our teams, so unfortunately we had to cancel it today.”

Dowagiac is no longer affiliated with Little League International, which has decided to allow players from leagues that are canceling their seasons to go to another league that is still planning to have games.

Teams just over the border in Indiana are keeping their registrations open for players who want to still play baseball this season according to Feirick.

“We didn’t want to keep pushing families out having them waiting for an answer, and with no clear direction out of Lansing on what to do with youth sports, we decided this what was in everyone’s best interest.”

Feirick said the board talked Thursday night about keeping their options open.

“We talked about later in the year, if things start to open up, in the case there are none of the fall contact sports, we might be able to do something that that point and time,” he said. “We are going to keep meeting every month and monitoring what is going on.”