Pandemic. Social distancing. Quarantine. None of that mattered last week as players came out in droves to nearly set an long-standing Veto League record.
After an already two-week delayed late start and among much health uncertainty, Veto League Baseball pulled the trigger on kicking off its 23rd season on May 16 at Northwest Park in Davenport. This was followed up by a Tuesday evening double header also at Northwest. Both days were a massive success.
Maybe it was opening weekend restlessness. Maybe it was two months without sports. Maybe it was softball and other physical activities still on hiatus. But Veto League saw 31 players on Saturday and another 30 on Tuesday. The 31 players tied for second most ever in a Veto League game (33 - Talons vs Meteors Opening Day 2009; 31 - DJ Kitty vs Cannons 2017). Tuesday's game set a record for a week night contest.
The season featured ten debuts. The league also welcomed back six players who hadn't played in 3+ years (Matt Holem, Brian Holem, Glen Hostens, Rock Hoxie, Jared Hurlbut and Anthony Reese). Saturday was sunny and 70s, with many players sticking around for a rare triple-header (the first one in years!).
Early season leaders include Ryan Barton's 8 runs batted in, Hixson's 5 doubles, Jimi Havemann's 2 triples and Matt Holem's 2 homeruns.
Edwin Moore and Brandon Bollman also coached their first games as official captains. Moore's Admirals narrowly fell to veteran Johnny Readus' Racketeers while Bollman's Bears were handed a 18-1 drubbing by Josh Paul's Goonies. Returning captain Alex Miller defeated the Goonies on Opening Game 20-9 and the Racketeers and Mason Overmire's World Series defending champion Heavy Hitters split games on Saturday.
Veto League continues urging players to maintain safety and asks that everyone bring their own equipment (glove, bat, batting gloves, water) if possible. Also players are discouraged from congregating in the dugouts.
Games continue this Saturday/Sunday/Tuesday in Davenport. Check the "schedule" for specific times and locations.