The 2021 season of Flossmoor Baseball and Softball is scheduled to begin on May 15, according to Fredric Mitchell, the president of Flossmoor Baseball and Softball organization.
Although it operates within the Flossmoor baseball organization, the Chaneyville Flossmoor Baseball Academy has been playing tournaments since March, according to the Academy’s founder, Fred Chaney.
This includes a recent tournament they won in Joliet, Chaney said.
Flossmoor Baseball and Softball is a youth baseball organization that plays home field games at Flossmoor Park on Flossmoor Road.
“Baseball is one of the few activities — probably the only activity — where there’s a Homewood Baseball and there’s a Flossmoor Baseball. It’s two separate entities,” said Mitchell. “It used to be that if you had someone in Homewood sign up for Flossmoor, we would politely encourage them to sign with Homewood. […] There was a mutual, unsaid understanding back in the day. I don’t know when that changed. Now, I think both programs are just, kind of, open enrollment.”
Chaney describes the Chaneyville Flossmoor Baseball Academy as “kind of a separate entity” from the rest of the organization. The Chaneyville Flossmoor Baseball Academy is made up of preteen players. It provides more intensive training with boot camps and tournaments to learn more competitive baseball playing. Chaney said the Academy is for “the kids who really want to play on that next level.”
Mitchell said Flossmoor Baseball will be closely following all CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“I think almost all of the guidelines, at least from my Illinois perspective, are to wear a mask and to limit the sharing of equipment,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell he doesn’t want to call it a “mask mandate,” but Flossmoor Baseball is asking all adults who attend the games, either as couches or onlookers, to wear a mask. He said he wasn’t comfortable with the word “mandate” because Flossmoor Baseball is an all-volunteer organization.
“We won’t be putting our volunteers in an awkward position of having to constantly ‘mandate’ or check with people because that can be very stressful,” said Mitchell.
“We are treating the mask-wearing similar to our code of conduct policy,” he said. “Our code of conduct policy is pretty straightforward. If parents or anyone get out of pocket, you get a warning. And then if you don’t follow the guidelines, you’ll be asked to leave. And if that still becomes an issue, we have other remediation measures.”
Flossmoor Baseball players won’t be wearing masks while playing the game. This is following CDC guidelines because players are never within 6 feet of each other for long periods of time.
“Usually you’re not sitting in front of that person's face for a minute at a time. It just, kind of, a quick thing,” said Mitchell.
“[Baseball] teaches so many life lessons,” said Chaney. “It teaches focus. It teaches goal setting. My initial goal is to get to first. But once I get to first, I can’t be comfortable at first base. I have to now set a goal to get to second, third and eventually home.
“[Baseball] teaches teamwork. It teaches diversity regardless of what your color, background or gender is. I have girls on my team. When we put these jerseys on, our goal is to play together and as one,” said Chaney.