The United Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL) season is about kick off once again. USPBL in their 6th season are excited about starting up the season. Many of the players and staff are eager to be back at the ballpark and playing the game they love. Many people do not know what the USPBL is, and what they hope to accomplish. Here is more information about the upcoming USPBL season.
What is the USPBL?
The USPBL is a four-team development league. The four teams: Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers, Eastside Diamond Hoppers, Utica Unicorns, and Westside Woolly Mammoths, all play at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica, Michigan.
Players in the league are undrafted out of college and want to be able to play the game to get to the next level. The has had 38 players have gone to the minors. One of the players, Ryan Dobnak, played in the big leagues with the Minnesota Twins.
Fans Coming Back to the Ballpark
The league had no fans in the stadium to start the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Towards the end of their season, the league decided to bring only 100 fans back to the stadium. The stadium required those fans to wear masks, and seats were socially distanced apart. Here
For this upcoming season, the USPBL announced it would allow up to 1,000 fans to start the 2021 season. As more COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen, USPBL hopes to increase the capacity throughout the season. Also, the league has not announced if fans are going to be required to wear masks.
Owner of USPBL Andy Appleby made a statement on bringing back fans, stating, “It feels like we’re just opening the park for the first time,” per Tony Paul of The Detroit News.
Players Reaction to Fans Coming Back
Players are happy about bring back fans to the ballpark. Many of the players told reporters that the games last season felt like fall ball college games. Player AJ Kullan stated on fans coming back, “Sports like this are meant to be played in front of fans. When they’re cheering and bringing energy and being loud, that’s what makes it fun.”
The players are excited about having fans return to the ballpark and hope as the league continues to grow. That more fans keep returning or coming out to support them.
Fan Experience for 2021 USPBL Season
When fans come out to Jimmy Johnson’s Field, there are many activities to do with the whole family. USPBL has the Henry Ford Macomb Kid Zone where kids can play Wiffle ball and other activities. Also, the USPBL has many theme nights to be a part of Polish-American Heritage Night, Beauty and the Beast Night, and Oldies night! Every Friday night, the league offers a firework show the whole family can watch after the game.
Opening day matchup is between Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers and Utica Unicorns. The league’s opening day includes the Unicorns ring ceremony from their championship win in 2020. After the game, families can enjoy their fireworks show! The game is schedule on May 28 at 7:05 pm. Fan can purchase tickets or watch any USPBL game on their website: uspbl.com.