By Ed Gadomski
After cancelling the 2020 season due to covid precautions, the Tri-State Baseball League returns to the diamond the weekend of May 22-23. The initial game kicks off on Saturday May 22 as Blasius Chevrolet travels to Community Field in Litchfield to take on the Tri-Town Trojans, who will be honoring Joseph Bunnell, long time starting first baseman who lost his life in a tragic work accident in March of 2020. The ceremony begins at 11:30am with the game immediately following at 12pm.
The rest of the league opens up on Sunday May 23 as the defending 2019 Tri-State Champion Terryville Black Sox open up against longtime rival Bethlehem Plowboys, Amenia Monarchs travel to Winsted Whalers, Canton Crushers will host the Burlington Hunters, the Valley Ducks play the Southington 66ers, the newest entry to the league Twisters (based out of Torrington) and managed by John Reynolds will begin a home town rivalry playing the host Torrington Rebels, and Blasius Chevrolet returns on Sunday to battle the Wolcott Scrappers. Each team will play a 17-game regular season followed by the league playoffs in August. The Tri-State league has updated our Procedures and Policies to ensure that we all remain as safe as possible and will take covid precautions very seriously to protect our players and fans.
The COVID layoff has affected the head count of teams as Tri-State will have 13 teams for the 2021 season. Five teams have dropped out since the completion of the 2019 season. The Naugatuck Dogs retire with three state championships, one Tri-State league championship and several appearances in the AABC World Series. The Litchfield Cowboys retire with four Tri-State championships in their long history. The Tribury Cave, Bristol Greeners, and Northwest Orioles will not return as well but the door is open for a possible return in 2022 for all five teams. Player commitment during the pandemic was a major reason for the drop in teams.
To help offset the loss of a few teams, the Tri-State league and the Connecticut Twilight league have partnered to play 16 regular season inter-conference games against one another this year to add more competition to regular season play. Tri-State will send its regular season champion to the Stan Musial State Tournament the end of July. Tri-State Commissioner Ed Gadomski will serve as the state tournament director. The winning team will go on to represent CT in the AABC East Coast Stan Musial World Series in Weymouth, MA being held from August 12-15. The Tri-State league World Series is scheduled to be played August 18-20. Full Schedule and league updates can be found on the Tri-State Baseball League website at tristatebaseballct.com.