Safe space is key for local baseball players as they train for possible season

Sports

(WRIC) — When the coronavirus pandemic hit, baseball was just getting started. Major League Baseball was in spring training, the college season had begun and high school teams were preparing to begin workouts.

It looked like 2020 was going to be a great year for the game, then everything stopped.

Riley Wilson, Midlothian, Va, graduated from the University of Virginia and signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2019. This year was supposed to be his first full season of professional baseball.

“Kind of a weird one to be your first one,” said Wilson. “The Phillies are really doing their job and making sure that everything on our end is where it needs to be because it’s hard for them, too. Just as hard as it is for us.”

Wilson and other players of all ages are staying game ready at facilities like RISE Baseball in Chesterfield County. A safe space to remain in shape.

“We do temperature checks at the door. We do hand sanitizing spray at the door,” said Chris Martin of RISE. “For us it’s just to trying to stick to certain guidelines…Provide them with opportunities to train.”

That meant constructing new outdoor batting cages, mounds and installing lights for players like Wilson.

In recent weeks, minor league players have been released from all 30 organizations and Philadelphia is currently paying their minor leaguers through June.

As tough as it is for Wilson to not play games, he’s proud to be with Philadelphia and have the opportunity to do what he loves.

“It’s what you do, it’s what you dream of as a kid to play professional baseball,” added Wilson.

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