Waterloo Bucks’ 2020 Opener Postponed Indefinitely
With the coronavirus pandemic putting a damper on many summer events this year, it seemed inevitable that the Waterloo Bucks' season-opener would be delayed.
The postponement was officially announced Thursday by Northwoods League officials in a press release.
"Because of the regime of governmental restrictions currently in effect and their resulting impact on the league’s ability to maintain a workable schedule, the May 26th opening date for Northwoods League teams has been postponed indefinitely league-wide," the press release said. "The League will continue to monitor the specific situation in each of the communities where it operates to see where play might safely commence, consider the league-wide impacts of each location’s status, and will adjust various contingency plans accordingly."
The Bucks were scheduled to host the La Crosse Loggers at Riverfront Stadium on opening night. According to Waterloo General Manager Dan Corbin, there has been no official announcement on when the team's 26th season might get underway.
In the press release, league officials said they "will continue to make frequent assessments, taking into consideration any local and state-wide updates, and will immediately communicate any further changes to the status of the league schedule. Fan, player, and personnel safety remains our primary focus. Because the situation changes almost daily, and differently in each area where the League operates, our approach is to remain creative, nimble, and adaptable to how each situation unfolds throughout the entire League footprint so that where and when baseball can safely be played, it will be played."
Until Thursday's announcement, Corbin and his staff had been preparing for a May 26 opener knowing of the possibility that the game could get postponed by the pandemic.
The Bucks recently announced that Casey Harms is returning as the team’s Field Manager in 2020. Harms is entering his second season with the club, after guiding Waterloo to the Great Plains East Subdivision first-half championship and a Northwoods League playoff berth in 2019.
“I'm excited to be back this summer as the field manager for the Waterloo Bucks,” said Harms. “ I appreciated the hospitality from the fans and working with each member of the organization last season. I know they are working hard to bring another great summer of baseball to the Cedar Valley. I can't wait to get back to Waterloo for Bucks baseball!”
Harms spends his time in California when he's not with the Bucks. Currently, he's the Associate Head Coach at Santa Barbara City College.
Last season, the Bucks made their first trip to the postseason since 2013. They finished their first-half title run with a 20-16 record and Waterloo ended the season with a 34-35 overall mark, a 14-game improvement in the win column from the 2018 season.