WAYNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Friday is Outdoor Batting Cage Day across New Jersey.
It’s one of the outdoor activities that Gov. Phil Murphy has given the OK to reopen, but what about other outdoor softball and baseball activities? When will they be given the go-ahead to hit the field again?
Beth Gorab, the co-owner of PS2 Baseball in Wayne, wants to know, so she decided to make a video to send to the governor on behalf of the 8,000 small baseball businesses, nonprofit recreational leagues, teams, parents and umpires that make up the New Jersey Baseball Coalition.
“We want to work with you to get these kids safely back on the field June 1. There’s a way to do it. We have a plan. We need your help, and we need you to listen to us,” Gorab says in the video.
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If you're a small business owner or a baseball parent, (or both, like I am), please watch. My business, PS2 Athletics, has been closed for 9 weeks with no end in sight. We've all been willing to sacrifice and our efforts have worked extremely well. But now it's time to regroup…
The group has already made a PowerPoint presentation that illustrates, among other things, the safety precautions that would be taken, which were sent to the governor.
“I got angry. I got frustrated. I’ve never done it before,” Gorab said. “There’s gotta be a way to do this. I had the feeling, we all had the feeling in the coalition that youth sports in general was at the very bottom of the priority list.”
On Thursday, CBS2’s Otis Livingston traveled to Trenton to ask the governor himself how long it would be until those other baseball and softball activities could safely reopen.
“We’re not there yet. I would just ask folks, both the mom in Wayne as well as everybody, please, keep doing what you’re doing. Know that it’s something that we want to get to without question. It’s overwhelmingly, the rationale to be able to do it, assuming you could do it safely, is overwhelming. It’s mental health, it’s physical fitness, it’s going out cheering for our kids, it’s all the reasons why we do sports and it’s illicit. I hope we get there sooner than later,” Murphy said.
Gorab also said she believes the mental side of being cooped up inside is one that can’t be overlooked. She says the kids are depressed and edgy, their sleep cycles are all fouled up, and they’re not with their friends.
She fears the longer it lasts, the more of a domino effect it will have.
For now, it’s just wait and see.