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A later start date for baseball could benefit the sport

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–For years West Virginia head baseball coach Randy Mazey has pushed for the baseball season to start later in the spring.

With the baseball season being canceled this year just weeks in due to COVID-19, Mazey’s proposal makes sense. 

However, the fiery coach knows there is more important things going on currently.

“I haven’t pushed it because I think number one on everybody’s agenda right now is the health and safety of people so I don’t think this is any kind of time to push an agenda but when all this came down and we got turned around on a Thursday on our way to Lubbock, when the bus got turned around, by Thursday night I had a Big 12 schedule printed up and a pencil and paper,” Mazey said. “I went through all the Big 12 teams and did a mock schedule starting on June 1st and ran through June and July, did all that and made it work. If somebody in all the conferences and meetings they had, if somebody ever entertained that thought then I was just here to show them it’s possible.”

Originally, the Mountaineers were just going to miss one weekend but one became two and so on until the season was ultimately canceled in mere days.

That triggered Mazey’s gears to start turning.

“When it got pushed back even further I did another mock schedule that started in August and I got all the Big 12 team’s football schedules and did two different baseball schedules, one in which no team would play a series at home during a home football weekend and that was possible. But I also did one that you could play a home baseball weekend during a home football game. 

“I just thought if we played Oklahoma in football on a Saturday and everybody’s in town and we hosted Texas in baseball that weekend and play the single game Friday night and potentially a double header on Sunday, I think that every home game we would of played would of looked like the regional we hosted as far as crowds. Normally our biggest crowd of the spring is the day of the spring football game. If people come to town, 40,000 or 50,000 people come to town to see a football game and a lot of them get here on Friday night. What better way to spend a Friday night than going to see a Big 12 baseball game? Again, I wasn’t pushing it, but I wanted to show people that if they wanted to go that route that it was possible. At this point that’s water under the bridge because nobody decided that they wanted to go that route. To answer your question in a roundabout way when all of this is over and it does pass and we do have a sense of normalcy again, I definitely think we need to revisit it.”

Football is an extensive revenue generated sport, where baseball isn’t. Large crowds from football games, rolling into baseball stadiums increases the attendance and revenue for the sport. 

When WVU hosted a regional last season, Mon County Ballpark was filled to the max. Fans couldn’t get tickets.

In theory, every game could be that way if games were played on football weekends. 

However, that is something to be discussed in the future,

Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS

Shanna Rose
WVU Graduate with a bachelor's in journalism and multimedia journalist. Sports Fan and sports writer. Former WVU News reporter. Contact Shanna on Twitter @SMR1837
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