BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - No players in the dugout, not a single fan in the stands, or concessions being served. A bizarre sight to see for Opening Day at MGM Park, but with COVID-19 plaguing the sports world, the Biloxi Shuckers 2020 season is at a standstill.
“I was excited and looking forward to that as our whole front office and staff was ready for the first game," Reuben Wedgeworth told WLOX. "It’s very disappointing, the world is kind of turned upside down right now.”
First-year groundskeeper, Reuben Wedgeworth, was preparing for the first minor league game of his career, but will now have to wait a while longer.
“I started actually the week before the Mississippi State game, so I was here seven days before we had those first two games. Then we had the high school games," Wedgeworth said.
"It was exciting to get all of that done in a quick time frame, but here we are kind of sitting and waiting.”
Whether there’s someone throwing out the first pitch or not, the field has to be ready for whenever baseball returns.
“Well, we wanted to kind of set it up to where it looked like Opening Day. I did everything, mowed this morning, did everything as far as the infield dirt goes and got it ready," Wedgeworth said.
"Put bases out, chalked the home plate, got the mound ready for nobody, but we got it ready— just in case. We don’t know when we’re going to play, we don’t know exactly. We’re going to play baseball this year I feel like. We’re just excited to get to that point where we can get people back out here.”
Reuben is the only full-time grounds crew worker. He noted his game-day staff is waiting anxiously for the season to start, so they can be paid as well.
As for the Shuckers themselves, the MLB has agreed to pay minor league players a $400 weekly stipend until May 31st.