BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Over each weekend in the month of June, the Louisiana Knights baseball teams will call MGM Park home, playing games open to the public throughout the day with socially distant seating restrictions.
But just who are the Louisiana Knights?
“It comprises of mostly high school kids. We have 24 teams within our high school organization, along with some youth and high school affiliates," said program advisor Karr Shannon. "The footprint of our organization extends to east Texas, through the state of Louisiana, Mississippi, lower Alabama and the panhandle of Florida.”
As an overwhelming cloud of doubt looms over the 2020 minor league and major league baseball seasons, the ballpark was vacant, and the Knights took advantage of the opportunity.
“I thought of this on a whim," Shannon said. "I picked up the phone and got a hold of Hunter Reed, the general manager of the Shuckers, and we started getting the ball in motion and worked out the logistics from there. Baseball is back here in Biloxi.”
Each game will be streamed online, which gives families unable to travel a chance to watch, but also provides an avenue to help provide players with exposure to scouts at the next level.
“Given the situation with the COVID pandemic, and also the NCAA making this a recruiting dead period, it allows coaches to evaluate each and every one of our kids right here by streaming online," Shannon said. "They can evaluate the talent here within our organization.”
While the kids are getting much-needed playing time after a dormant spring, they aren’t the only ones benefiting from the experience.
“It’s providing baseball back here, it’s providing hotels being filled and restaurants being filled," Shannon said. "So it’s a win-win not only for our organization, but for the Biloxi Shuckers, and for the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”