Rain, rain, go away, come again after the season’s over so we can play some ball.
That’s probably the mantra of every general manager and coach in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League (GLSCL) this season after all the games that have been canceled due to rainy weather across the region that encompasses the league.
The primary question for team officials right now is, “When are we going to make up these games?”
“We’ve got basically every date booked up now; every date that we can,” said Graders general manager Mike O’Leary during a phone conversation on Thursday evening after a home doubleheader with Lorain County was washed out.
Speaking of doubleheaders, O’Leary said the Graders are scheduled to play four twinbills in the next two weeks in an effort to get the schedule back on track. Galion plays July 11 at Grand Lake and July 14 at Northern Ohio, then returns home July 20 for two games with Lorain County.
The Graders have a single make-up game July 22 at Lima. Their fourth doubleheader is a home date July 23 against Lake Erie.
“Doubleheaders are booking up, becoming the norm,” O’Leary said.
Galion’s final regular season contest is planned for July 26 against Xenia at James D. Heddleson Field in Heise Park. The GLSCL regular season is scheduled to conclude July 27. The playoffs open July 29.
Needless to say, the window of opportunity to make up games is quickly closing.
By the way, the Graders are still mathematically in contention to reach the postseason. Galion (6-15) is five games out of the sixth and final playoff spot, which is currently maintained by Lorain County.
Every ballclub in the Great Lakes League has fallen victim to the soggy summer, which has forced the cancellation of a total of 96 games so far this season.
“It’s crazy,” O’Leary said. “This is an unprecedented amount of rainfall. Nobody’s seen anything like this.”
Galion has lost 11 games to poor weather in 2015 — second most in the GLSCL. In fact, as of Thursday, the Graders have been rained out five times this week alone.
Northern Ohio Baseball Club, based in Strongsville, leads the league in rain-outs with 12. Cincinnati and Lima are tied for third with 10.
Xenia has experienced the fewest cancellations with just five to date.
So what’s your secret, Scouts? Hmmm? Come on, share with the rest of the class.
Maybe the GLSCL should consider adding rain-outs to its statistical categories on the league website. Just a thought.
All kidding aside, canceled games still cost ballclubs money, especially if a game is called off after it’s already underway. Team transportation, umpires, etc., it adds up pretty quickly.
“Travel expense is probably the biggest concern, whether you’re going there or the other club’s coming to your place,” O’Leary said. “That’s something you have to take into consideration really early in the day. It’s something I’ve had to learn about. Letting people know early that you might not be able to play a game is critical, because it costs a lot to travel a couple of hours somewhere, hiring a driver and paying fuel.”
In spite of the canceled games, O’Leary said local fan support for the Graders hasn’t wavered. The team is enjoying good numbers of folks in the stands for home games, averaging 175-200 spectators per outing.
A season-high 1,022 Graders backers showed up for the July 5 home game. The home opener on June 6 at Heise Park saw 526 fans in the stands. A crowd of 431 was on hand for the July 3 game.
“We’ve been lucky. People are being very supportive,” O’Leary said. “They’ve been turning out great. We’ve seen a couple of nights that I don’t think they see a lot of places in the league. I’m really happy about our crowds at Galion.”Andrew Carter can be reached at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048. Connect with him on Twitter @ACGalionSports.