Youth Baseball Players Hit the Field Despite the Heat
SHAWNEE, Kan. — Dealing with the summer sun is a fact of life for those who play baseball. A big tournament that starts on Wednesday in Johnson County has parents, coaches and players taking extra precautions to make sure everyone stays cool.
Some of the teams will play multiple games for six hours a day at 3 and 2 Stadium in Shawnee. There’s not much shade at the park so adults create their own shade while making sure kids don’t overdo it.
The 100 degree heat doesn’t scare off the hard-core baseball moms. They’re going to the park to cheer on their boys during the World Series Tournament. Sitting in the stands without any shade can quickly get anyone overheated. That’s why the smart fans set up their own shade canopy.
“It was a couple of weeks ago it started getting 100 degrees we all just thought, we could put our tents up several people have done it around here,” said baseball mom Michelle Wingerd.
There’s no escaping the sun for the players. Parents make sure their kids have plenty of wet towels with ice to cool them down when they get back to the dugout. Games are also scheduled as early as 8 a.m. so that the 8-year-olds aren’t out in the heat of the day.
“The one thing you must have is sunscreen and water lots of water,” said mom Amy Schindt.
It’s a little unusual to have triple digit heat over the four days of the tournament but the director of Johnson County 3 and 2 says with games going on all day, he’s made sure there’s plenty of water and misting stations available for fans, umpires and players.
“Canopies are encouraged. We encourage everybody to bring their own team water jugs individual water jugs,” said Jeff Chalk. Again, those ice down towels can really take the heat down on your body. If we get somebody that can’t handle it here we get them into an air-conditioned room get them iced down, watered up and then if things don’t get any better there, then we’ll call an EMT.”
That hasn’t happened so far most because Chalk says baseball fans and their coaches have been good about using common sense, sunscreen and water to fight off dangerous heat.
The tournament will continue for the next five days with little relief in sight from the heat. Teams are in town from as far away as Minnesota and Wyoming. Those families may not be used to these extremes. Johnson County 3 and 2 is making the best of what Kansas City is known for which is the summertime which is oppressive heat.