NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — While many sports leagues have been canceled this summer due to the pandemic, there’s a new college baseball league coming to Newport this summer.
The four-team baseball league has featured some of New England’s best college players. Brutti, one of about 50 players registered for the Newport Collegiate Baseball League, hasn’t played a meaningful game since the beginning of March.
“I’ve been really itching to play and I think the rest of my teammates have been too,” Brutti said. “Everyday you wake up in the morning and you just want baseball to come back.”
The pop-up summer league is being organized by Newport Gulls Director of Operations Mike Falcone.
“I always wanted to play baseball, even if the Gulls weren’t playing,” Falcone said.
Falcone is working to fill out rosters for an 18-game season at historic Cardines Field. The season is planned to run from July 10 to Aug. 19, as long as Gov. Gina Raimondo approves the state’s move to Phase 3 of its reopening plan.
“They already got their school season taken away,” Falcone said. “This is a big step back in their professional careers.”
There will be big changes if and when play begins, including teams sitting socially distanced in the stands and the catcher, base runner, base coaches and umpires wearing masks.
Brutti said there may be an adjustment period, “probably for the first two or three games, but after that it will become normal.”
“I feel comfortable playing in the league one hundred percent. Baseball hasn’t been back and I just want to play,” he added.
Registration is ongoing on the league website. The deadline is July 3. Falcone is hoping each team will be comprised of 20 to 25 players and that each team will play three games a week.