All posts by IndyBallIsland

29. Baseball fan. I prefer indy ball and the minors over the majors. If it's summer, you can find me at a ballpark. The Washington Wild Things and the Pittsburgh Pirates are my "hometown" teams, but I'm always up for taking a baseball road trip! Follow me on Twitter: @kmthomp29

Official Statement: Wild Things Suspend Season

Wild Things Suspend Season Under Threat of State Enforcement

For Immediate Release
August 10, 2020

Washington, PA – The Washington Wild Things confirm the organization was warned by the Pennsylvania State Police that a continuation of the baseball season could lead to enforcement actions. “We are extremely frustrated right now,” said Steven Zavacky, Executive Director and President of the organization, “We have done everything humanly possible to safely operate our facility…… we have gone above and beyond, and it was working.“

Earlier this spring, Governor Wolf permitted professional sports to resume play in front of 250 people; the Wild Things immediately went to work putting together an efficient and effective plan that would enable spectators to safely enjoy an afternoon or evening at the ballpark. 

“It was my job,” said General Manager Tony Buccilli, “to put together a program that would ensure our players and fans stayed safe while enjoying quality competition. To that end, the Wild Things invited three other teams to play a season in Washington County.  The teams did not travel, and all players remained in the Washington area.  From the very beginning, we worked to ensure safety for everyone involved.  All four teams were in isolation before the season began, and all the players were extremely responsible about this because they knew how important it was for this project to be successful.”

“When the Governor limited in person attendance to 250 people he also outlined a procedure for requesting an exception.  The Wild Things submitted a comprehensive plan to the Secretary of Health outlining all of the steps the Wild Things would take to keep people safe,” said Zavacky. “The Wild Things requested that they be allowed to operate at 50% capacity, which would be 2200 people. And we were extremely pleased the Secretary of Health approved the plan,” he added.  “At the beginning of the season when we saw an uptick in the number of cases in Southwest Pennsylvania, the Wild Things decided to not exceed 250 people, even though we had an exemption because this action was the most responsible way to respond to the circumstances.

Protocol throughout the summer at Wild Things Park has included minimizing in-person ticket sales, monitoring employees and players health, performing temperature checks on fans entering the park, requiring masks, and offering a concession menu that included canned beverages, prepackaged condiments, prepackaged ice cream products and prepackaging hot dogs and hamburgers. The Wild Things also added social distancing signage, a reserved section for people aged 55 and older, plexiglass shields as well as hand sanitizing stations throughout the park.  The facilities were cleaned and disinfected before and after every game.

Zavacky continued, “Despite the fact that we were successfully providing families with safe, quality entertainment, I was warned this morning that the Wild Things were out of compliance with the Governor’s edicts.  While we vehemently disagree, the message was clear.  End the season or face consequences that would cripple the organization going forward.”

Buccilli went on to say, “We feel terrible. We never want to disappoint our fans and we were hoping not to have layoffs. Equally painful, we’re pulling the rug out from under our players and coaching staff who are in the middle of playoffs.  It’s terrible to work hard, trying do the right things, and then to be accused of doing something wrong.”

Stu Williams, one of the team owners added, “The Wild Things have continued to be an economic generator for Washington County this summer, drawing people from all over the country to Washington, PA where they could experience one of a handful of places hosting live professional baseball.  In addition, the Wild Things generated business for area hoteliers, landlords, and restaurants, by drawing four baseball teams to live here for six weeks.   We couldn’t have done any of these without several individuals who helped us to have as successful a summer as we had.  From state officials: Senator Camera Bartolotta, Representative Tim O’Neal to County Commissioners Diana Irey-Vaughn, Nick Sherman, and Larry Maggi to the great folks at North Franklin Township including Supervisors Bob Sabot, Sil Passalacqua, and Mike Quinn and their staff, and to everyone at The Washington County Tourism and Promotion Agency.  We also thank our corporate partners for staying with us this summer.  The Washington County Community is a very helpful and supportive one and we will always be grateful for the consideration they extend to us.”

Official release provided by washingtonwildthings.com

Washington, PA Will Be Home To Another Indy League

EMPIRE LEAGUE ANNOUNCES DATES AND LOCATION FOR 2020 CAMP & SEASON

WASHINGTON, PA – The Empire Baseball Organization has announced the official date and location for the 2020 Camp and season series. Both the Camp and Series will be held at  the Washington Wild Things  Stadium home of the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League.

Due to the recurring Covid-19 restrictions and cases, The Empire League has chosen to opt out of hosting the event in its back up location of Ft Myers, Florida and will run operation in Washington Pennsylvania.

The Wild Things venue owners and management welcome the Empire program with open arms and want to help facilitate operations for the 2020 campaign.  The Stadium is currently hosting the Heritage League, which is one of the best Summer season programs in the country for players   looking to  improve their careers.   The Empire Series will not only welcome several  Empire League teams, but also welcome teams from the Heritage League to participate in the Empire Series.   The Blacksox Pro Baseball Club and its Director Joe Torre  played a key role in the great execution of the Heritage League along with the Washington Wild Things.  The Empire League is set to be an exciting one to help players get the needed playtime to be ready for Winter Leagues and showcase for Pro Contracts in 2021.

To participate in this incredible Professional Baseball Showcase that will be heavily scouted by Atlantic League, Frontier League and American Association Teams along with International Pro Winter Leagues visit Click Here.

The stadium is located at   1 Washington Federal Way, Washington, PA 15301.   Wild Things Park is a 3,200-seat multi-purpose baseball stadium in North Franklin Township, a suburb of Washington, Pennsylvania.

Wild Things Park is located near Interstate 70 and is notable for including a hot tub in the viewing stands. ProGrass Synthetic Turf was installed in the fall of 2010.

The stadium was known as Falconi Field until April 12, 2007, when Consol Energy and Washington County Family Entertainment entered a naming rights partnership to rename the complex CONSOL Energy Park.  Consol Energy has let the naming rights deal expire as of January 2017.

The venue will finish hosting the current league taking place which concludes at end of August and will look to do the same for Empire in September.

The Empire Summer camp will be held on August 28-31, 2020 with check in for players on August 28th. The Modified Season will begin immediately after camp on September 1st. Players that want to play in the empire league must attend camp in order to be eligible to be selected into the league. Due to covid-19 housing restrictions and guidelines, all players must provide their own housing for camp and for the season.   Click Here to register.

Article by Empire Media