Baseball still active during the coronavirus lockdown

Baseball still active during the coronavirus lockdown
24/03/2020
The town of Codogno is quarantined, but you still can play-catch at the limits of the red zone. That's what Paolo and Filippo, two players, decided to do. Other baseball players and fans have followed their example.

Codogno is a town in the province of Lodi in the Lombardia Region, northwestern Italy. Its approximately 15,000 inhabitants are at the moment under quarantine. Codogno is one of eleven town and villages of the so-called red zone, the area of northern Italy first affected by coronavirus.

In soccer-mad Italy, Codogno can be called a baseball city. The local club was founded in 1967. In 1976 Codogno won the second division and in 1982 became the U-19 national champion. The club also appeared in the top league in Italy in 2002 and currently participates to the third division. The club also runs a robust youth programme and competes nationally at the U-12, U-15, U-18 levels.

Lodi is just 27 kilometres away but initially was out of the red zone. The city also has a baseball club that competes at a lower level than Codogno but also runs a successful youth programme.

Earlier early March, the daily Il Corriere della Sera reported on the story of Paolo and Filippo, two baseball players. Paolo plays for Lodi but lives in Codogno. So he cannot get out and join his teammates for practice. Filippo lives in Lodi but plays for Codogno. For the opposite reason, he also cannot join his teammates for practice.

The two decided to play-catch at the limits of the red zone. The idea caught initially only the attention of the officers that are patrolling the limits of the red zone. In a matter of minutes, more people joined.

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"Our message is that we are facing an emergency, not a tragedy," commented the two players. "We look forward to when things will get back to normality and we will be able to play baseball again."

In the following days, the outbreak of the virus forced the Italian Government to make an extreme decison. On 9 March, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte imposed a national quarantine, restricting the movement of the population except for necessity, work, and health circumstances.

Throwing a baseball became an alternative excercise in other parts of the country. A Facebook post by the Bari Warriors Amateur Club even shows that you don't need to leave your home to play catch.

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Baseball is also being used to launch hopeful messages as the battle against coronavirus becomes global.

Other examples of people staying active with baseball are:
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3

Stand by to see how softball is playing its part, in another article coming soon.