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Government/Politics

No Opening Day at Ohio's MLB ballparks, but the minor leagues will still play ball

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Karen Kasler
/
Statehouse News Bureau
The Columbus Clippers closed out their 2021 season in October, which was later than usual. The season was extended by two weeks but the minor league playoff season was canceled.

The impasse that has struck the start of the major league baseball season won't shut out Ohio's other professional baseball teams.

While the major leagues won’t be playing ball on Opening Day March 31 because talks have broken down between the MLB and the players association, there is some good news for baseball fans.

There will be baseball in Ohio in the early spring.

Gov. Mike DeWine is a longtime Cincinnati Reds fan and his family has owned the Houston Astros’ North Carolina affiliate the Ashville Tourists for 12 years.

DeWine said while it’s disappointing major league teams won’t start on time, he says Ohio’s five minor league baseball teams should be playing in April.

“They have players who are not in collective bargaining; they’re not in the union. And until they have a major league contract, they can certainly play in the minor leagues," DeWine said. "So my understanding is all Ohio minor league teams will be starting the season on the date that they’ve set.”

DeWine said the delayed start will hurt the small businesses and vendors near Progressive Field in Cleveland and Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

The Findlay Market opening day parade in Cincinnati, which usually brings in thousands and has been cancelled for the last two years, has been postponed.

As of now, the Toledo Mud Hens will host their home opener on April 5. The Columbus Clippers start that day as well, but on the road, and come back for their home opener April 12. The Dayton Dragons start at home on April 8. The Akron Rubber Ducks and the Lake County Captains also start that day away, with their home openers set for April 12.

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