Semoball

It's official: Capahas to play ball in 2020

Cape Girardeau Capahas manager Tom Bolen.
Southeast Missourian file

The Capahas will play aluminum-bat baseball this summer, despite the anxiety over COVID-19.

“We’re officially announcing the kickoff to Mon-Clair League action with an eight-team tournament on July 4,” Capahas manager Tom Bolen said Friday, who added play will occur on Independence Day on fields in Valmeyer, Illinois and Waterloo, Illinois.

“We normally play 26 league games before the playoffs but this year we’ll only get in 14,” said Bolen, who said the entire Mon-Clair schedule should be finalized in the next 7-10 days.

Bolen said he was disheartened to learn of the decision to cancel Prospect League play, which ended the wooden-bat Cape Catfish season before it began.

“You want to see kids get on the field,” Bolen added, “but you have to show respect to the pandemic.”

Bolen said social distancing rules will be enforced for the truncated Capahas season.

If all goes well, Bolen said it’s possible Cape Girardeau could hear “play ball” even before the holiday.

“I’m negotiating to bring a five-game non-league series to Capaha Field,” said Bolen, who said the tentative arrangement is to play three consecutive days, June 26-28.

Bolen said the Capahas, founded in 1894 and believed to be the oldest independent baseball team of its type in the nation, is being “courted.”

“We’re getting a lot of attention from a Texas semi-pro league who want us to join them,” said Bolen, “and they’re prestigious.”

Bolen said he remains as pumped as he’s been in years about his new team.

“My level of excitement is because of the talent level within a 50-to-60 mile radius of Cape,” Bolen said.

“We’re going to have a lot more young men to pick from than usual,” he added.

The Capahas hope to host the season-ending Mon-Clair League playoffs on August 15 and 16.

“It should be here,” said Bolen. “We have the best facility in the league.”

The Capahas continue to look for a 2020 sponsor. Anyone with interest should contact Bolen, 573-382-2424.

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