LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - For the first summer in 39 years, baseball fans in Louisville will not have games to attend.
The official announcement from the International League came on Tuesday, but it was not a surprise to the management team of the Louisville Bats.
“You kind of saw the handwriting on the wall that this was coming,” Bats Executive Vice President Greg Galiette said. “We even had conversations with the Reds about possibly housing that taxi squad at Slugger Field, but just the mileage between Cincinnati and Louisville didn’t make it practical to do that, so they decided to stay up there in Mason, Ohio.”
The discussions had been ongoing for months.
“We had two scenarios basically developed, one was, okay, we had been talking with the league and with Triple A baseball about a shortened season of some sort, that might even take us to the doorsteps of October,” Galiette added, “and then we also talked obviously, if that doesn’t happen, that means no season, then what do we do?”
What they’ll do is attempt to make plans for other events at the ball park.
“If you want to come and take batting practice at Louisville Slugger Field with your church group or with your company, call us, we’ve already booked a few of them,” he said. “We’re gonna have a couple of play catch opportunities on the weekend with families and kids, obviously social distant. We’re looking at a yoga night coming up here in July. We’re gonna do a movie night, and one probably one movie per month starting in July. We’re working on a really cool concept, that I think the city of Louisville is going to fall in love with and that is dinner on the diamond. We’re actually going to set up tables and chairs in the infield of Louisville Slugger Field, so you can come out and have dinner right there in the infield and it should be a really unique experience.”
Galiette started with the organization in the fall of 1984. He was the last hire of A. Ray Smith for the Louisville Redbirds. This would have been his 36th baseball season with the club.
“I actually worked through the strike season in 1994, but that was at the Major League level, and Minor League baseball just chugged right along back then, but this has been, I jokingly say that this is going to be a special chapter in the book that I write.”
After layoffs, the Bats front office has dwindled to six employees.