NIck Blasnitz: Regional tournament brings sense of excitement, appreciation | Opinion


After the success of the 2019 Mid-South Regional Tournament at Duncan Field, I expected to cover the tournament in 2021. However, I thought this would surely be the third time Hastings has hosted the event.

When the American Legion awarded Hastings the bid to host the regional, it was for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, with an option to return for the year 2021. The 2019 tournament was a hit with the community. One of the Legion officials, who had traveled with the Mid-South Regional in recent years, even said he hadn’t seen as impressive an attendance as the one Hastings produced two summers ago. .

Obviously, it helped that both Nebraska reps excelled on the tournament diamond and that Hastings, the host team, was one win away from qualifying for the final day of the tournament.

Wins on foot, dazzling defensive gems, no hitters, electric speed on the base paths, crushed balls in the aisles of power so as not to hit Duncan’s brick walls as usual. The tournament had it all. I loved being there every moment I could witness.

When it ended, I was already thinking about the potential for next year’s regional, especially because Hastings was sure to bring an even more powerful team to the tournament.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a lot of things from us, almost everything escapes the impact of the loss of human life. But, as far as the sport goes, it took away senior seasons as well, and it took last year’s regional tournament for the players and us, the Hastings community.

I was disgusted. I know that my feeling of sadness did not take into account the feeling of loss felt by the players, the parents and all those who were closest to the tournament; like a lot of things over the past year and a half, it just wasn’t fair. This is also the reason why I am looking forward to this year’s tournament with a different perspective.

I have always known that we as people should live to the fullest every day because you never know when the things you take for granted will be removed from your life. But the past year has proven that it’s easy to say and harder to follow.

No matter what happened in my life, I always thought that I would have certain things to turn to for distraction, a little pleasure or a sense of normalcy – boy, as that phrase has changed. Sport has always been one of those things. I could still watch Major League Baseball, most levels of football – and the 2019 Mid-South Regional gave me that same false sense of security.

I’m excited for this year’s regional, and plan to savor every second that I’m at the ballpark. I know things are still crazy in the world, which is still far from being back to normal, and I know there is still a threat to the health of some individuals.

But as long as our health officials consider our community to be safe, I will be grateful for the chance to go to the stadium and enjoy a cloud of dust from a shortstop making a diving game (just kidding , Duncan Field is grassy), or hear the clack of a powerful pitcher’s mitt or the ping of the bat on a triple goal.

This year’s Mid-South tournament is going to be good for these players, good for our community and – I’m sure not the only one to say it – good for my soul.

I inflames me ! I feel these butterflies that I felt on Christmas Eve. Let’s go; let’s play ball!


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