Due to the Covid-19 pandemic  the South Plainfield Junior Baseball Club had to cancel its Spring baseball season. After much decision the SPJBC Board decided to run a Fall Rec season and 160 kids signed up. The Fall league started in September and despite early uncertainty regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and the "new normal," the season was an overwhelming success.  12 teams from three different age level leagues enjoyed a 9 game season over the course of 7 weeks. 
It looked like there was going to be no baseball at all this year, but a lot of feedback came from both parents and kids regarding the return of baseball this fall despite a late start. Safety restrictions were implemented such as no high fives, no seeds or gum chewing and umpires calling balls and strikes from behind the pitcher's mound. However, these restrictions did not get in the way and their families and more importantly the kids getting back to some normalcy, even if it was only for a couple of hours a night.
“We all felt it was really important to have baseball in the fall.  With other sports in question due to state regulations regarding Covid, the SPJBC board wanted to provide the kids of South Plainfield not only the opportunity to play and learn the sport they love, but to also offer an opportunity to see their friends and socialize.  With virtual schooling, the kids only were seeing their friends' faces on a screen. Fall baseball gave them a chance to interact with each other in person for 2 hours a night twice a week,” said Anthony Cicenia, the director of the fall league.  "I think from the social aspect alone, the league was a success," he continued.
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“The idea of Fall baseball certainly had its challenges,” said Joe Scrudato, president of the SPJBC board.  “We had a very small window of time to prepare for the league.  After putting in over $30k to revamp our fields in the offseason, finances were an issue,” he said.  That’s where Columbia Bank stepped in. Shannon Jefferys, a South Plainfield resident and Bank Manager worked with Commissioner Scrudato to offer financial assistance to get the league up and running. Columbia Bank generously picked up the tab for the cost of 160 uniforms. Sportsworld, another local business, prioritized the order for the club and had the uniforms completed in time for opening day.  “I cannot say enough about the local businesses in South Plainfield, they really do show up for our kids.” 
“It was really a collective effort,” Cicenia said.  “From the SPJBC board members to the volunteer coaches, to the local businesses… we simply could not have pulled this off without them.” 
The season came to a conclusion on Monday October 19th with the A-League Championship, where Ms. Jefferys and Columbia Bank were honored with throwing out the first pitch in the final game of a truly memorable season.
The spring rec season will resume as planned in April and registration will start in November.