The month of June has been a wet one in the Kansas City area with more than seven inches of rain hitting the area in the last several weeks. Six months into the year and 2019’s precipitation is already approaching the yearly average of almost 40 inches.
With the rainy weather has come delays.
Last week members of the Geiger Ready-Mix American Legion teams were set to attend a Kansas City T-Bones’ game against Sioux City where Bill Geiger was set to throw the first pitch before the rain pushed the game back to Wednesday. Friday’s storms canceled the entirety of the Leavenworth Riptides’ home meet and called the Lansing Sea Lions’ meet early.
For Leavenworth Parks and Recreation program supervisor for sports Tabor Medill, the weather delays is a situation that extends back to October as weather pushed back games in the fall until right before Thanksgiving. Medill also said the winter weather delayed games for two weeks during the basketball season. By the end of the season, Medill said there was an increase in forfeits as the recreation teams were moving on to the spring softball season.
Sportsfield is the home park for the Leavenworth Pioneers’ baseball and softball teams but he said there were only two varsity baseball games played on Field No. 1 at the park. The field is the only one that doesn’t have an infield system that can allow quicker drainage for play. He said there have only been two nights of youth baseball and softball lost so far. But in the past seven years, he said there is rarely more than one night canceled each summer.
Part of the issue comes from Havens Park, according to Medill.
“You can actually see it on the field,” he said. “It runs from Havens Park to Field No. 2 to No. 3 and then to the creek to the north of Field No. 3.”
When asked for a solution to the problem, Medill said the only option would be making the field an artificial turf surface.
Lansing High School coach Michael Basler is helping run club ball this summer and he said most of the club teams that Lions players are on have either played on artificial surfaces or out of state. He said they haven’t had too many issues with the weather this summer.
For Justin Bode and the Leavenworth Junior Pioneers, he said the teams have been “blessed.”
“We have been extremely blessed,” Bode said. “The rain has usually held off for us to get our tournaments in.”
The Junior Pioneers have only had a couple games get delayed from the weather but he said the coaches have worked together to do what they can to get the games made up.