Updated: June 30, 2020 11:12 PM
Created: June 30, 2020 10:37 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The news that the coronavirus lockdown will shut down all Minor League Baseball for the 2020 season came as a disappointment, if not exactly a shock, for longtime Rochester Red Wings fans.
“We knew it was coming. But it still hurts to know that it’s official,” sighed Mary Blasko of Pittsford. “It’s hard to not be around your friends, and your family that you have there for so many years.”
Red Wings memories are vivid for longtime fan Mary Blasko, whose family has had season tickets to the Wings since 1986.
“1997, the catch by PJ Forbes. That was when we won the Governor's Cup,” she recalled. "He was right there when he caught it. So that was just a great night."
"And we never leave before the last out. We never leave the ball game before the last out,” insisted her father Ed Blasko, who'll turn 90 next month. He's been going to Red Wings games since the 1950s.
After years of going to almost all 70 games, every season, in their seats on the third baseline, the news that the 2020 season is off, is heartbreaking, even if they do appreciate the danger of coronavirus.
"I completely understand and it still hurts,” Mary said, shrugging.
"It is a letdown, absolutely a letdown,” Ed added. “Because I always look forward to going to frontier Field and seeing the people that I know.”
Fans who bought tickets to this year's game will have the option to swap them out for tickets to a game next year. Meanwhile, the Red Wings are offering information on the team’s website and promising to contact season ticket holders like the Blaskos, whose family history and mementos are connected to the team, like when Ed got autographs from the players and staff during the inaugural season at Frontier Field.
Or the bat, they still have, that flew out of a batter's hands and hit Ed in the shin. That episode even made the papers. These fans say they’ll miss their Red Wings family of fans and hold onto hope for a return to the ball game.
“Next year? Who knows,” Ed said. “I am looking forward to any year with baseball.”
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