“Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is one of the most famous and traditional songs in American sports. The song may not echo in many ball parks across the country this summer like in past years due to the curve balls thrown at it by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it may well be sung at Menominee’s Spies Field where baseball is alive and well.

The former Menominee American Legion baseball team, with a sprinkling of players from Wausaukee, Crivitz and Stephenson, is off to an impressive start in its Upper Peninsula Independent League schedule, winning its first three games in league play at its home field. American League baseball has been canceled for this year due to the devastating impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Supporters of the program decided to launch their own independent teams and provide refreshing entertainment after months of lockdown, quarantines and worries about the virus spreading.

Sizeable and enthusiastic crowds have packed Spies Field, a local sports venue that has been hosting athletic events and recreational activities since 1937. Those who haven’t been out to the “old ball park” yet should check out the team schedule, which runs through July 21 before post-season tournament play starts.

Coach John Lauzer, who directed the local American Legion program, is at the helm of the newly formed team that replaced the popular Red Wave team. Lauzer has an ambitious support cast that helps make the return of baseball a success.

Concerns about the ruthless virus will understandably persist for the balance of the baseball season, especially when so many other organizations have scuttled festivals, music concerts, county fairs, sporting events, class and family reunions, and a host of other entertaining features. Some venues will insist on face masks, social distancing and other protective habits that were normal practices during the height of the pandemic, and others will not.

Thumbs up to Coach Lauzer and his volunteer lineup of supporters, and to team members for their work in preparing for the unique season. Buy some peanuts and crackerjacks and enjoy the games.