Baseball leagues making up flood games in sweltering heat

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KIRKWOOD, MO (KTVI) - First it was the rain, then the floods; now, baseball players across the St. Louis metro area are coping with the heat.

At the Kirkwood Athletic Association, they’re trying to make up many of the 300 canceled games lost to adverse weather. Mike Madden is a coach of a team made up of eight and nine year olds.

“It’s been a month since we played because of rain, now we’re back playing again and it’s hot,” Madden said.

Not long ago, all 12 baseball diamonds in Kirkwood were covered by three to four-feet of water. The flood water finally receded and the fields are dry, even sun-baked. Typically, they play two games a night on each field. They’ve boosted that number to three.
“Trying to pack in as many dates and times as we can get,” said Mike Wibbenmeyer, the park manager. “We have two to three weeks left in the season, just hopeful everyone can get them in before the season is over.”

Some teams are playing a lot.

“We’re playing a doubleheader tonight and next Wednesday,” Madden said.

The heat is miserable. When it gets this hot, the association allows folks to bring in their own water.

Rising temperatures are tough on players and their loved ones.

“If my son can play on the field in his uniform in the heat, I certainly can sit in the shade and watch,” said Bob Grothe, whose son is a pitcher.

Wendy Zilm is the grandmother of a player, “I do not like the heat or the humidity, (but) for your grandkids you’ve got to come out.”

They don’t expect to make up every lost game, but the Kirkwood Athletic Association said it’s not unusual.