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Salvaging the season: A look at recent spring season starts

The delayed start to this spring sports year is unprecedented, at least in recent years. But there is hope some semblance of a season can be salvaged.

Here’s some quick research, dating back to 2005, of the baseball and softball seasons of two Tribune-area teams:

The Willmar baseball team’s average season start in the last eight years is April 9, but the Cardinals didn’t play their first game until April 14 in 2008 and April 13 in 2007.

During those years, the Cardinals played an average of 22.5 games. However, by this date (April 20) in those years, Willmar had played an average of 4.1 games.

The Cardinals softball team is used to some late starts.

Only once since 2005 did the team open its season before April 8 and its average start date the last eight seasons is April 12. In both 2008 and 2007, Willmar didn’t play its first games until April 17.

During those years, the Cardinals softball team played an average of 22 games. By this date, Willmar had played an average of 4.25 games.

Checking in with the Tribune-area’s northern-most teams, the Minnewaska Lakers baseball team’s average opening date is April 9 and they played an average of 21.3 games. In 2008 and 2007, Minnewaska didn’t get going until April 15 and April 13, respectively.

By this date, the Lakers had played an average of 4.4 games.

The Lakers softball team has gotten a good jump in recent years, with an average opening date of April 8. But they did have to wait until April 17 to get going in 2007.

Minnewaska has played an average of 22 games per season the last eight years and by this date had played an average of 5.1 games. By this time in 2010, the Lakers had played eight games and in 2008 they had already played seven games.

However, the area’s already saturated playing fields received between four and 15 inches of additional snow during the middle of this week, there is a 60 percent chance of rain Sunday and a 30 percent chance of rain on Monday.

On the up side, temperatures are expected to be in the mid- to upper-50s by the middle of next week.

Tom Larson

Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.

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