SPOKANE, Wash. — On Monday, there was a report that Major League Baseball was bringing a proposal to the players union on Tuesday that would start MLB’s season on the weekend of July 4th.
The part of that proposal that would affect us the most locally? If approved, the report said that there would be no Minor League Baseball this year, meaning the Spokane Indians' season would be over before it even started.
Although there has not been any official word about the deal, as the days go by it looks less and less likely that Avista Stadium will be lit up this summer.
"Realistically, I’ve told myself that there won’t be a season this year," said Indians scorekeeper Todd Gilkey. "My heart is hoping we will, but my head’s telling me we probably won’t be at Avista Stadium this summer."
That’s a hard pill for Gilkey to swallow. This year would be his seventh season being the team's scorekeeper, but he’s been going to Indians' games for much longer than that.
"Some of my memories I have of being with my grandpa is he took me to Avista Stadium when I was a young boy to watch Indians baseball games. I just know what it’s like to be at a game when you’re young and just the experience of watching baseball and being out there on a summer night."
Gilkey is also St. Maries’ high school’s athletic director, so this uncertain territory of what is going to happen to the Indians' season? Well, he’s pretty familiar with it.
"It’s a waiting game. Every day it’s fluid," said Gilkey. "We just don’t know from day to day, minute to minute what’s going to happen. It’s kind of nerve racking, stressful a little bit to make plans. What’s your summer going to look like without knowing what your summer is going to look like."
As for what Gilkey will miss the most this summer if baseball isn’t in the cards? It doesn’t have to do with the game on the field.
"I’m going to miss the relationships and getting to see those guys every day and the people up in the press box. To me that’s going to be the hardest part, just not being able to see the guys."
Despite initially declining to comment, the Spokane Indians sent KREM a statement after the story aired, claiming that the proposed MLB owners' deal won't affect them if passed.
"The proposed MLB owners deal with the MLB Players Association does not directly impact the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) season. It is our hope that professional baseball returns to Avista Stadium this summer, and we will continue to await official word from MLB, MiLB, and local health officials," the statement reads.