WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It’s been a quiet summer on the diamond at the Alex Duffy Fairgrounds with the Watertown Rapids cancelling their 2020 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball season.
But behind the scenes, the team’s front office has been working hard and looking ahead to next season.
In a normal year, the Watertown Rapids would be wrapping up their PGCBL regular season and getting ready for the playoffs.
But this hasn’t been a normal year. With the PGCBL cancelling their season in May, it’s been a quiet summer for Rapids General Manager Nick Czerow as far as action on the field, but behind the scenes, Czerow and the staff have been very busy.
”We’ve been taking this time to work on next season. So, it’s kind of been a blessing in disguise to have this chance to really sit back and see what we want to do better and what kind of new things we want to add for next season. And so we’ve gone pretty much top to bottom through the entire organization looking at seating experience, going through the gates experience, new ticket packages to add, community events we want to tie ourselves to. Different things we want to do out there as well,” said Czerow.
Czerow says the Rapids are sensitive to the fact that local businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19 financially. And because of that, they have been working with new sponsors and sponsors from this season to get them onboard for the 2021 campaign.
”We know money is tight for everyone around Watertown. So you know, we’ve been working with them and their schedules as well and the sponsors that we had signed on for this 2020 season decided just to stay on for 2021 and just push that along. So, we’re looking forward to start introducing some campaigns with them as well,” said Czerow.
When the Rapids take to the field next season, Czerow says the team will have a new look and adds fans may have an early opportunity to purchase some of the updated Rapids gear from the comforts of their own homes.
”One of the things we’re looking at doing is opening an online shop for our merchandise in the future and this is also a great adaptation for kinda what we’re going through right now. Being able to put our merch out there without any touch points as well. We did get our on field caps that, you know, I can’t show you right now, but I think we may have them out soon. But we’re gonna be doing a re-brand with a new look. It’s gonna be same colors, but it’s gonna look much more intense, much more MLB-esque, as you would say, a lot more professional,” said Czerow.
The Rapids are also getting a jump on putting together a 2021 roster with the first and biggest piece of the puzzle already in place. With Manager John Rizzo coming back next season after not getting to manage a single game for the team in 2020.
”We’re looking to keep some of the players hopefully that we had signed to the roster. But this also gives him a chance to keep looking at more prospects for the future and see what else we can get out there and there is a lot of talent looking to play baseball. And you know, we’re excited about those chances with John next year as well,” said Czerow.