Sugar Land Skeeters begin two-month summer league at Constellation Field on July 10

Four baseball teams, including the Sugar Land Skeeters, will compete in 56 games at Constellation Field this July and August. (Courtesy Sugar Land Skeeters)
Four baseball teams, including the Sugar Land Skeeters, will compete in 56 games at Constellation Field this July and August. (Courtesy Sugar Land Skeeters)

Four baseball teams, including the Sugar Land Skeeters, will compete in 56 games at Constellation Field this July and August. (Courtesy Sugar Land Skeeters)

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Four baseball teams, including the Sugar Land Skeeters, will compete in 56 games at Constellation Field this July and August. (Courtesy Sugar Land Skeeters)
Sugar Land Skeeters President Chris Hill said when the coronavirus pandemic derailed the team's normal schedule, the organization looked for ways to stay engaged with the community.

The team upped its social media presence, and starting July 10, it will host the Constellation Energy League, in which a group of four teams will play 56 games in July and August at Constellation Field.

“[Our fans] miss coming out to the ballpark,” Hill said. “It is a lot less about baseball and more about community. So, how do we figure out how to do that safely? That's what our mission has been: to provide entertainment for our fans and to provide a place for our players to play.”

Hill said the idea for the Constellation Energy League was borne out of discussions with former MLB pitcher Roger Clemens, who along with his son, Koby, will manage one of the four league teams.

Then, when Major League Baseball released about 1,000 players from their existing contracts, Hill said, it opened the door for the league.


“As soon as that happened and Roger reiterated his interest in putting something like this together with us, we said, 'Let us figure it out,'” Hill said. “So in the course of a month, we have put together a professional baseball league that usually takes a lot longer to put together.”

Hill said after they decided they would be able to entertain baseball fans with a season, the organizations’ focus shifted to how they could do that safely.

“How do we do it from a medical standpoint? How do we do it from an operational standpoint?” Hill said. "Every pathway has been a huge challenge, and luckily, we have a staff that's been able to handle the difficulties of doing something like this.”

With the help of medical professionals, Hill said the organization has developed safety protocols, which include seating groups of attendees only on the aisle of each section to allow for social distancing, temperature checks upon arrival at the park and increased sanitation efforts. Hill also said fans will be required to wear a mask anytime they cannot practice social distancing, such as when walking on the concourse, standing in line for concessions or using the restrooms.

In addition to wanting to entertain fans, Hill said returning to baseball is important for the players, who need to play often in order to stay at the top of their game. More than 96 players, including those who have played at the professional and Triple-A levels, will be a part of the Constellation Energy League.

"If you're an established baseball player and you go an entire year without playing competitive baseball, It can be very detrimental to your career,” Hill said.

Prior to taking the field for the first time, players will be required to take two negative coronavirus tests and complete a physical.

Hill said that as president of the Skeeters organization, his mission is to ensure that day-to-day operations run smoothly. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, he said, his role has shifted some into that of a cheerleader and into finding new work for every member of the staff.

Although Hill said he is typically more interested in the business of baseball, he is excited for fans and players to return for the summer league.

“Just to enjoy a game would be a blessing,” Hill said.

View the Skeeters schedule and purchase tickets here.
By Claire Shoop
Claire joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2019 as the reporter for the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2019 where she studied journalism, government and Arabic. While in school, Claire was a fellow for The Texas Tribune, worked for the student newspaper, The Daily Texan, and spent a semester in Washington, D.C. She enjoys playing cards with her family and listening to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen.


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