It is no secret that Pittsburgh is a rainy city.
The United States average for days with precipitation is 106.2; Pittsburgh comes in well above that at 140.4.
Similarly, the United States average for sunny days is 205; Pittsburgh is not even close with just 160 days with sunshine per year.
Baseball, especially here in Pittsburgh, is very weather-dependent.
Last year, the Pirates had one rain delay that lasted twice as long as the game itself, and our own Pioneers had to cancel seven games and postpone two, all for weather-related reasons.
That’s not to mention the amount of delays that were sat through before play resumed or started in some cases.
I was reading an article written by a former collegiate baseball player the other day, and it began a circle of questions in my head about how those delays affect athletes.
Before a game, players warm up, have batting practice, take the field and focus to get in the right headspace for the game they are about to play.
When a delay hits, the flow of the game is compromised and that pregame ritual is repeated after however many innings are already played.
Not only is it annoying to the players and coaches, but that break in play has the ability to switch the momentum completely or throw off a team’s style of play.
Right now, the Pioneers sit at 9-3 overall with a 4-2 record in River States Conference (RSC) play.
Point Park has 23 games left in March and 22 scheduled for April before postseason.
The month of March sees an average of 4.3 inches of rain, while April sees 4.5 inches on average.
2019 was the third-wettest year in Pittsburgh, which recorded 52.34 inches of rain. The wettest year on record for the city was 2018, which saw 57.83 inches of rain.
With climate change looming over everyone’s heads, the precipitation levels in the city are only rising, which results in an increase in delays and cancelations for the Pioneers.
The coach from the article I mentioned earlier also brought up the struggle of keeping athletes’ heads in the game during an hours-long delay, especially when there is not much else to do.
The conversation is one not had often, but just some food for thought; the next time there is a rain delay at the ballpark, think of how hard it is for the athletes to adapt. It makes them more impressive, honestly.