It is yet to be known how COVID-19 will affect the 2021 Major League Baseball season, but the ongoing pandemic has already forced the cancellation of one ritual associated with the national pastime.
In the December 2020 issue of The Bull Pen, the Bottomley-Ruffing-Schalk Baseball Museum newsletter, it was announced that the annual Chili Warm-Up at the museum in Nokomis was being postponed.
“Plans are for the event to return in 2022, with a revised timeline possible in 2021 should circumstances allow,” the article said.
With free chili and refreshments served to all comers, the warm-up has been a chance for fans to check out the museum and talk a little baseball before the season gets rolling.
COVID-19 has also kept the museum closed to the public due to Tier 3 mitigations, but visits by appointment are available by calling 217-563-8807 or 217-563-2495. The pandemic also forced the cancellation of the open house during the Nokomis Christmas Walk and put on hold plans to host a Pitch, Hit and Run contest at the local level.
Hopes are high that 2021 will be a better year for events as the museum board is hoping to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the museum. Plans are still in the works, but an honoree dinner might be on tap, along with a revamped website, Twitter and Facebook page. The museum is also hoping to hold another vintage baseball game in Nokomis in 2021, as they did in 2017 and 2019.
The December 2020 Bullpen also featured an honoree spotlight on Emil Verban, updates on how several Central Illinois natives fared in the majors in 2020 and announced the ballot for the BRS Museum board of directors.
Not on that list is Darline Tosetti, who served on the museum board for 30 years. Starting in 2021-22, Tosetti will become the museum’s first Director Emeritus and will continue to contribute her time and talents to the museum.
To keep up with all of the goings on at the BRS Museum, memberships are $15 for one year or $25 for two years. Memberships can be sent to: BRS Museum, P.O. Box 75, Nokomis, IL 62075. Please include your name and address, along with your favorite Major League Baseball team.
You can also find the museum on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BRSBBMUSEUM and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BRSBBMuseum.