by Scot Gregor, Daily Herald
Baseball is coming back to Boomers Stadium this summer.
COVID-19 forced the Frontier League to cancel its season June 24, putting the Schaumburg Boomers on the sidelines.
Thursday morning, the White Sox announced they'll be using Boomers Stadium as a training site for their 2020 taxi squad.
Workouts are scheduled to begin Wednesday, and the Sox should have 15 or 16 minor leaguers at Boomers Stadium.
Rosters will be announced next week, and top prospects like Blake Rutherford, Micker Adolfo and Zack Burdi should be heading to Schaumburg. First-round draft pick Garrett Crochet is another likely candidate, as is injury-prone third baseman Jake Burger, the White Sox's top draft pick in 2017.
As major league baseball gets ready to play an abbreviated 60-game season, the taxi squad is comprised of players not on the White Sox's active roster but who are eligible to be recalled or have their contracts purchased.
Boomers Stadium is 34 miles from Guaranteed Rate Field, so the pairing makes for pretty easy travel.
"We are extremely fortunate to have a high-quality facility like Boomers Stadium located close enough to our ballpark to allow our players to prepare and work out for the 2020 season," Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "The White Sox organization is very appreciative of Patrick Salvi, his excellent staff, and of course, the people of Schaumburg for being so welcoming to us."
The Sox's move to Schaumburg is good news for the Boomers, and the following enhancements are going to be made to the facility:
Installation of an all-weather hitting and pitching tunnel in right field.
A full upgrade of the playing field to MLB dimensions and specifications.
In addition, the White Sox are converting the "Schaumburg Club" suite level to a strength and conditioning area for player use.
A renovation of the clubhouses and training areas will be done to meet social distancing protocols and multiple food service areas are going to be added.
"Being a lifelong White Sox fan, I am thrilled that the White Sox selected Boomers Stadium for their 2020 training site," said Salvi, the Boomers' owner and CEO. "We are excited to host some of the very best prospects in White Sox organization this summer. I would like to thank Rick Hahn and the entire Chicago White Sox organization, along with Mayor Tom Dailly and the Village of Schaumburg, for their efforts in turning this exciting opportunity into a reality."
Dailly also released a statement:
"We are incredibly excited to hear of the White Sox coming to Boomers Stadium," he said. "To have a one of our major league home teams practicing and training in our facility is very thrilling. We look forward to them enjoying our facility and having some summer fun."