If the sight and smell of smoke wasn't enough to keep the Black Forest Fire on the minds of Sky Sox players Wednesday, trainer Jeremy Moeller's midgame exit to tend to his house near the pre-evacuation area certainly brought the situation close to them.
There was discussion of postponing Wednesday's game, but when the wind picked up and blew the smoke elsewhere they decided to go ahead with the game.
As a team, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox are doing what they can to help. They offered free admission Wednesday and Thursday to anyone under evacuation and announced that fans with tickets to Wednesday's who might have been scared off by smoky conditions could redeem those for a later game (except July Fourth). There is also a food drive going on, with the team trading a ticket voucher for the donation of a nonperishable food item.
General manager Tony Ensor was giving thought to where he might be able to send some players and resources to help lift spirits, but with the ever-changing dynamic of the fire and location of evacuation centers he was still searching for a plan.
Third baseman Ryan Wheeler happened to be playing in Colorado Springs while with Reno last year during the tail end of the Waldo Canyon fire, and he said the air conditions this week were nothing compared to what that fire had brought.
With one more home game before the team leaves for a series in Las Vegas, the Sky Sox will continue to monitor the fires like everyone else in the community.
"It's pretty sad for all of the people that are involved and being displaced," manager Glenallen Hill said. "Our hearts go out to them. It's pretty close to home."