By JEFF MADIGAN, Olean Times Herald
(Editor's note: This is the first in a three-part series with five former St. Bonaventure baseball players, all of whom are now in the minor leagues. Unfortunately, now all sit at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Today: the five discuss the March days when the sports world came to a halt and their lives changed almost overnight).
For many sports fans, March 11 and 12 will be days which won't be remembered fondly. Late on Wednesday, the 11th, an NBA game between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed just prior to tipoff when Jazz center Rudy Gobert was sent to a local hospital where he tested positive for the coronavirus.
Five former St. Bonaventure baseball players were at minor league baseball camps when everything shut down. Surely nobody expected a complete halt of many sports nearly three months since then, but for those five players (and for minor leaguers across the country), it brought their lives to a big halt. Pitcher Aaron Phillips (San Francisco Giants organization), third baseman David "Bubba" Hollins (Marlins), shortstop Cole Peterson (Tigers), pitcher Connor Grey (Diamondbacks) and pitcher Steve Klimek (Orioles) were practicing on March 11. Some had appeared in MLB spring training games prior to that. On March 12, they were, in essence, told to come to their individual team's practice facility, collect their belongings and leave. The proverbial "you don't have to go home but you can't stay here" line made its rounds for thousands of MLB hopefuls.