EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- It’s not the season finale the Otters nor their fans would’ve wanted. After holding a playoff spot for much of the season and finishing with the second-best record in the Frontier League, the Otters missed the playoffs thanks to their league-leading division rivals Florence Y’alls.
Otters general manager Travis Painter says the league decided to limit the playoffs to division winners amid travel concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Painter says the league will likely revisit that over the offseason.
Still, Painter says having fans back at Bosse Field was a “jolt in the arm” after the 2020 season was suspended due to the pandemic. Even with the pandemic continuing and postseason glory out of the question, fans like Jim Harl say they’re happy to come to Bosse Field and cheer on the Otters.
Harl, who brought his staff from the Nisbet Inn to the game, says he thanks the Otters for coming back this season despite all the challenges brought on by the pandemic.
Sunday’s game, a 3-1 win against Lake Erie, started with a unique tribute to Otters bench coach and former manager Boots Day- an opportunity to have one last at-bat before retirement. Painter says Boots has been a key figure throughout Otters history, an integral part of the coaching staff, and will be missed as the Otters prepare for 2022 and beyond. Still, Painter says he expects Boots to come back next year, as a fan.