FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Many Hoosiers lost their jobs during the pandemic in 2020.
You might have been one of them.
Mike Maahs was.
He’s been the radio voice of the minor league baseball team in Fort Wayne since 2005, but when the season was canceled last year, he was out of a job.
“All of a sudden, okay, there is going to be no minor league season. And that’s culture shock,” Maahs said. “It’s weird, to say the least, because you’re thrown off-kilter. I’m used to doing things a certain way, and all of a sudden, I’m not doing those things a certain way, because there is no reason.”
With being in their 60s and with pre-existing health conditions, Maahs and his wife were told to stay home, month after month.
“You look at the same four walls every day. Now what am I gonna do? I’m not doing what I’m used to doing,” he said. “From a mental standpoint, that can literally drive a person nuts.”
Not being eligible for unemployment because his job is considered “seasonal,” Maahs had to rely on social security checks every month. He calls 2020 “the most difficult year of his life.” But he tried to stay positive, and spend more time with family than he normally does during a baseball season.
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However, like many Hoosier businesses and employees trying to get “back to normal” this year, the Fort Wayne Tincaps returned to the diamond, and Maahs returned to the broadcast booth. On May 11, the team hosted Opening Day — the first game at Parkview Field in 610 days.
Maahs described it as “Christmas come early.”
Although he’s not doing a full broadcast schedule, and there are still restrictions on what broadcasters can do with the team, Maahs says “some baseball is better than no baseball.”
He’s thankful and grateful that he’s back to doing what he loves, and says last year taught him valuable lessons.
“You’ve heard the phrase ‘smell the roses.’ Well, we learned how to smell the roses during the pandemic, because you never knew if that particular day would be your last or not,” Maahs said. “You learned how to look at things from a different perspective than you did before. You come to appreciate every day and you take it one day at a time.”
FULL INTERVIEW WITH MIKE MAAHS: