Three summer-collegiate leagues announced updated 2020 season plans: the New York Collegiate Baseball League is canceling the season, while the MINK League and Florida Collegiate Summer League will operate in a different fashion.
The statement from the NYCBL:
“As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York Collegiate Baseball League would like to thank all of our franchises, players, coaches, communities and sponsors for their support during these times. We are proud members of the National Alliance of Collegiate Summer Baseball and have had a deep history since 1978. We explored multiple options to try to play some version of a 2020 summer season. The NYCBL announces the cancellation of the 2020 season. Safety is our ultimate concern for everyone as we continue to follow both local, state and federal guidelines. We look forward to being stronger than ever for the 2021 season.”
The MINK League and its members will delay the league start date to July 1, 2020. A revised league schedule will be released on June 1, 2020, dependent on the current climate and health standards. The MINK League has closely followed the Federal, State, and local authorities restrictions, strategies, and policies in relation to COVID-19 and will continue to do so.
The league will launched with a smaller lineup: The Chillicothe Mudcats and Jefferson City Renegades have elected to not play in 2020 as a result of COVID-19. “They are a valued member of the league and we look forward to welcoming them back in 2021,” said MINK League Commissioner Ron Rodriguez.
Meanwhile, the Florida Collegiate Summer League (Florida League) will launch a 30-game season the week of June 29, preceded by a two-week preseason to allow players an opportunity to prepare.
In what will be a different kind of season, the league will add teams and split into two divisions; Division I and Division II. The player cost will be the same for both Divisions.
Florida League Division I is invite only and will remain an elite league that has helped develop over 440 draft picks and 23 MLB promotions in just 16 seasons. Additional teams will be added to Division I as deemed appropriate.
Florida League Division II will offer an open registration and requires players to currently be on a college roster, be a committed 2020 high-school senior, or attending a post-grad program with proven collegiate ability. Division II will hold an evaluation day for its college players with the opportunity to be selected to the additional Division I rosters.
The New York Collegiate Baseball League joins the New England Collegiate Baseball League, Cape Cod League and the Valley Baseball League in calling the season. The Expedition League, Western Canadian Baseball League, Prospect League, Coastal Plain League, Northwoods League, Futures Collegiate Baseball League and the Texas Collegiate League have announced delays to the 2020 summer-collegiate season.
Individual teams are also facing issues: the Duluth Huskies (Northwoods League) and the Lafayette Aviators (Prospect League) can’t play home games before July 1, the Bellingham Bells will not participate in the 2020 West Coast League season, and the Northwoods League announced a delay to the start of the 2020 season due to state shutdowns ordered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. All in all, summer-collegiate leagues across the board are grappling with the potential of shortened seasons, extended seasons into the fall and teams facing serious revenue shortfalls.
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