All posts by IndyBallIsland

29. Baseball fan. I prefer indy ball and the minors over the majors. If it's summer, you can find me at a ballpark. The Washington Wild Things and the Pittsburgh Pirates are my "hometown" teams, but I'm always up for taking a baseball road trip! Follow me on Twitter: @kmthomp29

Update on the Atlantic League Season

Today, the Atlantic League put out an official press release discussing their updated plans for the 2020 season.

ATLANTIC LEAGUE CLUBS ANNOUNCE UPDATED 2020 PLANS

(June 19, 2020, Lancaster, Pa.) – The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball today announced that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several member clubs have not gained necessary approval from governmental and health officials to open their ballparks to a capacity level sufficient for participation. As a result, the 2020 schedule for each team has been opened up, with clubs permitted to seek new solutions for this season that conform to their current governmental guidelines in order to get ballparks opened and begin play.  

Following are Atlantic League club updates and status reports: 

The High Point Rockers, Long Island Ducks and Southern Maryland Blue Crabs are working with several professional baseball clubs towards finalizing a 70-game schedule of play that would begin in mid-July and wrap up at the end of September with a five-game championship series.

“The Atlantic League and other leagues are in similar positions,” said Atlantic League President Rick White. “There are multiple teams in each league at different stages of reopening; therefore, some who are able to begin play and some who are not. This solution would pair those clubs able to play and entertain fans at their ballparks, providing a high level of professional baseball and affordable family entertainment.”

The schedule, start date, and further information for this 70-game slate will be announced in the near future, subject to governmental and health guidelines being met in each market, on www.highpointrockers.comwww.liducks.com, and www.somdbluecrabs.com.

The Lancaster Barnstormers will open Clipper Magazine Stadium to host an outdoor summer movie series presented by Haller Enterprises, High Industries, and Turkey Hill Dairy, as well as Thursday Happy Hours including music, beer specials, cornhole, and other lawn games. The club will also make its ballpark available for baseball and softball teams and companies and fans for private events. The Barnstormers are encouraging members of the Lancaster community to share any ideas they have for Clipper Magazine Stadium during these times. More information will be posted on www.lancasterbarnstormers.com.

The Barnstormers are also partnering with fellow Pennsylvania team the York Revolution to turn their long-time friendly rivalry into a new community outreach initiative. The plan would build on the long-time “War of the Roses” partnership of the two clubs. Senior managers from each club have already begun discussing options to bring some professional baseball to Central Pennsylvania this summer, as well as several new variations of the longstanding “War” that would welcome new activities and events in each city, with each being cross-promoted and co-hosted by the two clubs.

The Somerset Patriots will host numerous events ranging from a localized version of professional baseball (pending approval) to drive-in movies, potential in-ballpark movie events, firework shows, youth baseball tournaments, graduations, blood drives, and collections to benefit those in need in the team’s area. For details, new activities, times, and additional information, please visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

The Sugar Land Skeeters will host a four-team professional baseball league at their home ballpark beginning July 3 and running through August 23. Each team will play 28 games for a total of 56 games during the season. The teams will consist of players with Major League baseball and other professional service time and will be managed by well-known personalities such as Roger Clemens, Greg Swindell, and Pete Incaviglia. For rosters, schedules, and start times, please visit www.sugarlandskeeters.com.

In addition to its activities with the Barnstormers, the York Revolution will host a variety of outdoor dining events, movies on the ballpark video board, youth and adult league baseball games, and community events and private parties. The team has also begun marketing PeoplesBank Park’s large outdoor seating areas as alternative meeting and event spaces for area companies and organizations seeking unique options that conform to health official recommendations. To learn more about availability and events, visit www.yorkrevolution.com.

“These activities epitomize the innovation of Atlantic League clubs,” said ALPB President Rick White. “Our clubs value their deep connections to their communities. In a season unlike any other, our teams have responded with remarkable commitment to their cities in a variety of innovative and economical ways and with a focus on the health and safety of guests who enter our parks for games and other events.”

For updates on this announcement, schedules and other league information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.

American Association 2020 Season Plans, Schedule

On June 12th, the American Association unveiled their plans to play baseball in three hub cities, featuring six teams, for the 2020 season.

Today (June 15th) the league released the full schedule.

Press release from June 12th:

MOORHEAD, MINN. – The American Association of Independent Professional Baseball will begin a six team, 60-game season with fans in attendance on Friday, July 3, the league office announced today. The full schedule will be announced on Monday, June 15.

The American Association will begin the season operating out of three hubs, with games hosted by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, Milwaukee Milkmen and Sioux Falls Canaries. The Winnipeg Goldeyes will operate out of the Fargo hub, the Chicago Dogs will operate out of the Milwaukee hub, and the St. Paul Saints will operate out of the Sioux Falls hub. Each team will play 42 of their 60 games in their hub to limit travel. The schedule will allow any of the three road clubs to return home for games if local governmental restrictions allow for games with fans in attendance.

The American Association teams participating in the 2020 season were based on cities allowing for fans in attendance at stadiums, geography, and the COVID-19 restrictions that persist in certain American Association cities.

Each team and stadium will have in place and enforce COVID Readiness Plans, approved by local Health Departments and Government Officials. Stadiums will be configured to return to play with limited capacity in order to allow for safe social distancing while enjoying a live, professional baseball game.

A truncated Spring Training will begin on June 25, with Opening Day scheduled for July 3. The American Association will experiment with new roster rules in 2020, highlighted by the elimination of rookie, LS, and veteran minimums and maximums on rosters, and a draft of players from non-participating clubs to allow the best possible talent available to play this season. The regular season will end on September 10, with a five-game American Association Finals pitting the top two teams from the regular season.

“We are very happy to be able to return professional baseball to our fans, albeit in a different fashion than usual,” said American Association Commissioner Joshua Schaub. “We look forward to opening up our season on July 3 for a summer of high-level professional baseball and bringing America’s Pastime back to the fans.”

According to ESPN, each home team will be ” in position to sell about 25% to 33% of their ballpark’s capacities.”

Schedule and June 15th press release:

MOORHEAD, MINN. – For weeks, sports talk show hosts and baseball fans all believed the perfect time to begin the 2020 baseball season was the Fourth of July Weekend. The holiday, the fireworks, and baseball have always gone together. Fans were looking for a glimmer of hope that the national pastime would return

The American Association of Independent Professional Baseball are providing that optimism with the unveiling of the six team, 60 game schedule that will begin play on July 3 in the hub cities of Fargo-Moorhead (ND/MN), Milwaukee (WI) and Sioux Falls (SD).

The American Association season will run from July 3-September 10 with a Championship Series to follow in a best-of-five format. The league will consist of six teams based in three separate hubs. The Chicago Dogs are paired with the Milwaukee Milkmen at Ballpark Commons, home of the Milkmen. The St. Paul Saints will be grouped with the Sioux Falls Canaries at Sioux Falls Stadium. The Winnipeg Goldeyes are grouped with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Newman Outdoor Field, home of the RedHawks.

Each team will play 30 games as the home team in their pods and 12 games as the visiting team in their hub, meaning 42 of each team’s 60 games will be played at their hub site. The schedule will allow any of the three road clubs to return home for games if local health and governmental restrictions allow for games with fans in attendance.

Each team and stadium will have in place and enforce COVID Readiness Plans, approved by local health and government officials. Stadiums will be configured to return to play with limited capacity to allow for safe social distancing while enjoying live professional baseball.

With players around the country unsure of whether they would have a chance to play baseball this summer, the leaders of the American Association and its clubs were determined to find a way. As teams found ways to keep hope, and their business, alive and players found creative ways to work out on their own, the American Association knew they had to make a 2020 season happen.

Why? For Love of the Game.

This sentiment became so pervasive in the league’s approach that Baseballism, a lifestyle brand devoted to all things baseball and its rich history as America’s pastime, has been brought aboard

to promote the 2020 season with a retail offering commemorating the spirit of the effort via a “For Love of the Game” logo.

“Our goal is to put the best talent possible out on the field, and high-talent players are certainly available,” said American Association Commissioner Joshua Schaub. “There is no shortage of enormously talented athletes who need a place to play. After much patience and perseverance, we can provide an environment in which to play and watch baseball.”

The league will hold a dispersal draft of players from the six clubs not participating in the 2020 season on Tuesday, June 16. An abbreviated Spring Training will commence on June 25 prior to the July 3 Opening Day.

Get ready for the return of live baseball in a safe and fun environment this summer – For Love of the Game!