Minor League Baseball announced the cancellation of the 2020 season on Tuesday due to the impacts of COVID-19, resulting in no games for the Altoona Curve and its Eastern League opponents this year. The State College Spikes and the New York-Penn League will also not play this season.
The decision was reached after Tuesday’s meeting involving MiLB’s Board of Trustees, which includes at least one representative from all 14 leagues. The primary concern after consultation with medical professionals and Major League Baseball officials is the safety of fans, players and staff members. Another contributing factor includes Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs will not provide players to affiliated teams as part of MLB’s return-to-play procedures.
The Curve season was scheduled to begin against the Erie SeaWolves on April 9 at Peoples Natural Gas Field. However, MLB and MiLB announced on March 12 the season would be delayed. Despite MLB’s plan to return to the field in July, there will be no professional baseball competition in Altoona for the first time since 1998.
“We are obviously very saddened by the news that the 2020 Minor League Baseball season is officially canceled,” said Curve General Manager Derek Martin. “This pandemic has affected everyone and we wish we could provide a much-needed distraction this summer. However, the safety of our fans, employees and the players that take the field are much more important. Our organization couldn’t be more appreciative of the support and patience of our community while we navigated all the uncertainty of the past several months. Now that we have some answers, we will continue to be in communication with all of our ticket holders and sponsors to continue to discuss plans moving forward.”
“These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we’ve had a summer without Minor League Baseball played,” said Minor League Baseball President and CEO Pat O’Conner. “While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment.”
Of local note, Central Cambria graduate Tyler Adams and Ferndale Area product Trey McGough will not be competing in affiliated ball in 2020.
Adams was selected in the 27th round last year out of Indiana (Pa.) by the Philadelphia Phillies. Adams, who went 3-1 in 16 1/3 innings last summer, closed out Martella's Pharmacy's 3-2 victory over New Orleans in the 2018 AAABA Tournament championship game to post Johnstown's first and only title.
McGough was picked by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 24th round last June. A left-handed pitcher who competed at Mount St. Mary's, McGough went 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 32 2/3 innings at Rookie-level Bristol and Class A West Virginia last summer.
Windber graduate Braxton Roxby signed with the Cincinnati Reds after the 2020 draft. The Pitt-Johnstown right-handed pitcher struck out 28 batters in 17 2/3 innings this past spring.