The Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League will not play ball in 2020.
The league’s 13th season will have to wait until next year. On Monday afternoon the HCBL announced that it had canceled its 2020 season in light of the coronavirus pandemic and governmental regulations related to it.
“Summer baseball is a special opportunity for these players, but given the current circumstances in our community and throughout New York, the board voted unanimously to cancel our season,” HCBL president Sandi Kruel said in a statement. “This decision was not taken lightly. However, out of an abundance of caution for our players, league staff, and residents here on the East End, we all felt it was a necessary one.”
The seven-team HCBL, which includes the Riverhead Tomcats and North Fork Ospreys, was to start its season on June 2. College players had already seen their entire school season lost because of the COVID-19 threat.
In an interview with Times Review Media Group last month, Kruel said the league would likely have to make a decision one way or another between May 1 and 15 on whether to cancel or play. Typically, about 225 players from around the country who stay with host families, would arrive on eastern Long Island in late May for practices.
The HCBL is part of the 12-league National Alliance of College Summer Baseball, which is partially funded by Major League Baseball. Three other leagues from the NACSB, including the famed Cap Cod League, had called off their seasons in recent weeks.
Since its creation in 2008, the HCBL has provided playing opportunities for more than 1,700 players from more than 40 states and several countries. Over 200 HCBL players have been drafted by MLB, with 20 reaching the big leagues, according to the HCBL.
“I want to personally thank all of our sponsors, volunteers and of course our host families for their dedication to our success,” Kruel said in the statement. “With their continued support, we as a league look forward to coming back even stronger in 2021.”