Alaska Baseball League working toward possible July 1 start date
The Alaska Baseball League has not yet made a final decision for the 2020 season following a meeting on Friday, but officials said plans are in the works for a potential July start date.
Big decisions still loom for the summer collegiate baseball league, comprising the Mat-Su Miners, Anchorage Glacier Pilots, Anchorage Bucs, and Eagle River Chinooks. The league is set to meet with the Municipality of Anchorage next Monday to discuss field, food, and beverage permits.
Bucs General Manager Shawn Maltby said the group pushed back making a decision until May 15, but added that there is a tentative start date for July 1 that's being considered.
The ABL is also working through social distancing policies, cleaning, and testing athletes, it said. Traditionally, the ABL has had local families house college baseball players from across the country who come to play in the Alaska; this is now one of the league's biggest hurdles, according to Maltby, who added that it may on the other hand be easier find players since there are few options for summer baseball this summer.
The league's rival for top talent, the Cape Cod League, has already voted to cancel its season after the NCAA college baseball season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.
If the league does step up to the plate and play this year, the season will no doubt look different than in years past. The Peninsula Oilers have already announced that its team will sit out the 2020, and despite not being part of the ABL, the Fairbanks Goldpanners will not play, either.
The ABL is considered one of the nation's top summer college baseball leagues, producing current Major League Baseball All-Stars such as Aaron Judge and Paul Goldschmidt.