Play ball? 2020 season a work in progress for Alaska Baseball League

Published: May. 15, 2020 at 4:32 PM AKDT
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The Alaska Baseball League continues to work towards a final decision on its 2020 season, but questions remain. Can they find host families? What if a player gets the virus? Is it financially sustainable to play?

This summer's college baseball league would be comprised of Mat-Su Miners, Anchorage Glacier Pilots, Anchorage Bucs and Eagle River Chinooks.

“We want to make sure we are making a good decision for the health of Alaska, the players and everybody involved,” ABL president and Chinooks coach Chris Beck told KTUU.

The league president went on to say they’re meeting with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum next Friday as the league looks to navigate mandates on a city and state level.

“We certainly can’t roll the dice and sacrifice this season for next,” said Anchorage Bucs General Manager Shawn Maltby. “We have to make sure economically we can make the money back that we missed out in June this season.”

A big cost for the teams in the league is paying for the players to fly up to Alaska from the lower 48. To help supplement the cost of airfare the teams sell concessions, food, beer, and wine but Maltby says the Bucs are still waiting to receive permits from the city for this season

The biggest concern for the ABL is whether it could handle the liability of a positive case from a player and a possible spread.

"We want to play baseball, trust me we want to get out there and play," explained Maltby. "But we got to make the right decision for the league and the community."

The ABL’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.

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