COMSTOCK PARK — The West Michigan Whitecaps will not compete in a 2020 season after Minor League Baseball announced Tuesday it is scrapping this year’s competition because of scheduling and other disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner released a statement late Tuesday making official what many speculated for a few weeks.
“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,” he said. “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.”
The Whitecaps were not far behind with a statement to confirm the season cancellation and promising additional information on Wednesday morning.
“Dear Whitecaps fans, Minor League Baseball officially announced at 5 p.m. ET today (June 30) that the season has been shelved,” the organization wrote on Facebook. “We are deeply disappointed. We miss all of you. … You will have questions about the Whitecaps, the path forward, tickets and more. We will be working hard, and doing our best, to answer those questions in the coming days.”
The Whitecaps are a Class A Minor League affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, and the team has been a mainstay in the West Michigan community for 26 years.
Minor league ball teams were waiting on direction from Major League Baseball on how to proceed. The MLB is planning to start its shortened season in late July.