The league issued a statement Friday saying the start of the season is being delayed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement came as no surprise considering Major League Baseball still hasn’t announced a start date for big league games as players and owners battle over the finances of a shortened season.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the start of the 2020 Appalachian League season is being delayed indefinitely,” the statement read. “The league and its clubs will continue to monitor the situation and work with our Major League Baseball affiliates, while following the recommendations set forth by the Center for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) and adhering to local reopening guidelines. As always, the health and safety of the Appalachian League fans, players and staff members is our top priority.”
The league was scheduled to begin play on June 22 and run into September.
The announcement leaves the league’s future with a bleak outlook because MLB is considering a proposal that would contract many minor league teams next season. Part of those talks is the possible elimination of the Appalachian League.
The Johnson City Cardinals, who were supposed to open the season at home against the Kingsport Mets, are the defending league champions.