Strike three for Indians: Minor League Baseball canceled for this year

Pandemic to blame for loss of season
Posted at 4:55 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 19:03:56-04

INDIANAPOLIS — What had been widely assumed for some time is now official. There will be no 2020 Indianapolis Indians season.

The official announcement came from the team Monday. The Indians and the more than 100 teams in Minor League Baseball will not play this year. In Indiana, that also includes teams in Ft. Wayne and South Bend.

While Major League Baseball, including the Indians' parent team in Pittsburgh, were able to work out a plan for a 60 game season to be played without fans later in the summer, the same was not possible for the minor leagues.

In a statement from the Indians, "the many many COVID-19 related challenges that would accompany staffing team rosters for a two-month season, Major League Baseball has advised that it will not provide players to the teams of Minor League Baseball in 2020, resulting in the cancellation of this season.

It would have been the Tribe's 119th consecutive season.

“We are disappointed and saddened by today’s announcement. We had remained hopeful that Indians baseball this summer would serve as a rallying cry for our community as we begin our recovery from the pandemic,” said Randy Lewandowski, Indianapolis Indians President & General Manager. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to families affected by COVID-19 during this unimaginable time. We are extremely grateful for healthcare professionals and frontline employees who continue pushing forward every day to keep our community safe.”

Victory Field will not be totally dark this summer. Alternative events are being planned there. Here are a few:

Tuesday, July 7 (12 PM to 5 PM): Victory Field Blood Drive: Indianapolis Indians Charities, Strada and Sun King Brewery have partnered with the American Red Cross of Indiana to host a blood drive at Victory Field on Tuesday, July 7. Blood donors will receive a goodie bag with items from the Indianapolis Indians and Sun King.

Friday, July 10 (11 AM to 2 PM): 31st Annual Ice Cream Social at Victory Field: American Dairy Association Indiana’s Ice Cream Social – one of downtown Indy’s greatest summer traditions – makes its way to Victory Field on Friday, July 10. Pre-packaged ice cream novelties will be distributed during the drive-thru/walk-up event, and Indianapolis Indians Charities will match the first $5,000 in donations. All proceeds benefit Second Helpings.

And while players have not been on the field, Tribe fans have been helping local nonprofits during the pandemic.

Thanks to an online merchandise match program, #IndiansOpeningStay campaign, and the month of May being dedicated to COVID-19 relief, Indianapolis Indians Charities has donated over 80,000 meals and $40,000 to local nonprofits since mid-March.