The Visalia Rawhide celebrate their victory against the San Jose Giants that lead them to the California League Championship in 2019. Photo contributed by Visalia Rawhide.
Written by The Business Journal Staff
It’s a sad day for Minor League Baseball fans everywhere, including Fresno and Visalia.
Both the Fresno Grizzlies and Visalia Rawhide organizations Tuesday announced that without players, there will be no Minor league Baseball season in 2020.
Major League Baseball, which underwent intense negotiations with its own Major League Baseball Players Association in a fraught effort to have its own baseball season, informed Minor League Baseball that it would not provide any players for the Minors this season.
Minor League Baseball was founded as the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues in 1901.
“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,” said Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O’Conner. “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 announcement comes during a time of momentum for both local teams. The Fresno Grizzlies are the Minor League affiliate of the Washington Nationals, which won the 2019 MLB World Series. The Visalia Rawhide was the 2019 champion of its own California League.
According to a news release from the Rawhide, the team, which was recently purchased by a new family ownership group, will celebrate its championship and the 75th anniversary of Minor League Baseball in Visalia in the 2021 season.
Major League Baseball plans to begin a 60-game schedule on July 23-24.
Derek Franks, president of the Fresno Grizzlies, released the following statement on social media:
“As an organization, we are already planning behind the scenes to give you the best celebration imaginable once this hibernation ends and we take the field again in 2021.”