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2020 Little League World Series, PDP League Canceled Due To Coronavirus

The 2020 editions of the Little League World Series and PDP League were both canceled Thursday due to the novel coronavirus, continuing the impact the pandemic has had at all levels of baseball. 

The Little League World Series is one of the most prominent youth baseball events in the world and has taken place annually since 1947. The event would have celebrated its 74th anniversary this year.

“This is a heartbreaking decision for everyone at Little League International, but more so for those millions of Little Leaguers who have dreamt of one day playing in one of our seven World Series events,” said Little League President and CEO Stephen D. Keener in a press release.

“After exhausting all possible options, we came to the conclusion that because of the significant public health uncertainty that will still exist several months from now, and with direction from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, as well as senior public health officials and government leaders from locations where our other six World Series are held, as well as the their qualifying regional tournaments, it will not be possible to proceed with our tournaments as we’ve hosted them for nearly 75 years.”

Little League International cited a number of factors in its decision to cancel the event, including current international travel restrictions, COVID-19 testing limitations and an inability of many teams to participate.

The Little League World Series will resume in 2021. 

The Prospect Development Pipeline League (PDP League) was initiated last summer with an emphasis on player development for 80 of the top high school players in the country. The PDP League put out the following statement via Twitter:

“Given the uncertainty surrounding the next several months the 2020 PDP League has been canceled. Though we will miss this opportunity to host the best high school players in the nation, this decision was made to prioritize the health and safety of our athletes, coaches and staff. We hope for continued safety for all, and wish our very best during these unprecedented times. 

Taking the place of USA Baseball’s Tournament of Stars, the PDP League was one of the highlights of the scouting calendar for MLB teams, as well as a foundational event in selecting USA Baseball’s 18U National Team. The 2020 event would have put a spotlight on many of the country’s top 2021 high school draft prospects. 

While COVID-19 has already dramatically impacted the 2020 draft class by cutting short or eliminating baseball seasons entirely, the 2021 prep class could face even bigger challenges. MLB scouting departments put a priority on the summer showcase circuit, particularly in regards to hitters.

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