Image credit: Sunscreen and hand sanitizer stations are set up around Roger Dean Stadium during a spring training baseball game between the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins. (Photo by Rich Schulz/Getty Images)
Major League Baseball announced Thursday that all remaining spring training games have been canceled and the start of the regular season will be delayed at least two weeks due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Shortly after, the NCAA announced the cancellation of the 2020 College World Series, continuing a stunning day across the baseball landscape.
MLB also announced that the World Baseball Classic qualifiers currently being played in Tucson are postponed indefinitely.
MLB Opening Day was originally scheduled for March 26. It will now be April 9 at the earliest.
Minor League Baseball, which was scheduled to begin April 9, also announced it would delay the start of its regular season. MiLB did not give an alternate start date in its press release announcing the move and said it would announce further information at a later date.
“In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, and after consultation with medical professionals and our partners at Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball will delay the start of the 2020 Championship Season. We will continue to monitor the developments and will announce additional information about the 2020 season at a later date. We will work with Major League Baseball and our community partners to resume play as soon as it is safe to do so. The health and safety of Minor League Baseball fans, players and executives is our top priority, and our thoughts are with those around the world who have been affected by this outbreak.”
There are no specifics about how long a delayed season could last.
At the college level, several conferences moved swiftly Thursday to suspend play, including both the Pac-12 and SEC. In all, more than 100 Division I programs have altered either schedules or attendance policies because of COVID-19 concerns. Several prominent high school baseball programs have taken a similar tact to upcoming games.
Below, you can find all of our news regarding COVID-19’s impact on baseball, which is free for all to read.
- Players Allowed To Return Home Following Cancellation
- SEC Extends Suspension Of Play Through April 15
- College Baseball Reacts To Cancellation Of CWS
- NCAA To Grant Relief For Spring Athletes
- Unprecedented: Coronavirus Pandemic Forces Us To Confront Time Without Sports
- NCAA Cancels 2020 College Baseball Tournament, Continuing Surreal Day
- MLB Teams Ground Scouts Amid Travel Concerns
- See The Full List Of College Baseball Cancellations, Attendance Policy Changes
- College Baseball’s Season Appears To Be In Jeopardy
- PODCAST: How COVID-19 Is Already Affected Games, Scouting
- ‘It’s Heartbreaking:’ How One Ivy League Team Learned Its Season Is Over