MLB cancels Midland RockHounds season due to COVID-19
Major League Baseball cancels 2020 season for all Minor League Baseball teams
Midland, Texas (KOSA) - It’s July 1 and normally you would hear the crack of the bat or the cheer of the crowd in the stands, but COVID-19 struck out the Midland RockHounds season, and for the first time in franchise history there won’t be any baseball in Midland.
Double-A baseball first got its start at Christensen Stadium where the team was first called the Midland Cubs, the Midland Angels, before switching to the Midland RockHounds where they found their new home at Momentum Bank Ballpark.
Monty Hoppel is the General Manager of the Midland RockHounds and says he’s never seen anything like this happen in baseball.
“This is a first for us, this is a first for me,” Hoppel said. “I’ve been in baseball for 38 years and no baseball is kind of unique, but I guess every season comes with it’s own set of challenges, but this is one of the bigger ones. We were trying to talk to Major League Baseball about trying to get all these players out to 200 plus different cities.”
It’s tough on the front office not being able to see fans at the games.
It’s even more devastating for the players who rely on baseball for income.
“I really feel for the minor leaguers. you know they’re not getting paid a lot of money,” Hoppel said. They’re trying to make it to the big leagues. You saw how hard with Major League Baseball, with the owners and players tried to get an agreement. Call these players trying to get drafted, there were less rounds in the draft. So I could see the complexity of what they were up to.”
No professional baseball players will get an at-bat for the RockHounds this year, but the organization still plans on hosting events this summer including a baseball tournament for local high school seniors who didn’t get the opportunity to play their final season.
"We really hope our first event is a senior high school baseball tournament. I think we have enough for four teams to come play here for two days in July. There could be some fun events if we do them. It would be a great easy place to do some social distancing.
Although there won’t be any RockHounds baseball in 2020, Monty Hoppel says that the RockHounds already have their season in place for the 2021 season, and are projected to start on April 8.
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