OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON THE HOME TALENT BASEBALL LEAGUE
Home Talent Baseball League President Pat Reilly has issued a statement on the status of the league's 2020 season.
"After months of following the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) and the effects it is having on our society, we have decided to cancel the 2020 season as a league. We had set the season start back twice. We originally were going to start in June but the COVID-19 situation forced us to reconsider. We met again in June when I provided the HTL Executive Board with as much data as possible from health organizations, medical professionals, emergency government, and took a poll of how baseball was being viewed in other states. I presented a set of recommended guidelines that if there was to be a season, teams should follow. The board spent three hours considering the data and voted 3-1 to begin the season July 4 weekend using the suggested guidelines.
Since that decision, teams have been playing exhibition games to get ready for the opener. Unfortunately, one team reported a case of COVID-19 two weeks ago.
At that time I proposed to the board that we should follow a three-strike rule and if that was reached it would be time to shut down sponsorship of the season and play-offs. We reached strike three two weeks later.
Add to that the fact that the 17 teams in Dane County cannot play games on their fields until Phase 3 is reached and the fact that 6 teams (Deforest, Mazomanie, West Middleton, defending champion Verona, Lake Mills and Monona) have all withdrawn from league play and the task of continuing the season became too difficult. Also, with the recent spikes in cases it does not look like Phase 3 will be reached anytime soon.
We also note that if league play was started and a team or teams experience COVID-19 incidents there would be a two week window before those teams could resume play. In an already shortened season that would be another impossible obstacle.
While we are not continuing with a Home Talent League season as we know it we are not putting a stop to baseball. Teams may continue playing the schedules in hand or adjust them to fit their needs. We are obtaining a list of umpires who will continue to work games and teams can make their own arrangements with them. Teams will have baseballs that they ordered which can be used this season and next. Games can go as late into the summer as teams choosing to play exhibition games want them too. In short, we are not shutting down baseball, just HTL sponsorship for 2020.
The HTL Executive Board will be meeting later this summer after we see how the virus responds and how it looks for all sports in the future to make plans for 2021. Hopefully there will be a sense of what is normal by then and 2021 will be better than ever."