The Florida State League made it official today, cancelling the 2020 Florida State League All-Star game. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was planning my trip to Daytona to see the Tortugas play the week before the All-Star game and hang around for the pre-game events and the game itself. But once it started to become more and more clear that the baseball season in the minors wasn’t going to get started anytime soon, or perhaps not at all in a way we are accustomed to (or at all), some leagues began officially announcing the cancellation of their 2020 All-Star games.
With how time seems to be working during this pandemic, it feels like four decades ago when we got announcements from the Midwest League, the Eastern League, and Triple-A (the two leagues face off against each other rather than have league independent All-Star games) that their All-Star games were cancelled this year. It turns out, though, that it was just about a week ago when that happened. Today the Florida State League joined those leagues in their official announcement, releasing this statement:
The Florida State League announced today that the 2020 Florida State League All-Star Game, hosted by the Daytona Tortugas and scheduled for June 23 at Historic Jackie Robinson Ballpark has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Florida State League President Terry Reynolds made the announcement today and said “I am very sad to announce the cancellation of this year’s FSL All-Star Game. The Tortugas, under the leadership of President Ryan Keur, have worked diligently to host our premiere summer event. To the fans, the sponsors and the partners who would have set a new standard of excellence for our event we say thank you! The start of the Florida State League season has been postponed in coordination with the State of Florida and White House guidance on social distancing. “We cannot wait to get the Florida State League season underway but the health and safety of our fans, players, and staff is our utmost priority” Reynolds said.
This is a big blow for Daytona and the Tortugas more than it is for the other host sites. The Tortugas, as you’ve probably seen, were one of the 40 teams in Minor League Baseball that was listed a few months ago as a team that was potentially on the chopping block from Major League Baseball in their plan to reduce the number of teams affiliated with Major League Baseball from 160 to 120. In other leagues the cancellation of the All-Star game has been met with re-scheduling the game in the 2020 host city in the near future. For Daytona that may not be possible as they may not be in the Florida State League, or Minor League Baseball next year.
There has been talk that the initial list of 40 teams has changed since it was first leaked out. There has not, however, been a leak of which teams were moved off, or onto the list in its most recent form.