Collegiate league follows lead of many in National Alliance of College Summer Baseball

Hamptons Baseball League Cancels Season




Independent/Gordon M. Grant

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and taking local, state, and national governmental regulations into consideration, the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League decided to cancel the 2020 summer season.

“Summer baseball is a special opportunity for these players, but given the current circumstances in our community and throughout New York, the board voted unanimously to cancel our season,” league President Sandi Kruel said. “This decision was not taken lightly. However, out of an abundance of caution for our players, league staff, and residents here on the East End, we all felt it was a necessary one.”

The Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League, which is part of the 12-league National Alliance of College Summer Baseball, decided to mirror decisions made by the Cape Cod Baseball League, The Valley Baseball League, and New England Collegiate Baseball League in previous weeks.

Some fans took to social media to react to the news.

“Very disappointing, but figured this would happen,” Jeff Coolahan said. “I hope everyone stays healthy.”

“Not enough sad face emojis for this season,” Adam Pronto said.

Coaches and staff were also saddened by the news.

“Upsetting but necessary,” said Mike Cruz, assistant baseball coach and strength and conditioning coach at Molloy College. “2019 in the Hamptons will forever be one of the greatest summers of my life.”

“Bummed I won’t be able to manage the Sag Harbor Whalers this summer, but this is the right move,” Justin Edwards said. “Hopefully, I will be invited to come back next summer.”

Established in 2008, the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League provides free family entertainment on eastern Long Island, as well as a forum for student-athletes to continue their pursuit of playing professionally. Since its inception, the league has welcomed more than 1700 players from more than 40 states, as well as several international countries. Over 200 former players have been selected in the Major League Baseball draft, with 20 reaching the big leagues.

“It’s a tremendous league for players, coaches, host families, and fans,” Mike Guanci said. “Bounce back in 2021.”

Many Hamptons Collegiate Baseball Teams, like the Riverhead Tomcats, Westhampton Aviators, and Sag Harbor Whalers, are hoping for just that.

“We are sad to announce that the 2020 Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League season has been canceled due to COVID-19,” the Sag Harbor Whalers said in a statement. “The Whalers family hopes everyone is staying safe and healthy, and that we will come back stronger in 2021.”

“Unfortunately, I knew this was coming, but it still hurts,” said Molloy College pitching coach and Westhampton Aviators 2019 Manager Alex Brosnan. “Westhampton is my favorite place to be in the summer. The people, the players, the host families, and the community make this place special. 2021 will be a fun year for baseball.”

The Shelter Island Bucks thanked the host families for the continued dedication and support, saying without the help of locals the league wouldn’t be possible.

“We know opening your homes to strangers isn’t always comfortable, but each of you were willing to do it to bring a much-needed boost to our little community, and for that we say ‘Thank you.’ The positive influence you are to your neighbors, friends, and each player you have hosted is special not only to us, but makes a lasting impression on the lives of these young players,” the team administrators said in a statement. “Some of them may go on to play professional baseball, and some may not, but what is certain is that the kindness you have extended to them is something they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

The administrators said they hope residents and athletes continue to pay it forward.

desiree@indyeastend.com