The State College Spikes won't be taking the field this year following an announcement by Major League Baseball that the entire 2020 Minor League season has been canceled.
The start of the season, which was slated for earlier this month, had already been delayed.
"Major League Baseball has informed Minor League Baseball that it will not be providing its affiliated Minor League teams with players for the 2020 season," a statement reads. "As a result, there will not be a Minor League Baseball season in 2020."
"These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we've had a summer without Minor League Baseball played," said Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O'Conner. "While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment."
The Spikes had been set to open their 15th season at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on June 18, but on June 12 the New York-Penn League announced its season was suspended indefinitely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heading into July with still no plan in place, it seemed inevitable Minor League Baseball would be shelved for the year.
"All of us with the Spikes are disappointed by today's news," a Spikes statement on Tuesday said. "We work throughout the year in anticipation of sharing summer nights together, making memories with friends old and new. We miss the smiles, shared experiences and all-inclusive sense of community the Spikes and Minor League Baseball stand for.
"While we had been looking forward to celebrating our 15th Season of Making Deer Friends, we will continue to strive to bring fun, affordable and safe family entertainment to Happy Valley, including our 4th of July with the Spikes event this Saturday."
Major League Baseball, meanwhile, is moving forward with a 60-game season. Training camps open July 1 and opening day is July 23. Each team will have 60-man player pools, with those who aren't on active rosters working at alternate training sites and awaiting call up to the team.
The future of the State College Spikes — the St. Louis Cardinals' short-season single-A affiliate, was already in doubt prior to Tuesday's announcement and prior to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier in 2020 MLB announced plans to cut and limit the size of the minor league system for what it deemed to be various financial reasons. The Spikes, and 41 other minor league teams were among those listed in the proposal.
The plan has been met with vocal opposition from various minor league communities, front offices and government representatives.
Locally the potential for the Spikes' departure from State College was met with support efforts under the Save Our Spikes campaign.
Major League Baseball has not offered a recent update on those pending plans as it continues to look to restart its own season after prolonged and heated talks with the player's association.