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Crosscutters’ season officially canceled

SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO Members of the Williamsport Crosscutters wait to have their photo taken during the team's media day in June 2019.

The Williamsport Crosscutters’ season was officially canceled Tuesday after Major League Baseball announced it will not supply its minor league affiliates with players. The announcement, made at 5 p.m., brings an inevitable conclusion to the Minor League Baseball season which never began.

This summer will mark the first since 1993 there is no Minor League Baseball in Williamsport. The city went through a two-year hiatus without a professional baseball team after the Williamsport Bills relocated to Binghamton following the 1991 season.

There has been professional baseball in Williamsport each summer since 1994 when then owner Paul Velte moved the Geneva Cubs to Williamsport. In 1999, the team was rebranded as the Crosscutters.

Since the team moved to Williamsport, it has produced 111 future Major League Baseball players as an affiliate of both the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies.

“There 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 player,” said Minor League Baseball President and CEO Pat O’Conner in a press release. “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.”

While the cancellation of the season has widely been speculated as the country continues to deal with the fallout of the coronavirus, Tuesday was the first definitive word minor league teams had received about its season.

The New York-Penn League was scheduled to begin play June 19. But the league issued a statement on June 12 delaying the start of the season.

Look for a full story in Wednesday’s edition of the Sun-Gazette.

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