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Baseball's minor leagues cancel 2020 seasons

Major League Baseball decided not to provide any players to its affiliated teams amid the coronavirus pandemic.
River Bandits extend helping hand to Astros

Baseball’s minor leagues have canceled their seasons after Major League Baseball decided not to provide any players to its affiliated teams amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the minor league governing body, made the long-expected announcement. 

The Professional Baseball Agreement between the majors and the minors expires after this season, and MLB has proposed reducing the minimum affiliates from 160 to 120.

"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," MiLB President and CEO Pat O'Conner said in a statement posted to Twitter. 

Minor league teams in the Quad Cities Area include the Clinton LumberKings, The Burlington Bees and the Quad Cities River Bandits.

The River Bandits released a statement and said all 2020 sales will be credited toward the 2021 season. There are plans to open Modern Woodmen Park to other entertainment opportunities later in the year.

“To say the entire Burlington Bees organization is saddened by this announcement is an understatement," Kim Parker, General Manager of the Bees said in a statement. "We are heartbroken but the health and safety of our fans, players and employees is the #1 priority to our organization.”

The Bees said they will contact ticket holders with more information.

The Clinton LumberKings also plan to hold events throughout the year. 

"The news is definitely not what we wanted to hear, but we are at least able to focus on the events we will be holding at the ballpark," the LumberKings said in a statement. "There will be more concerts peppered in our schedule over the next couple of months."

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