In a statement issued today, the California Collegiate League (CCL) announced the cancellation of the 2020 Championship Season, the nationally-televised All-Star Prospect Game and the first-ever State Tournament.
Although the CCL will take a hiatus for the 2020 summer, the Orange County Riptide is committed to playing baseball locally and exploring options to play as an independent team.
On March 15, 2020, the CCL released at statement regarding the spread of COVID-19 and the uncertainty of the 2020 summer ball season. In that March statement, the CCL remained hopeful a summer season would be feasible but would monitor federal, state and local guidelines in order to play baseball safely and responsibly during the pandemic.
In April, the CCL stated the league and its members were still committed to playing during the summer and would proceed with caution and observe the latest recommendations from the various government and health authorities.
The CCL May update included an announcement that the San Luis Obispo Blues have opted to not field a collegiate summer baseball team. In addition, the remaining nine franchise members of the CCL passed a motion to start the 2020 season on Wednesday, July 1st. This was done in consideration of the ever changing state of affairs in local areas and the continually shifting municipal regulations each franchise was facing.
In conference calls between all leagues franchises, a drop-dead date of June 3rd was chosen as a “go or no go” deadline on if the 2020 season would start in July or to cancel altogether.
In the statement issued today, the CCL cited:
[gdlr_quote align=”center” ]”Unfortunately, our drop-dead date of June 3 arrived before we were able to discern a path to effectively operate a season. Our geography, the physical distance between our teams, and the different regulations as they vary by county, played a primary role in preventing the league to operate homogeneously. In addition, the residual socioeconomic effects of the coronavirus pandemic have hindered the possibility of normal operations for many of the CCL teams.[/gdlr_quote]
Numerous other summer collegiate baseball leagues have canceled their season including the Cape Cod League, Alaska Baseball League, West Coast League and Cal Ripken League among others.
Even though the CCL has chosen to collectively cancel the 2020 season, CCL franchises are permitted to explore options and opportunities to play baseball this summer operating an an independent team outside of the CCL for the 2020 season. The Orange County Riptide is actively exploring available options of playing independently.
The 2020 OC Riptide coaching staff is excited to play baseball this summer and is gauging interest from college baseball players who may show interest in playing for the Riptide. If an Orange County team plays this summer, it is unclear if the team will play under a different name or remain the OC Riptide despite the CCL as a league taking a hiatus.
No matter what name the team plays under, the Riptide organization is committed to fielding the highest quality and deeply talented team comprised of top notch baseball players from all levels of college baseball. The certainty of fielding a team in Orange County is still unknown, but rest assured, the Riptide organization will exhaust all possible options. If the Riptide is able to play this summer as an independent team, the Championship Baseball Stadium at the Great Park in Irvine will host home games.
The Orange County Riptide plans to make another announcement regarding the prospect of playing this summer independently while still remaining respectful of federal, state and local health ordinances.