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The Springfield Cardinals home opener was scheduled to be today but because of the coronavirus it was cancelled.

Springfield News-Leader

The long-awaited announcement of the cancellation of the 2020 Minor League Baseball season is near, the league announced Tuesday. 

Baseball America was the first to report, citing sources, on Tuesday that the season has been shelved because the MLB “has failed to provide players.” 

“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 MiLB President and CEO Pat O’Conner said in a 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.”

The announcement means the end of the Springfield Cardinals season before it ever began. No announcement has been made by the team. 

MORE: St. Louis Cardinals to use Hammons Field for ‘taxi squad’ as baseball resumes

The Athletic reported Monday night that the cancellation of the Minor League season was the expectation. The website said because MLB teams are going to extraordinary lengths to ensure the safety of players and personnel involved with the sport, those kinds of resources wouldn’t have been available to minor league clubs. 

Hammons Field is still set to be used this summer by the St. Louis Cardinals, but fans likely won’t be able to see them due to the ongoing pandemic. 

John Mozeliak, the St. Louis Cardinals’ president of baseball operations, told reporters in a Zoom call last week that the club is planning on hosting its taxi squad at Hammons Field. 

No birds, no bats: Springfield Cardinals’ canceled home opener during coronavirus pandemic

The Major League team received special permission to use Springfield’s ballpark. The MLB asked teams to use a stadium within 100 miles, but Hammons Field — 216 miles away from Busch Stadium — is the closest Minor League affiliate.

The Cardinals hope they will be able to bring some top prospects, even if they are younger and won’t have an influence on the 2020 season, to Springfield to have them get work in. 

Wyatt D. Wheeler is a reporter and columnist with the Springfield News-Leader. You can contact him at 417-371-6987, by email at wwheeler@news-leader.com or join the conversation on Twitter where his handle is @WyattWheeler_NL