Lancaster vs Manheim Twp.-LNP Tournament Midget Semi

Lancaster's Kolby Esh (26) scores on an Alex Ruiz, bunt against Manheim Twp. during 2nd inning action of an LNP Tournament Midget Semifinal game at Clipper Magazine Stadium Thursday August 1, 2019.

The Lancaster County Midget Baseball League has cancelled its 2020 summer season. The decision was made at a league meeting Saturday morning, held outdoors at Amos Herr Park in Landisville.

The league had initially aimed for a May 26 start date, then pushed the date to July 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But although July 1 nears, the lack of availability of baseball diamonds on the properties of public school districts has made a 2020 season unfeasible, according to league general manager Ken Gerber.

“All but two of our teams utilize school district fields,” Gerber said. “The school districts have not given them permission to utilize their facilities.”

That’s likely due in part because school administrators across Lancaster County are in the early stages of putting together return-to-play plans for their own athletic teams and facilities.

“Several school districts said, ‘Absolutely not,’” Gerber said. “They’re dealing with fall sports first. They don’t want anything else going on.”

There was also the issue of likely not being able to give players adequate practice days before jumping into games.

“And any schedule we could’ve done, our games would have had to have been done by Aug. 10. That’s the first day of activities for high school fall sports,” Gerber said. “So our window was very narrow.”

Lancaster County Midget Baseball League is made up of 20 teams, with more than 250 players ages 17 and under. However, Gerber said eight of those teams weren’t sure “if they could have teams” this summer.

The league had voted in March on an exception to allow recent high school seniors to play this summer after they had lost out on their final prep season in the spring.

“We were hoping to give them something,” Gerber said. “I feel bad. It’s a loss for the kids.”

Meanwhile, the Lancaster County Youth Baseball League, which is comprised of about a dozen players each on 130 teams across three age levels, is still aiming to squeeze in a 2020 season, with a tentative start date of June 29.