Summer Baseball Remains A Possibility For The Intercity Baseball League (ICL)

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David Lightbody and the Alibrandis Baseball Club have competed in the Intercity Baseball League (ICL) since 2018. (PHOTO COURTESY:

By Matt Noonan 

There’s hope for the Intercity Baseball League (ICL) to play some games this summer.

The ICL Board of Directors announced Wednesday, May 27 that it’s possible an abbreviated season could begin no earlier than Monday, July 6, pending both the first and second phases of the Massachusetts reopening plan goes “as currently proposed.”

Gov. Charlie Baker unveiled the state’s reopening plan earlier this month which consisted of four phases. A new phase can begin every three weeks, but Baker and his staff have stressed that data will be the key with the reopening, so it is possible the first and second phases could be extended longer.

The ICL, which has provided its eight-team league with updates for the past few weeks, continued to stress safety as its main concern.

Pending a season does begin on Monday, July 6, the league’s regular-season schedule would feature fewer games, along with a double-elimination tournament instead of its usual postseason format, which consists of six teams.

The ICL Board of Directors will reconvene via Zoom for its next meeting on Tuesday, June 9 with hopes of more news for its teams, as well as its fans and spectators.

While Wednesday’s news should provide hope and optimism for those seeking some baseball to watch, a few other leagues are hoping to make a triumphant return to the diamond in the coming weeks.  Some leagues, including the Cape Cod Baseball League and New England Collegiate Baseball League, have canceled their respective seasons, while the Futures Collegiate Baseball League delayed the start of its season.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Doesn’t Think Its Safe To Welcome Back Sports

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh doesn’t believe it is safe to welcome back pro sports to the city. (PHOTO COURTESY: Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

By Matt Noonan

There’s no doubt that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh would like to welcome back sports – he even said he would be willing to reopen Fenway Park and the TD Garden earlier this month with no fans. But as of this afternoon, Walsh believes its best to keep teams on the sidelines as the state and city slowly begin to reopen.

“As much as I would love to watch our pro teams play right now, we really have to put the health and safety of (the) Boston residents first,” Walsh said during his daily press briefing. “As I have said before, if pro teams (and) sports come back, it will be very different than what we’re used to.

“I don’t think right now we’re where in a place where we’ll have fans watching and cheering from the stands, (but) we also have to think about the health of the players and the players traveling from other places. Teams could look into things like temperature checks and testing to limit the spread amongst players and staff. Any proposals of teams will have to be matched with the proper health and safety protocol to make both staff and players feel comfortable with their plans.”

While Walsh’s announcement shouldn’t impact the Boston Celtics – if basketball were to resume, games would be held in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports – it could be an issue for the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox.

The NHL is planning to provide its fans with an update this afternoon about restarting games while the MLB is trying to get a deal done between its players and owners. And if a deal is reached, it’s likely the Red Sox would play home games in Fort Myers, not Boston.

“We’ll keep fans posted as soon as decisions are made,” said Walsh.

The Bruins and Celtics last played in Boston in early March while the Red Sox’s last home game occurred against the Baltimore Orioles on September 29, 2019.

Summer Baseball Hopes Remain Alive For Some Massachusetts Leagues

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Summer baseball in Massachusetts could still happen for a few local leagues. (PHOTO COURTESY: VisualHunt.com)

By Matt Noonan

There’s hope for summer baseball in Massachusetts. But will games be played remains the biggest question?

The Intercity Baseball League (ICL) has yet to cancel its 2020 season but did share an update on Thursday that “safety of players, coaches, umpires, team officials, and fans” remains its biggest concern. It is possible a season could begin in July with a double-elimination tournament that would be followed by the playoffs, according to the board of directors’ recent post on the ICL website.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker unveiled a plan for the state’s reopening earlier this week, which did include outdoor activities and recreation, so it is possible the ICL could return in the third phase. But for the ICL to be able to play, they would need to obtain permits from the various cities and towns their teams compete in.

The ICL is an eight-team league and has been playing baseball games since 1950.

The Yawkey Baseball League (YBL) has yet to cancel its 2020 season, according to a recent update that was shared on TwitterDave McKay, who is the league’s president, expressed optimism for games to be played this summer but did say the YBL is “awaiting news on when permits will be issued.”

An update on the YBL’s 2020 season will be announced in two weeks.

In a Facebook post from last month, the Boston Park League announced they plan to provide its teams with a 21-game schedule, beginning Monday, July 6. The post also noted their 2020 season is “subject to guidelines from (Gov. Baker) and the City of Boston. No news from the BPL has been shared since last month.

The Cranberry League has not changed its plans to begin its season, as reported earlier this month. The league plans to play its season-opener on Sunday, June 21st, but most likely the start date would be pushed back due to the state’s phase reopening plan, which is in three-week increments.

Finally, Lou Thompkins All-Star Baseball plans to provide its three youth divisions with a 15-game schedule, beginning after July 4. One of the leagues has decided to allow local high school seniors to play due to their spring seasons being canceled by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

With Baseball On Hold, The Alibrandis Continue To Stay Optimistic

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Teddy Dziuba and the Albrandis Baseball Club have played two seasons in the Intercity Baseball League (ICL). (PHOTO COURTESY: Craig Henry)

By Matt Noonan 

For the moment, Teddy Dziuba and the Alibrandis Baseball Club of the Intercity Baseball League (ICL) remain on the sidelines. The upcoming season – the team’s third in the ICL – has yet to be canceled.

The ICL announced earlier this month that they hope to provide their eight-team league with a short, abbreviated season, pending it is safe to do so. But more information on the league’s 2020 season should become available tomorrow, Wednesday, May 20 when the ICL board of directors reconvene on Zoom.

“If we get the green light that baseball is going to happen this summer, the Alibrandis have two dozen eager baseball players waiting to take the field,” said Dziuba, who is the team’s catcher.

If the 2020 season is to occur, Dziuba and his teammates would certainly be a team to watch. The Alibrandis joined the ICL in 2018 and advanced to the postseason, both last year and the year before. And despite falling short of winning their first title, the team is optimistic about challenging the Lexington Blue Sox, which have won 15 league titles. 

“The Alibrandis Baseball Club has enjoyed the last two seasons in the ICL immensely,” said Dziuba. “(The league features some) incredible talent from top to bottom, and it has certainly made us step up our games in terms of how we approach every night.

“(And while) we may be one of the older teams in the league, our veterans haven’t lost a step and will be gunning to take home our first championship as soon as they let us onto the field.”

Winning a championship, especially in the ICL would certainly be an accomplishment for this group, which has come up short the past two years against the Blue Sox. Lexington outlasted the Alibrandis in the 2018 semifinals before edging them one year later in the championship round.

Said Dziuba, “We look forward to continuing our healthy rivalry with the Lexington Blue Sox as soon as we are allowed on the field.”

The Alibrandis-Blue Sox rivalry will continue, as well as other hard-fought contests, too. But for now, Dziuba and his teammates seem upbeat – they’re even exchanging positive text messages these days to keep everyone’s spirits up.

Could Some Massachusetts Baseball Leagues Play Games This Summer?

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Local summer baseball leagues in Massachusetts are holding out hope for a potential season, while others, including the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL) have canceled its 2020 season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

There seems to be some hope for a few local adult baseball leagues in Massachusetts to play some games this summer. But when will these games be played remains an unknown.

One of the local leagues – the Intercity Baseball League (ICL) – seems hopeful that they can provide their players with a shortened season beginning in July.

The ICL Board of Directors, who met yesterday through Zoom, announced on their website that they will “make every effort to play an abbreviated version of our usual schedule” as long as its safe for their players, team officials, and umpires. Safety while  adhering to “regulations and guidelines in place” by the state will be the keys for starting up a league that last saw the Lexington Blue Sox win its fifth-straight championship last August.

The Yawkey Baseball League (YBL) announced last month that their regular season has been delayed” while the Boston Men’s Baseball League (BMBL) is hopeful to start its season either later this summer or possibly this fall.

“Obviously everybody wants to do the right thing and do it safely,” Jeff Coveney, who is the president of the BMBL, said via Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “Hopefully we can have a season.”

According to the Cranberry Baseball League‘s website, the CBL is planning to start its season on Sunday, June 21, but no schedule has been posted. The Men’s Night Baseball League, which plays games at Ferullo Field in Woburn, also plans to begin its season next month, according to the MNBL website.

Of course, there are other leagues that remain hopeful and optimistic for games to be played this summer, but as of now, it remains an unknown if and when these contests will occur.

Both the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL) and New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) canceled its respective seasons.