(WEYMOUTH, Mass., June 22, 2020) -- The Futures Collegiate Baseball League today announced the dates and start times for its 2020 season. Featuring six teams and a 39-game slate, regular season play will begin on Thursday, July 2 and conclude Wednesday, August 19. The Bravehearts will open the season in New Britain, CT on July 2 and are not scheduled to play their first home game until July 11.
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“After welcoming its 2,000,000th fan in history last summer, the Futures League looks to maintain its momentum as the most popular summer collegiate league in New England,” said league commissioner Joe Paolucci. “Our team owners and operators put a tremendous amount of work into positioning our ballparks to open as safely as possible in order to provide fans with our unique brand of baseball and entertainment. We’re excited to get going.”
The 10th season in Futures League history will feature six teams -- the defending, four-time champion Worcester Bravehearts, Brockton Rox, North Shore (Lynn) Navigators and Westfield Starfires, all of whom play within Massachusetts, as well as the New Britain (Conn.) Bees, and Nashua (N.H.) Silver Knights. The Pittsfield Suns, members of the FCBL in 2019, will not operate in 2020 but are working towards bringing baseball back to Wahconah Park and the Berkshire County of Massachusetts next summer.
Immediately following the regular season, the top two teams in the standings will play a best-of-three series to decide the league champion. The league will not use the two-half, 56-game structure that was originally announced last October.
The schedule will begin with three days of games (July 2, 3 and 5) at both New Britain Stadium in New Britain, Conn., and Historic Holman Stadium in Nashua, N.H., prior to Phase 3 of reopening the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
All teams have a minimum of 18 home games during the summer, with New Britain and Nashua having 21. Both clubs gained dates due to their receiving permission to open their respective facilities from local governmental and health officials, while the Massachusetts clubs remain in Phase 2.
The first-of-its-kind “Home Run Derby Wins It” tiebreaker will return for its fourth year in 2020. Any games tied after one extra inning will be decided with a shootout-style home run derby. The team that hits the most home runs during a three-minute round wins the game. A two-minute round and, if still necessary, a one-minute round would follow in the event of a tie or ties.
Each team will publish a stadium-specific COVID-Readiness Plan that will outline new safety procedures for fans, players, and staff. The Bravehearts expect to make that plan public on June 25.