By Ray Hamill — The Humboldt Crabs announced on Thursday afternoon that the 2020 season has been suspended after a meeting of the club board of directors on Wednesday night.
However, the iconic local ball club, which has played 75 consecutive summers, fell short of saying the season has been canceled, leaving the door slightly open and the possibility of some games at a later stage.
“We’ve got a streak that we’re very proud of,” team president David Sharp said shortly after the announcement was made on social media. “We don’t want to put the community in jeopardy, but if there is an opportunity (later in the summer or fall) I think we owe it to our fans to least explore it.”
Thursday’s decision was expected considering the logistics involved and the ongoing state-wide suspension of team sports and large gatherings, as well as travel restrictions.
Many of the team’s scheduled opponents, including the Humboldt B52s, have already canceled their summer schedules.
Team sporting events without large gatherings are expected to return in the coming weeks, however, as the gradual reopening of the state continues, but Sharp says the club board did not want to play games without fans.
“Will we see Crabs baseball without fans? Maybe for a game,” Sharp said. “But to operate our high quality summer baseball without fans, it just didn’t seem realistic. No. 1, they create an atmosphere, and No. 2, they bring money into the ball park to help us operate.
“We held out as long as we could to make a decision, but in the end it just didn’t feel right to bring baseball and large gatherings to the Arcata Ball Park given what we know of the current situation.”
Sharp described the situation as “heartbreaking.”
The decision was made two weeks before the season was originally scheduled to begin and affects more than the players and fans, with several employees now missing out on work opportunities for the summer.
“We wanted to allow our employees to find other employment opportunities, and allow our players to find other teams,” the club president added.
The full press release read as follows:
“It is with great dismay that the Humboldt Crabs Board of Directors announce the 2020 season has been suspended until local and state authorities allow live sports to resume. Humboldt County’s current Shelter-In-Place Order prohibits team sports, non-essential travel and large gatherings. Without the ability to have players, opposing teams and fans we cannot realistically fulfill our mission of promoting family entertainment by providing high-quality summer baseball games to the public. If there is a sensible way to safely bring Crabs baseball to our fans, our players, our staff, and the youth of our community we will make every effort. But at this time and in the near-term, the risks outweigh the rewards.
“We are grateful to our community of fans, sponsors and partners, staff, players, coaches, volunteers and everyone involved in Crabs baseball for their ongoing support. And we are forever grateful to our local health care workers for all they are doing to keep our community safe and healthy.
“More information will follow within the next week that will answer any questions about tickets and sponsorships.”