By Ray Hamill — The Humboldt B52s announced on Monday afternoon that they have been forced to cancel the 2021 summer season because of the lingering effects of COVID-19.
The summer collegiate baseball club has been meeting in recent weeks to try and find a way past the numerous logistical concerns of playing during a pandemic, but was facing too many challenges to go ahead with the season.
“COVID’s still lingering, and we have to think of the safety of the players coming in from out of town,” club board member and head recruiter Spencer Duggan said. “And financially it would have been a gamble. There were just too many obstacles.”
Among the chief concerns were the fact the club had to cancel a lot of its main fundraisers, including the annual buffet dinner.
The recent news that the Redding Colt 45s had to cancel their season also played a role in the decision, with six of the B52s’ 30 games scheduled against the Redding club.
“The writing was on the wall when the Colt 45s canceled their season,” Duggan added.
The news is disappointing not just for the fans, but for the many local collegiate players who would have played with the team and will now have to travel out of the area to get some valuable summer playing time in order to help them prepare for college ball next year.
“We had some local players we had reached out to,” said Duggan, who usually recruits 10-12 locals for the team. “It’s just kind of a bummer that the second local summer (collegiate) team won’t be playing this year.”
Duggan said it is still possible the B52s could field a team for one or two games at some stage this summer, if the opportunity presented itself.
“I can’t rule it out,” he said. “We could round up a scrappy group of nine or 10 players.”
This is the second straight summer the B52s have had to cancel because of the pandemic, but the club is determined to be back playing in 2022.
“We’re disappointed,” Duggan said. “That’s two summers in a row, but we plan on being back in 2022.”