Cooperstown All Star Village President Martin Patton announced the cancellation of the resort’s 2020 season Monday, June 15.
“After considering all the possible alternatives we have regrettably made the decision to cancel the 2020 Season,” Patton said in a statement on the company website. “Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families and especially those young athletes that share the same love and passion for the game of baseball.”
The announcement comes three days after New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker banned sleepaway camps this summer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Using the best currently available science and data, I have reached a decision to prohibit overnight children’s camps from operating this season in New York State,” Zucker said in a media release. “Unlike day camps, which are approved to open June 29, overnight camps are a difficult setting to manage social distancing and face covering and infection control practices.
“Overnight camps have congregate settings and sleeping arrangements in close quarters that present too many risks,” Zucker said. “In such a setting, even a single positive case in a camper or staff member could create an untenable quarantine situation and overwhelm camp health personnel that may not be able to handle a serious infectious outbreak of this nature.”
Zucker announced his decision Friday, June 12. In an email exchange with The Daily Star on Saturday, June 13, Patton said his group was “assessing what we can and can’t do with the help of the department of health, it’s not looking good, we must be able to deliver a safe quality experience.”
Patton continued that he would be reaching out to the department of health Monday to find out more details.
However, Patton decided to cancel the season hours after meeting with the health department instead of waiting another week.
In a follow-up email, Patton highlighted that because gatherings of more than 150 people would occur, meals would have to be served individually. He also said that some critical staffers did not want to come to work because they are able to collect more unemployment with additional $600 made available by the federal government, making the cancellation the season was essentially Patton’s only option.
Back on May 5, Patton scratched the first week of the season set for June 6 through June 12, and decided to cancel week-by-week rather than calling off the entire season.
The All Star Village’s latest cancellation ran from July 11 through July 17 before Patton’s announcement Monday.
Teams that signed up to participate will be refunded 100% of its deposits, per Patton. All teams are also entitled to a Grandfather Certificate, which will help 12-and-under teams attain its top choices for the 2021 season.
“We will be hard at work making this facility even more special for 2021 and beyond,” Patton said.