League officials: Still no official decision on Appy League future yet

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ELIZBETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL)- With the 2020 Minor League season officially cancelled, Appalachian League officials say there’s still no official call on the future of the league.

Appy League president Dan Moushon said the pandemic put Minor League restructuring talks on hold.

“As of now there’s been no final determination,” said Moushon. “But any of the cities in the country that may be contracted with this restructuring, or proposed restructuring, I should say, their hope and plan is to still keep baseball in those communities.”

SEE ALSO: Future of Appalachian League baseball in question

MiLB Senior Communications Director Jeff Lantz told News Channel 11 restructuring talks could resume by the end of the month. This is once the Major League season gets underway.

Mike Mains, director for Elizabethton Parks and Recreation, said no matter what, baseball will stay in the community in some form.

“Will we continue down that path of professional baseball? I certainly hope so. Because we have a lot to offer, this community does,” said Mains.

The Appy League’s uncertain future comes as cities have made major investments in improving minor league facilities. Johnson City budgeted $600,000 for new lights at Cardinal Park in 2018. In recent years Elizabethton spent $1.6 million on a new clubhouse at Riverside Park.

“It’s there, it’s being used by our high school baseball team, which is a great facility for them,” said Mains.

Mains said facilities like Riverside Park’s should have a future whether Minor League baseball continues or not. Whether it’s collegiate wooden bat leagues, high school games, or community events.

As the General Manager for the Elizabethton Twins for years, Mains, along with countless other fans, are still hoping the Appy League will be back for 2021.

“We hate to see what’s happening,” he said. “But with COVID-19 it’s understandable. But what’s to come is what it’s all about.”

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