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Youth baseball

Waldo County Little League opts to cancel 2020 season

By Ken Waltz | May 15, 2020
Courtesy of: Little League of America

For Waldo County youth baseball players, the third strike on summer's diamond seasons — and an unexpected and disappointing walk back to the dugout before they even stepped into the batter's box — took place days apart.

A few days after the Midcoast Babe Ruth League and American Legion seasons officially were canceled (although legion may play informal games), the Waldo County Little League announced it also would not step to the plate in 2020 due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The decades-old league, which includes teams that represent young athletes in 26 cities/towns, including Belmont, Brooks, Burnham, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Belfast, Waldo, Lincolnville, Searsport, Northport, Stockton Springs, Winterport, Monroe, Palermo, Prospect, Swanville, Troy, Montville, Frankfort, Thorndike, Brooks, Islesboro, Unity, Liberty and Searsmont, will not play this year.

Brent Waterman, league president, said the Waldo County Little League board of directors, after it reviewed information from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Maine Principals' Association and local school departments, voted to cancel the 2020 season.

For many years, Belfast hosted its own league, which included the youngsters from a few of towns near the city. However, in recent years, Belfast had a Cal Ripken League or combined with other Waldo County towns for a Little League program.

Midcoast Little League baseball and softball officials from Knox, Lincoln and Waldo counties have, for weeks, looked for ways to host their programs and play ball this summer. However, ultimately, now two, Oceanside in the Rockland-Thomaston area and Waldo County, have opted not to play games this season.

Five Town Little League, which includes children from Camden, Rockport, Hope, Lincolnville and Appleton, may try to have some semblance of a season in June, officials said.

At this point, it is unknown the status of Medomak Valley, which includes players from Waldoboro, Union, Washington, Warren and Friendship, and Lincoln County, which, along with Oceanside, Waldo County and Five Town, play in District 2 for all-star tournaments.

In the United States, Little League has 27,400 teams in more than 5,500 leagues.

Little League includes baseball and softball players of many ages, but for the Major League teams, the ages are 9-12.

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