The Cleburne Railroaders will not participate in the 2020 American Association season, team officials announced Friday.
The league is set to begin a six-team, 60-game season on July 3 operating out of three hubs in Fargo, Milwaukee and Sioux Falls.
“The Railroaders organization is tremendously disappointed that we did not have the opportunity to compete in 2020,” President and co-owner John Junker said. “Our organization has been working with community leadership and local health officials throughout this process, and given the current situation in Texas we are unable to play.”
Cleburne players on the 2020 roster will have the opportunity to play for one of the six competing teams via a league-wide draft.
The Railroaders will retain the rights to those players following the conclusion of the 2020 season.
“Unfortunately this is yet another thing that COVID-19 has taken away,” Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain said. “We hated to see our state caliber high school team lose their season and now we hate to see the odds-on-favorite Railroaders lose their season as well.
“I do commend the Railroaders for putting the community’s health first and foremost, but sure hate to see this happen for the players and for our fans.
“At this point we’ll just have to wait one more year for a championship season. We’ve waited since 1911 for another championship, so we’ll just have to wait one more year.
In addition to the Railroaders, the Gary SouthShore RailCats, Kansas City T-Bones, Lincoln Saltdogs, Sioux City Explorers and Texas AirHogs chose not to participate in the 2020 American Association season.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes meanwhile will operate out of the Fargo hub with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. The Chicago Dogs and the Milwaukee Milkmen will operate out of the Milwaukee hub. The St. Paul Saints and the Sioux Falls Canaries will operate out of the Sioux Falls hub.
The Railroaders will be touch with season ticket holders.