Coronavirus in Sport – the impact on Baseball

This is a continuously updated account of how baseball has been impacted by the developing coronavirus pandemic. For information on how the virus has affected other sports, click here.

MLB

7th April - Major League Baseball and its players are discussing a plan that could allow them to start the season as early as May with all matches taking place in Arizona.

1st April - Major League Baseball has cancelled its London Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs because of the coronavirus pandemic. The two teams were set to play two games at West Ham's Olympic Stadium, on June 13 and 14.

27th March - Owners of Major League Baseball teams and the players' union have come to an agreement on service-time payment amongst other assurances in exchange for the players not suing the league if the 2020 season is cancelled. There were also agreements made that the league would not start the season until bans on mass gatherings and travel restrictions were lifted.

19th March - MLB officials have said that compensation packages will be made available to minor league players out of work due to the suspension of all sporting activity in the United States.

16th March - MLB has announced that the start of the 2020 regular season will be pushed back further still from the initial two-week postponement scheduled for the 9th of April.

Nippon Professional Baseball

17th April - Nippon Professional Baseball's season openers will not take place in May due to the coronavirus pandemic, with no firm date set for the start.

3rd April - The Japanese professional season will be further delayed. At a meeting of a joint coronavirus task force established by the NPB and soccer's J-League, Japanese baseball commissioner Atsushi Saito said there was no option but to postpone opening day again.

1st April - A further delay of the start of the season is to be discussed in a meeting on Friday April 3.

24th March - NPB teams are playing pre-season games behind closed doors with the league setting a target date of the 24th of April to begin the regular season, although likely still without fans.

KBO

21st April - The South Korean baseball league announced it will start its delayed
season on May 5
, and has already commencted with some preseason games.

South Korea's baseball league is hoping to target an early May restart, with teams ready to play preseason exhibition games as early as April 21.

CPBL

14th April - The Chinese Professional Baseball League has started it's season. The Taiwan-based league was scheduled to begin March 14, but it moved the opener to April 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Rain on Saturday pushed Opening Day to Sunday.

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