North Shore baseball fans have seen their patience rewarded: The Futures Collegiate Baseball League will return highly competitive play to the region in just a couple of weeks.
The Futures League, made up of college age players from all over New England and beyond, will open its 2020 season on July 2 with the hometown North Shore Navigators set for their home opener at Lynn's Fraser Field on July 7.
"Our team owners and operators put a tremendous amount of work into positioning our ballparks to open as safely as possible in order to provide fans with our unique brand of baseball and entertainment," said FCBL commissioner Joe Paolucci.
The start of the Futures League season was delayed nearly a month due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The season will begin in New Hampshire and Connecticut next week with the Navs scheduled to open at home after the presumed start of Phase 3 in Massachusetts' re-opening.
Fraser Field will welcome fans at 25 percent capacity with distancing measure in place such as skipped rows of seats and spread out groups. The team will release more detailed ticketing information in the coming week.
“We are beyond excited to get Navs baseball back at historic Fraser Field,” Navs President Derek January said. “Everyone involved from the league from the ownership groups to front office staffs should be commended for working to get this season going. The Navs have collaborated with the City of Lynn to put together a great plan to keep everyone safe while enjoying a night at the park. We can’t thank Mayor Tom McGee, his staff and Rich Avery enough for working with us as the new ownership group of this great organization. We promise to make everyone proud both on and off the field.”
All North Shore home games will begin at 6 p.m. with Sundays instead starting at 4 p.m. After a 39-game regular season, the top two teams in the standings will play a best-of-3 series for the league title.
The Navs are coming off a playoff appearance last summer with several familiar faces in the fold including last year's league MVP Sean Lawlor plus scores of Division 1 college talent like Boston College's Sal Frelick and Peter Burns and locals like Marblehead's Beau Dana and Swampscott's Dylan January, Nick Reiser, Luke Marshall and Gavin Sullivan.