There will be no Moose Jaw Miller Express baseball this year.
The Miller Express, as well as Swift Current, Regina, Weyburn and Brooks, have opted out of the Western Canadian Baseball League’s 2021 season.
The WCBL announced on Thursday that the season would go ahead with Canadian players only, with only Edmonton, Sylvan Lake, Lethbridge and two teams out of Okotoks competing.
Darryl Pisio, president of the Miller Express board of directors, said it was a decision the board didn’t take lightly.
“It's a heartbreaking decision for our organization, but just how everything has played out, we just wanted to make sure that the ball players that have been with us this season, or signed with us this season, that we've given them the opportunity to find another place to play,” he said.
According to Pisio, the Saskatchewan ball clubs were in conversations with government officials and health officials to come up with a return to play protocol, but there were too many obstacles to overcome including interprovincial travel.
Pisio said there were discussions among the Saskatchewan clubs to use only Canadian players.
“Unfortunately, there were some other teams that just couldn't make that work, and when we look at the interprovincial travel restrictions, it just left us with not being able to have really a league in Saskatchewan.”
With 2021 no longer an option, the Miller Express will now shift its focus towards the 2022 season. The board is looking at several initiatives and improvements to Ross Wells Park to help enhance the game day experience for fans.
Meanwhile, the Miller Express is in the process of putting together a Major League Baseball draft fundraiser on April 11. More details are expected to be released in the coming days.