St. Louis Cardinals to use Hammons Field for 'taxi squad' as baseball resumes
There will be Cardinals baseball in Springfield this summer. You just probably won't be able to see it.
John Mozeliak, the St. Louis Cardinals' president of baseball operations, told reporters in a Zoom call on Tuesday that the club is planning on hosting its taxi squad at Hammons Field.
The Major League team received special permission to use Springfield's ballpark. The MLB asked teams to use a stadium within 100 miles, but Hammons Field — 216 miles away from Busch Stadium — is the closest Minor League affiliate.
"The fact that the Springfield community will be able to provide a location and environment conducive to helping the Cardinals pursue a World Series Championship in 2020 is a testament to our city and region during what continues to be unprecedented times," the Springfield Cardinals said in a press release.
Mozeliak said the Cardinals have "tentative plans" on what the camp roster and taxi squad might look like but are awaiting a determination on roster sizes to finalize it.
The Cardinals hope they will be able to bring some top prospects, even if they are younger and won't have an influence on the 2020 season, to Springfield to have them get work in.
It is unlikely fans will have access to watching the Cardinals at Hammons Field as no games will be played and players will social distance from others to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told owners on Monday night he decided to schedule a 60-game season beginning in late July.
The Major League Baseball Players Association tweeted on Tuesday night "all remaining issues have been resolved and Players are reporting to training camps."
USA Today MLB insider Bob Nightengale tweeted Tuesday night that players will be in training camps by July 1 with the regular season beginning the weekend of July 24-26.
"While we understand that our fans have many questions about what all of this means, we are learning details from Major League Baseball and will follow all safety and health protocols that Major League Baseball requires," the Springfield Cardinals continued in the release. "Please note that this does not mean that the Minor League Baseball season has officially been canceled. We are waiting on details from Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball about our season as well."