WEYMOUTH, Mass. -- The Futures Collegiate Baseball League will be celebrating its 10th season in 2020. On Tuesday, Commissioner Joe Paolucci introduced a commemorative logo and other special initiatives and events that will take place throughout the upcoming year.
“We are very excited about our 10th season of Futures League baseball and have some great events planned throughout all of our ballparks this summer,” Paolucci said. “The ‘10th Season’ logo is a great symbol of how far we have come in the past decade. It captures the things that are truly important to the Futures League.”
The 10th Season logo, designed by Brian Bednarski, includes seven stars that honor different aspects of the Futures League’s history.
The gold stars in the top left represent the three organizations — the Worcester Bravehearts, Nashua Silver Knights and Martha’s Vineyard Sharks — that won championships over the league’s first nine years of existence. The gold stars in the bottom right represent Tyler Bashlor, Chris Shaw, and Aaron Civale, the three former Futures League players who have since advanced to play in Major League Baseball.
The white star represents Adam Keenan and his memory and importance to the past, present, and future of the Futures League. Keenan is a former Franklin Pierce University, UMass Lowell and Seacoast Mavericks player who passed away suddenly on June 6, 2011. The FCBL annually bestows the Adam Keenan Sportsmanship and Scholarship Award “upon the player who best exemplifies the outstanding attitude, character and sportsmanship that is synonymous with Adam Keenan’s legacy.”
“Our former Commissioner Chris Hall and I felt that it was really important for the logo to be able to honor Adam Keenan,” Paolucci said. “Keeping Adam’s memory alive is extremely important to the league.”
“From a fan's point of view, the Futures League really does things the right way for their players and the communities they support,” Bednarski said. “I was thrilled when I was asked to work on the FCBL10 logo.”
The league is planning multiple ways to honor Keenan’s legacy throughout the 2020 season. On June 12 at Nashua’s Historic Holman Stadium, the league will honor Keenan and his family with a pregame ceremony and post-game fireworks display. There will also be a special “Adam Keenan Weekend” involving all seven teams.
In addition to unveiling the logo, Paolucci announced the creation of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League Hall of Fame. The inaugural class will be honored at a special event this fall. Stay tuned for more information on Adam Keenan Weekend, the Hall of Fame and the first-ever Futures League Golf Tournament.
The Futures League welcomed its 2,000,000th fan in history last summer and looks to maintain its momentum as New England’s most popular summer collegiate league into another decade of play. An average of 1,331 fans per game attended games last summer, putting the Futures League third nationally among summer collegiate leagues in terms of attendance. In addition, 3,296 fans filled Wahconah Park for the Futures League All-Star Game in Pittsfield, Mass.
Another highlight of the 10th season is the 2020 Futures League All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 14. The league’s newest franchise, the New Britain Bees, will host the annual festivities at New Britain Stadium.
After playing an independent Atlantic League club for the last four seasons, New Britain is one of seven Futures League teams competing in 2020 and joins the Westfield Starfires as the second new franchise in as many years. The current league also features Nashua, Worcester, the Brockton Rox, North Shore Navigators and Pittsfield Suns. The Silver Knights have played in the Futures League since its inception as a four-team league in 2011.
The 2020 regular season is set to begin on Wednesday, May 27, featuring a two-half schedule for the first time as well as a new four-team playoff format.
The league leaders at the end of the first half on Tuesday, June 30 will automatically clinch the No. 1 seed for the playoffs in August. The second-half winners will be the No. 2 seed while the remaining playoff spots will go to the teams with the next two best records combined. The playoffs begin immediately following the regular season, running through Sunday, August 9. Both the semifinal and championship rounds will now both be played as best-of-three series.
The first-of-its-kind “Home Run Derby Wins It” tiebreaker also returns for its fourth year in 2020. Once again, all Futures League games tied after one extra inning will be decided with a shootout-style home run derby. The team that hits the most home runs during a three-minute round wins the game. A two-minute round and, if still necessary, a one-minute round would follow in the event of a tie.
For more information on the Futures League, visit thefuturesleague.com and follow them on Facebook (The Futures League), Twitter (@FuturesLeague) and Instagram (@futuresleagueofnewengland).