One of the newest teams to enter the Australian Baseball League, Geelong-Korea has decided to sit out of the upcoming 2021/22 season, citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as the main factor.
It will be the second straight season the club will miss, joining Auckland Tuatara on the sidelines as well, making the 2021/22 season a six-team competition once again.
Baseball Australia chief executive Glenn Williams said it was an unfortunate decision but an understandable one.
“We acknowledge the effort Geelong-Korea took in trying to compete in the ABL for this coming season,” Williams said.
“Having to move such a large group internationally under the current COVID-19 circumstances creates challenges we know all too well.”
“GK have been a unique and exciting part of the ABL and we look forward to having the team involved in future years.”
COVID-19 has continued to create challenges to the team who’s side is primarily made up of players from the KBO League in Korea, with logistical challenges and quarantine arrangements on arrival assisting with the early call.
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Geelong-Korea owner Bongseo Oh said the team did everything they could to participate in the upcoming season.
“GK was very keen to participate in the 21/22 season because former GK players have shown outstanding performance and stats in the KBO season,” Oh said.
“BA and we have been working hard to participate in the season, but we have decided to sit out the season because it is too challenging to overcome COVID-19 restrictions.”
Geelong-Korea made its debut in the ABL in 2018 as one of two expansion teams, along with Auckland.
The team finished fourth in the Southwest Division – and eighth overall – in their inaugural season, ending the year with a 7-33 record. They had a better season in 2019/20, improving to an 11-29 record though still finished fourth in their respective division and eighth overall.
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