For the first time this season, games for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats had to be canceled because of COVID-19.
The team’s doubleheader against the Portland Sea Dogs Sunday at Delta Dental Stadium was canceled for “additional testing and contact tracing,” according to the Fisher Cats.
On social media, the Sea Dogs said the testing involved “members of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Organization.” On Monday, the Fisher Cats declined to elaborate on the circumstances involving the canceled games.
The Fisher Cats on Twitter said the testing and contact tracing did not involve fans, front office members or game day staff.
“The Fisher Cats are adhering to Minor League Baseball’s health and safety protocols and will practice caution as we follow the guidance of experts,” the organization said.
While this was the first impact of the pandemic for the Fisher Cats, teams across the minor leagues have had to cancel games earlier this season, including teams in the Double-A Northeast league.
After postponing the series opener with the Richmond Flying Squirrels on Aug. 31, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies announced an entire five-game homestand series would be canceled as “testing and contact tracing continued,” according to its website.
The games would have been played at Binghamton’s Mirabito Stadium in Binghamton, N.Y.
Prior to returning home, the Rumble Ponies had a series against the Fisher Cats at Delta Dental Stadium between Aug. 24 and Aug. 29.
The precautions continue with the Portland Sea Dogs canceling a doubleheader on Tuesday and a single game on Wednesday against the Rumble Ponies for continued “testing and contact tracing of members of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies organization.”
As of right now, the Fisher Cats are set to play six games against the Fightin’ Phils at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, Pa., starting Tuesday night.
“The Fightins are BACK tomorrow!” the Fightin’ Phils Facebook page read.
The Fisher Cats will end their season with a six-game series at Delta Dental against the Harrisburg Senators starting Sept. 14.
The games against the Sea Dogs will not be made up. Fans with tickets for Sunday’s doubleheader can redeem them at the box office for any remaining home games in 2021, the team said in a message to fans.
The Fisher Cats say further information on the testing is not available per Minor League Baseball’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Manchester Health Director Anna Thomas referred all comments to the Fisher Cats.