By Pat Gallen

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — While the Phillies prepare for a shortened season, there’s no such luck for the minor leagues. They never got a chance to play.

While baseball is returning to South Philly, in Reading and Allentown, it is not. Due to the pandemic, all of Minor League Baseball has been shuttered for the 2020 season.

“We had pretty much expected that we wouldn’t have a minor league season, probably as far back as really March but certainly when the announcement finally came, especially for our fanbase, certainly a level of empathy for them because coming to our ballpark is such a part of their life,” Reading Fightins General Manager Scott Hunsicker said.

For the IronPigs, Coca Cola Park will not be welcoming nearly 600,000 fans like it had in 2019 — the fifth-highest attendance in the minors.

However, the level of support over the years has allowed both franchises to retain all full-time staff.

“When you look at this in terms of a 40 or 50 year, or longer, commitment on having baseball, professional baseball in Lehigh Valley, certainly it’s damaging and frustrating to lose an entire year but we look at things through a long-term lens, it’s something you can get through,” Lehigh Valley IronPigs GM Kurt Landes said.

Watch the full video for more.