The American Association of Professional Baseball completed a shortened, 60-game regular season 2020 that ended with our local Milwaukee Milkmen capturing their first league championship in only the second year of the franchise’s existence. After successfully navigating the COVID-19 pandemic season with a six-team circuit that allowed limited fan entry into the stadiums, the American Association will go back to a 12-team, 100-game schedule for the 2021 season, as was announced earlier this month. The expectation is that every team will be able to host fans in at least some capacity during the upcoming campaign.
The moment we've all been waiting for! The 2021 Season Schedule is finally here! ⚾️— Milwaukee Milkmen (@MKEMilkmen) February 8, 2021
Now that the schedule is out, it's time to lock in your 5-Game Plan...limited # left! Buy yours today! ⬇️
: https://t.co/KkLBR2H4IV pic.twitter.com/JZAgmfCZTF
The Milkmen will begin their training camp in the beginning of May, with the club hosting an open tryout on May 3rd. Opening Day for the Milkmen will come on the road on May 18th in Gary, Indiana, against the Gary-SouthShore Railcats. After starting the year on a six-game road trip, Milwaukee will have their home opener at Franklin Field a week later on May 25th against the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Each team in the league will play 100 games over the course of 112 days, with the regular season wrapping up on Labor Day, September 6th. The top two teams from each the North and South divisions will qualify for the postseason, with the playoffs and championship set to be completed by the end of September.
Last summer, the champion Milkmen were joined by the Goldeyes, Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, Sioux Falls Canaries, Chicago Dogs, and St. Paul Saints as participating teams during the 2020 season. This year, the Saints have joined the affiliated minor leagues as a Triple-A team for the Twins, while the non-participating Texas AirHogs folded their operations. The league will be back to 12 participating teams however, as the Milkmen, RedHawks, Canaries, Goldeyes, and Dogs are rejoined by the Railcats, Lincoln Saltdogs, Cleburne RailRoaders, Sioux City Explorers, and Kansas City Monarchs (formerly the T-Bones). New to the American Association in 2021 are the Kane County Cougars — a former member of the Class A Midwest League that lost affiliated status during the reorganization of the minor leagues — as well as the Houston Apollos, which will be a travel team made up of the best players from the independent Pecos League.
“We are elated to have added the Kane County Cougars as the 11th American Association member...and now are pleased to present our 2021 schedule. We do anticipate reduced capacities in our stadiums and a continuation of our successful COVID-19 protocols implemented in 2020. Like last season, we are pressing forward to provide baseball fans with the American Association baseball they deserve in a safe environment.”
The American Association is one of four MLB Partner Leagues, along with the Atlantic League, Frontier League, and Pioneer League. The American Association will stream all 600 regular season and all postseason games played in the 2021 season at www.aabaseball.tv. Information on ticket plans to see the Milwaukee Milkmen play at Franklin Field can be found at the team’s official website.