An amateur baseball league with a reputation for luring many of the area's top players will not field teams in 2014, according to an announcement on its website.
Baltimore Metro Baseball, which has fielded teams in multiple age divisions since 1977, "will not hold leagues for the 2014 season," the announcement said.
League officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Online message boards indicate the decision to end the league was made in November.
In a 500-word explanation posted on its website, Baltimore Metro Baseball says that starting in the early 2000s, participation shrank from 135 teams in nine age divisions to just 30 teams in three age divisions.
The league lost players to other, newer leagues with guaranteed tournament entries, the announcement said.
"All of these changes and the significant [deterioration] of the player pool ... are the key reasons that I have decided to end the long run of BMB after 37 seasons," the announcement said.
Baltimore Metro Baseball in 2010 announced plans to create a new league with a less rigorous schedule than its regular offering.
Registration for the new league was $125 per team, but the league offered to decrease that to $25 if a team had already paid to play in another league but wanted to switch to Baltimore Metro Baseball.
The announcement said league teams won 55 national championships in tournaments hosted by the American Amateur Baseball Congress, Dizzy Dean Baseball Inc. and National Amateur Baseball Federation.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun