American Legion pulls plug on national baseball season

Evanston Outlaw infielder Conner Peterson fires a throw to first base during a practice last week at Ross Kesterson Field. (HERALD PHOTO/Don Cogger)

Baseball coaches across the state of Wyoming are currently exploring their options in response to the nationwide cancellation of the 2020 baseball season by American Legion Baseball.

In a memo released Sunday by the American Legion’s National Headquarters, any states that chose to move forward with their 2020 season in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic would do so without the support and sponsorship of the American Legion.

“This shutdown of all sponsorship and all involvement in baseball for the 2020 season means that those baseball teams that wish to continue playing 2020 season baseball shall be participating in a sporting event not sponsored, nor endorsed in any manner, by The American Legion National Organization, but sponsored and endorsed solely by the group the team is named,” the memo read, in part. “Any baseball team that continues play in the 2020 season sponsored by the group the team is named must understand that its team is not playing as an American Legion National Organization “registered” baseball team and it is not playing in an American Legion National Organization baseball program.”

The decision couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time, as practice for the local teams began just last week.

“The entire state was blindsided by this,” said Evanston Outlaws head coach Chad Thompson. “Basically, we have 25 states ready to move forward with a season, following all their own state guidelines, but Legion doesn’t want to support us.”

All of the Wyoming teams indicated Sunday their desire to move ahead with a season, according to Wyosports.net. Thompson said he hopes a course of action will be decided upon this week; the local Legion teams will continue their regular practice schedules until a decision is made.

Wyoming teams were scheduled to learn by Friday if the governor’s office was going to ease restrictions enough for actual games to be played.

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