The American Legion Department of Minnesota Executive Committee, Minnesota American Legion Baseball Committee and Minnesota American Legion Commander Mark Dvorak announced today the cancellation of the 2020 Legion Baseball season.

A news release states the action was taken, "out of concerns for safety of players, coaches, umpires, fans and volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic."

"Safety has always been important in American Legion Baseball, " said Director of Minnesota American Legion Baseball Randy Scahaub of Danube.  "As much as we wanted to play this year, we cannot take chances with the players, coaches and fans we oversee."

The decision followed a video meeting held today (Saturday, May 9, 2020).  The Baseball Committee heard from Legion Commander Dvorak and had input from national and state legal advisers.

The news release states, "Statewide COVID-19  restrictions on gatherings would make playing baseball prohibitive."

Commander Dvorak says, "It was a difficult decision that affects many young people and their parents.  The American Legion is a major proponent of the sport of baseball, and we hope to return even stronger in 2021."

The shutdown of American Legion baseball programs across the country have resulted in team insurance being unavailable through the national Legion Baseball program.

Last month the national level cancelled the American Legion World Series scheduled for August .  The news release points out, "The national program announced Friday, May8, it would provide no national-level support."

"Minnesota Baseball Committee member Jim Peck has been involved in Legion Baseball for 57 years and says, "This is one of the worst days in all of my time in baseball."

There were 366 teams fielded in 2019 and 357 teams signed up for 2020.  That makes Minnesota American Legion Baseball the state with the most teams in the nation.

Minnesota American Legion Baseball started in 1923.  The first state tournament was held in Mankato in 1926 and one has been held every year since.

Not even The Great Depression or World War II stopped it.

Minnesota is one of just three states who could make that claim.