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Minnesota cancels American Legion baseball for first time since 1923

After 96 straight years, there will be no Legion baseball in 2020.

For the first time since 1923, there will be no American Legion Baseball in Minnesota. The state's executive committee and Minnesota American Legion Commander Mark Dvorak, made the decision to cancel the 2020 season on Saturday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision to cancel the season was made during a virtual meeting on Saturday due to the concerns for safety for players, coaches, umpires, fans and volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the state had hoped to put forth a full season back in April, the nature of the pandemic has not improved to where it's a possibility.

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

American Legion baseball has been a rite of summer for the state of Minnesota with 366 teams fielded across the state, the largest in the country. With the first Legion state tournament taking place in 1926, Minnesota was one of three states to have a state tournament over the past 94 years.

However, after the consultation with state and national legal advisers, the limiting of gatherings during the pandemic brings that streak to an end.

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

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