For the first time since 1927, there will be no national champion crowned in American Legion baseball.
That's because American Legion National Commander James William Oxford canceled all eight regional tournaments and the World Series for the summer due to the coronavirus pandemic. The awarding of American Legion baseball scholarships for 2020 has been suspended, according to a statement released by the organization.
"These times are unparalleled,” National Americanism Commission Chairman Richard Anderson said in a statement. "And while it is distressing to think of all those youth across the nation who are disappointed to learn of the cancellation of American Legion programs this year, it would be a much, much greater tragedy if even just one of those youth were to fall ill during a program.
"The Americanism Commission feels this is the right thing to do."
The Legion World Series has been held in Shelby North Carolina every year since 2011. This year's championships were set for Aug. 13-18.
The eight regional tournaments were supposed to be held Aug. 5-9. Minnesota teams are part of Region 6.
But that doesn't mean legion baseball can't be played this summer. States can still have a season and crown a state champion. But no teams would be moving on to regionals or nationals.
Some states have already cancelled the summer season — Iowa, North Dakota, Washington, Maryland, Florida and Arkansas
The fate of the legion season in Minnesota will be decided May 9. The Minnesota State Legion Board voted April 10 to delay the decision until that time.
Tryouts for the Prior Lake legion baseball team that were set for May 3 have been postponed, and a new tryout date has not been established.
Tryouts for the Burnsville legion team have also been postponed and have yet to be rescheduled. Burnsville's Alimagnet Fields will be the host of the 16-team Minnesota State Legion Championships July 30 to Aug. 2.
The 15 sub-state winners and the host city make up the state field.
In 2013, Burnsville won 36 games and finished runner-up to Eden Prairie at state. Both teams qualifled for the Central Plains Regional where Burnsville won to qualify for the American League Word Series.
Burnsville went 1-2 at the national tournament. It was the Cobras’ first-ever appearance there.
There are have been five Minnesota teams to win a national title since the inception of a national championship in 1926. Richfield was the the state's first winner in 1943, followed by Edina in 1983, New Brighton in 1999, Rochester in 2003 and Eden Prairie in 2011.