When Anthony Pierro, head coach of the Jefferson County Teramana Post 33 Legion baseball team, first read the news regarding Legion baseball Tuesday, his initial reaction was that the entire season was canceled.
The Americanism Commission, in consultation with National Commander James William Oxford, announced the cancellation of all 2020 American Legion Baseball national tournaments due to the coronavirus pandemic. This includes all eight regional tournaments and the American Legion World Series in Shelby, N.C.
Fortunately for Pierro, at least for now, the regular season and other tournaments could still occur for the upcoming season, including the Beast of the East tournament held during Fourth of July week.
“I feel bad for the kids. They need to at least something in the summer,” Pierro said. “Since they are missing spring sports, they want to go out and get some type of action in there.
“I hope we wait it out and not jump the gun. Whatever happens, I will try to find a way to play baseball games.”
The awarding of American Legion Baseball scholarships for 2020 has been suspended.
“The decision to cancel was extremely difficult but deemed necessary, first and foremost in the interest of health and safety, and in the face of uncertainty,” Americanism Commission Richard Anderson noted. “These times are unparalleled. 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.”
State associations have the opportunity to compete up to the state tournament level, at least for now. Florida, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee have already decided to cancel all state competition for the upcoming season.