The American Legion Department of Wisconsin has canceled its programming of American Legion Baseball within the state for the 2020 season.
The recommendation was made by the Wisconsin American Legion Baseball Association (WALBA) Board of Directors on a video conference May 6. The Department Executive Committee then made the final decision on May 9. It marks the first time since 1927 the Department of Wisconsin will not crown an American Legion Baseball champion.
A total of 24 other states have canceled (as of May 9th) its American Legion Baseball program for 2020 as of May.
“Everyone involved in our program hoped to have American Legion Baseball in 2020, but this was a necessary decision,” Wisconsin American Legion Baseball Commissioner Roger Mathison said. “There were a number of factors that the board took under consideration, primarily the health of players, coaches, umpires, parents, fans and volunteers involved in the program.” Facility availability, travel concerns and the uncertainty on when sporting events will be allowed in Wisconsin contributed to the decision.
“We fully expect to have our program return in 2021 and be played at a high level.”
A total of 217 teams participated in Wisconsin’s American Legion Baseball program in 2019, making it the fourth-largest program in the country. Wisconsin trailed only Minnesota (366 teams), Nebraska (271 teams) and Pennsylvania (253 teams) in the number of registered teams last year.
The Wisconsin American Legion Baseball All-Star Game scheduled for August 9 at Miller Park in Milwaukee has also been canceled.
State tournaments in 2020 were scheduled for Sheboygan (Class AAA), Fort Atkinson (Class AA), Viroqua (Class A), Plover (17-Under) and Lomira-Theresa (16-Under).
Registration and insurance refunds will be initiated by state headquarters on behalf of all paid teams for 2020. Please allow 2-3 weeks for insurance refund completion. Also note that any certificates of insurance will be void and all previously purchased insurance coverage is null.
As American As Apple Pie
All across Wisconsin, young men play baseball under the name of The American Legion.
They are exposed to the principles of our Legion Family and given an opportunity to grow as teammates and members of our communities.
Registration for the 2020 season of American Legion Baseball is open, along with the purchase of insurance. There is an overall decrease of 14 percent in insurance premiums from last season.
Register online at baseball.legion.org.
Registration for returning teams is May 15. Registration and insurance deadline for new teams is June 1. A late fee of $200 will be automatically applied for all teams purchasing insurance after May 15. New teams incurring a late fee will be refunded. Any team that does not purchase insurance by June 1 will not be permitted to play American Legion Baseball.
Registration fees for senior teams is $375 (National $50/State $325), $130 for seasonal personal accident or $200 for year-round coverage. General liability costs is $104, plus an administrative fee of $35. State fee includes 3 Brewers Tickets.
Registration fees for junior teams is $125 (National $25/State $100), $110 for seasonal personal accident or $160 for year-round coverage. General liability costs is $71, plus an administrative fee of $35.
More Games - Great Competition - More Exposure - Great Experience
“Being able to play on the Westby American Legion team was great. It gave me two or three times as many games to play in than if I only had spring baseball at school. I know that extra time on the field was part of the reason I got into Creighton and University of Illinois on full athletic scholarships. Our manager, Roger Mathison was a great mentor. His being so involved with The American Legion gave all of us a better appreciation for the Veterans in our community. I’m looking forward to the day when my boys play on The American Legion team. That would be pretty cool.” -David Schultz 1st Baseman Westby American Legion Team 1999-2002
"We had an amazing and humbling experience at this tournament and it will be an event that not only all of us will not forget but our fans, parents, legionnaires and program will never forget!!! Our kids competed extremely hard and by no means were we over powered by talent we played with both teams that we were matched against we just couldn't come up with the big hit we needed to ignite a rally to pull ahead.
Our team was greeted and welcomed with a fantastic banquet Wednesday night and we were very respectful and well mannered throughout the tournament, getting compliments about our boys and our program from the tournament directors, other coaches and parents and host family!
On a more personal level, this was our 2nd trip to a National tournament and 1st in 62 years and in our 95 year history of Legion baseball in New London. When I was talking with my wife's grandpa about our accomplishments he reminded me of when he was 18 years old and went himself. He was able to replay and recall everything that they had accomplished and was glowing just thinking about and talking about his trip so long ago. We were able to give some excitement and life back to the 1st team that went and competed and this to me meant just as much as being able to experience such an awesome event for myself!
I, and the New London Clippers Varsity Legion Baseball team, are sooooooo beyond grateful for the opportunity that you have given us and we will continue to make you proud of what we are doing and representing the state of Wisconsin via Legion Baseball!" - Jim Thorpe, New London Clippers Manager