After shuttering 2020 season due to pandemic, American Legion Baseball bounces back in Minnesota

The 2020 season for American Legion Baseball across the country was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, worrying many within the organization about its future.

However, on Thursday, the Minnesota American Legion Baseball Committee announced that it has reached an all-time high of participating teams in 2021. A total of 372 teams from all across the state have signed up to play Legion Ball this season, bettering their 2019 record of 366 teams.

"Many people were worried canceling the 2020 season would hurt Legion Baseball for good. That includes us," said Director Randy Schaub, of Danube. "We are so glad to see Minnesota’s strong support for our program. We can’t thank all the volunteers, coaches, fans, umpires and players enough."

Minnesota American Legion Baseball cancels 2020 season

According to the American Legion’s website, more than 3,400 teams and nearly 55,000 youth participate in the program annually, on average, from all 50 states and Canada.

This year’s American Legion World Series is planned for Aug. 12-17 in Shelby, North Carolina.

State tournaments are planned for late July and early August. Division-I teams will play in St. Cloud from July 29-Aug. 1; Division-II teams will play in Sacred Heart from July 30-Aug. 1; Division-I Jr. teams will play in Bloomington from July 28-Aug. 1; and Division-II Jr. teams will play in Montevideo from Aug. 6-8.

Despite canceled season, American Legion teams find ways to play

According to a release, outside of the year 2020, the Minnesota American Legion has held a state tournament every year dating back to 1926. Its string of unbroken regular seasons dated back to 1923 until last year.

The first game to be played this season will be in the Division-II Jr. League, with Rosetown and Burnsville facing off on the diamond at 7 p.m. on May 27 at Alimagnet Park in Burnsville.