Local baseball season to continue despite American Legion closure


TORRINGTON – The American Legion National Headquarters posted a memo May 8 on the legion website stating, in part, ‘The American Legion National Organization has shut down all sponsorship and all involvement in baseball for the 2020 season.’ This leaves the Torrington Tigers program up in the air as far as a season this summer.

“The American Legion National Organization has cancelled all 2020 season’s Regional Tournaments and the American Legion World Series. Concurrently, the American Legion National Organization has shut down all sponsorship and all involvement in baseball for the 2020 season,” a memo from the American Legion National Headquarters said. “This shutdown of all sponsorship and all involvement in baseball for the 2020 season means that those baseball teams that wish to continue playing 2020 season baseball shall be participating in a sporting event not sponsored, nor endorsed in any manner, by the American Legion National Organization, but sponsored and endorsed solely by the group the team is named.

“Any baseball team that continues play in the 2020 season sponsored by the group the team is named must understand that its team is not playing as an American Legion National Organization ‘registered’ baseball team and it is not playing in an American Legion National Organization baseball program. The complete cancellation of the 2020 American Legion National Organization baseball season means there is no American Legion National Organization baseball program ‘national rules,’ nor are there ‘national guidelines,’ as there is no 2020 American Legion national involvement.”

Despite the announcement, teams will be allowed to proceed with baseball seasons, outside of the American Legion Organization.

“As a state, this was something we anticipated might happen, and we were prepared,” Tigers Manager Rob Mortimore said. “Baseball will continue in Wyoming this summer, without the American Legion affiliation.”

According to Mortimore, the state’s coaches and team representatives met Sunday and will establish a Wyoming Baseball organization for one summer and operate similar to the same guidelines as a typical American Legion organization.

“We will still have conference games, a district tournament and state tournament,” Mortimore said. “Our regular season will consist of games within the state, against the same opponents we would have played regularly.”

The Tigers began practices May 4 following the state’s guidelines for COVID-19. Currently, 15 players are registered for the ‘A’ level and 18 are registered in the ‘C’ level.

The district tournament for the Tigers ‘A’ team will be held in Casper July 23-25, with the state tournament the week following in Powell. The Torrington ‘C’ team will head to state July 16-19 in Casper.

“We are awaiting word on the updated guidelines from Governor Mark Gordon on Friday, in hopes that we will be able to get more guys on the field at the same time, and look forward to beginning games,” Mortimore said. “We may open the season without fans in the stands, but with more parks we play in, there will be opportunities for parents and fans to attend and watch from around the field.”

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