Stamford Post 3 has won two of the last three Senior American Legion Baseball state championships.
There will be no run for a third title, at least not this season.
The American Legion Baseball National Organization has canceled the 2020 season for all of its affiliated teams across the country.
That means summer baseball will not be played under the American Legion umbrella this year, according to state commissioner Dave Greenleaf.
Greenleaf sent a message to media on Monday evening stating they were informed by the National American Legion that it had shut down all sponsorship and involvement for the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Department of Connecticut has also shut down all sponsorship, thus leagues can not play under the name, guidance or insurance plan of American Legion.
“It is with great disappointment that we announce that the 2020 Connecticut State American Legion baseball season has been suspended,” Greenleaf said in his email. “… without insurance we cannot play or conduct any baseball activities.”
That leaves Stamford, and every other team in the state left without a formal season.
However, Stamford and other teams in the state are already looking at ways to play games not affiliated with American Legion.
“We are still trying to do something,” Stamford Senior Legion coach Kevin Murray said. “It will most likely be an independent schedule of some sorts, to get games in. This is crazy but we believe we need to try to get something for all.”
Greenleaf stated the committee was continuing to look for “ways to play baseball independently of the American Legion but without insurance and the financial support of the American Legion we know this will be a very difficult challenge for us.”
He stated a decision will be made no later than June 1 whether or not the committee can put together a viable season outside of the American Legion.
Hamden, which plays in Zone 2, is hoping they can maintain a schedule with local opponents, just not under the Legion banner.
“Hamden Post 88 will still be forming teams at the 19 and 17U age groups without obviously the American Legion title,” Hamden coach Luke Devoe said, “The ideal situation has us still competing against our Zone 2 foes, rivals and opponents. We are working to make this unsanctioned league possible. Other options include playing in other leagues similarly to how Hamden has always operated in the fall. We are in contact with our players and hope to make a decision soon. A lot falls on what other programs want to do. We have the backing of our zone commissioner and head of umpires to provide a place to play that may not look like what we’re used to but if the opportunity presents itself to safely play, we’re there.”
Hamden, Stamford and others considering playing all said they would have to wait until June 1 to see what might be able to be done as far as playing baseball this summer.
There are 109 teams across the divisions in the state who were affiliated with American Legion, including teams at the Seniors (19U), Juniors (17U) and Preps (15U) divisions.
“The baseball committee appreciates all of the support we have received over the past several weeks as we have worked to find a way to play baseball this summer,” Greenleaf said. “Unfortunately the developments of the past few days have made all of that work moot and taken the decision making out of our hands.”
The American Legion had announced in April the cancellation of the regionals and their World Series.
Established in 1926, American Legion baseball is considered the most competitive and popular amateur summer league for players age 13-to-19. More than 3,500 teams participate annually.
The first American Legion World Series was held in 1926. This will be the first season without a national champion since 1927, when there weren’t enough finances in the fledgling organization to hold a World Series.
This year’s World Series event was scheduled for Aug. 13-20 in Shelby, North Carolina. The Northeast Regional was scheduled for Aug. 5-9 in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.