With no regionals or World Series, Legion baseball in Nebraska faces difficult waiting game

In Nebraska, there is some hope for a Legion season, but the 2020 World Series and regional tournaments have been canceled.

On the national front, there will be no American Legion baseball regionals or World Series this summer.

But in Nebraska, there is still hope for some semblance of a Legion season.

"We’re following the advice of our local government officials," Nebraska program administrator Brent Hagel-Pitt said. "We’re continuing to monitor the situation."

The national Legion office announced Tuesday on Twitter that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Legion World Series and regional tournaments have been canceled. That included the Mid-South Regional, scheduled to be played for the second straight year at Hastings’ Duncan Field.

The awarding of Legion scholarships for the year also was suspended.

"Basically everything was canceled on the national level," Hagel-Pitt said. "But we’re still hoping that we have a chance to play."

He added that seven states already have canceled their seasons.

It’s a difficult waiting game for all concerned, especially after the cancellation of the spring varsity season. Schools that have new Legion sponsors this year — Millard West, for one — must decide whether to order uniforms for a season that might not be played.

"In the grand scheme, we’re concerned about the well-being of 4,000 players and their coaches," Hagel-Pitt said. "It’s just made for a lot of uncertainty."

He added that the fate of this baseball season is tied to continued updates from Gov. Pete Ricketts about what is considered a safe environment.

"If everything is back to normal by mid-July, then it’s possible that we could forge ahead with a shortened season," Hagel-Pitt said. "But again, we just don’t know what the future holds."

The Senior and Junior Legion area tournaments in all three classes were scheduled to begin in mid-July. The Class A Senior state tournament was to be held July 25-29 at Omaha Westside and in Lincoln, followed by the state championship and regional.

The 94th Legion World Series was scheduled for Aug. 13-18 in Shelby, North Carolina. This will be the first time since 1927 the event won’t be played.

Hagel-Pitt said the state’s nine-person Legion baseball committee will remain in constant contact regarding updates to coronavirus-related health warnings.

"At this particular time, the national office has left it up to each state," he said. "We’ll monitor the situation and follow local and state guidelines."


All-Nebraska baseball through the years

Mike covers high school sports, primarily volleyball in the fall, girls basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring and summer. He also reports on horse racing for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @MPattersonOWH. Phone: 402-444-1350.

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