More than a month after the Americanism Commission made the decision to cancel all 2020 American Legion Baseball national tournaments, the Wisconsin American Legion nixed games at the local level as well.

   The recommendation to cancel the season as a result of COVID-19 was made by the Wisconsin American Legion Baseball Association Board of Directors on a video conference call last week Wednesday.

   The Department Executive Committee then made the final decision last week Saturday to leave the bats in the bat racks.

   Had the Wisconsin American Legion not made that decision last week Saturday, it would have been made Sunday as the national headquarters for American Legion baseball elected to suspend the remaining 25 states from play.

   It will mark the first time since 1927 that Wisconsin will not crown an American Legion Baseball champion.

   “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 in a release on the decision to cancel. “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.”

   Ripon Legion head coach Austin Fenner wasn’t surprised by the news, but still feels bad for the players on his team.

   “I had a feeling that was going to be the news I was going to receive, but I was just trying to stay optimistic and hopeful that maybe wait, push it off another couple weeks and see what happens in the near future,” he said. “I understand where they’re coming for on their end, too. It’s a pretty big decision and it affects a lot of people and you’ve got to look out for the best interest of everybody involved as well. I get why it happened; obviously it’s really unfortunate, especially for the seniors who this would have been their last season of playing baseball together with their buddies.”

   Depending on when there birthdays fall, there will be a chance for some of the seniors to return next season. The Legion hasn’t announced any plans to allow all 2020 seniors to come back for one more season in 2021.

   Baseball players still may receive a chance to play this summer through the 30 contact days the WIAA is allowing coaches of spring sports to have. The earliest this could take place is July.