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Alabama American Legion to revive varsity baseball teams

MADISON – With all the recent cancellations and closures, a glimmer of hope shines on the horizon … or, more specifically, from the pitcher’s mound.

The Alabama American Legion plans to have a robust baseball season. “Many Alabama American Legion posts are interested in sponsoring teams. We plan to have a fantastic summer baseball program,” Larry Vannoy said. Vannoy serves as Madison County Commander and Madison American Legion, Post 229 Commander.

American Legion hopes to start games around Memorial Day weekend and go through mid-July, culminating in an end-of-season tournament.

American Legion baseball costs a fraction of the fees to play summer travel baseball. “Our focus is basic civics, sportsmanship and Americanism while playing our national game,” Vannoy said. “We are reinforcing respect to our flag, a citizen’s rights and privileges in this great nation and respect for those that pay the price of freedom.”

“The National Anthem” will be played at all game. “We encourage Legionnaires and other veterans to attend the games and wear American Legion or service caps and talk to the players and parents to support and encourage them to be responsible citizens,” Vannoy said.

American Legion Baseball is a competitive program primarily with high school players that want to continue after school baseball season ends. However, unlike travel and showcase baseball, all American Legion baseball coaches are vetted by a criminal background check, Vannoy said.

Teams registered with American Legion have liability and supplemental medical insurance, along with free software to track player rosters, pitcher counts and team wins/losses. Legionnaires work with teams to schedule games against other area American Legion teams.

American Legion teams play most games in Alabama. “The opportunity for extended families to watch their loved ones play baseball is a benefit for our players. Class of 2020 players can play in front of their friends and families for better closure to their 2020 season. With several area teams, we can play evenings and weekends without overnight stays,” Vannoy said.

“We invite school teams and travel teams to enter. Individuals also will be formed into legion teams. We will follow the Alabama Governor’s COVID-19 guidelines as we progress through the spring and summer,” Vannoy said.

Birthdates of eligible players can range from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2001. Select the player’s appropriate division:

* Junior Varsity Division – Eligible for current academic year. Ninth grade and younger.
* Varsity Division – Eligible for current academic year. 11th grade and younger.
* 19U Division – High school graduates born in 2001 and younger.

To register, visit alabamaamericanlegionbaseball.com.

For more information, call 256-468-8400, email Commander@AmericanLegionPost229.org or visit AmericanLegionPost229.org.

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