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American Legion Baseball registration in full swing

MADISON – In its third year of sponsoring the program, Madison American Legion, Post 229 is registering players for legion baseball in the Madison area.

“Two years ago, we had two teams. Last year, we sponsored five, despite COVID protections,” Post Commander Larry Vannoy said.

“I only see the program continuing to grow. This is competitive baseball with players typically coming from or trying out for school teams,” Vannoy said.

“We’ve secured Bob Jones and James Clements ballfields. I’m confident other school ballfields will be available if needed,” Post Commander Larry Vannoy said. “Our high school coaches are huge advocates because of the competitive, less expensive option.”

Post 229 teams play most games against other legion community teams. Games seldom require overnight stays. Teams also can play in tournaments outside the legion like a travel team.

Player fees range between $250 and $300, significantly less than expenses for a traditional travel team. Fees include supplemental health insurance, team liability insurance, coach background investigation, uniform and ball play fees.

“We’re seeking team sponsors that could significantly reduce the cost to play,” Vannoy said. Teams come from schools; former travel teams already organized; or individuals.

Age divisions are Junior Varsity, Varsity and 19U for state championships. State champion in 19U division can advance to regional tournament and possibly American Legion World Series.

Junior Varsity is designed for grades 9-10. Varsity is open to all players with one remaining season minimum of high-school athletic eligibility. The 19U or Senior Division accepts recent high-school graduates (and last year’s graduates) and younger players.

American Legion Baseball’s alumni base includes more than half of current Major League Baseball players. The program is always growing. Participation is easy with ample opportunity for new players to join, coaches wanting to start a team, umpires and for individuals or groups interested in volunteering.

“American Legion Baseball has a long history in Alabama. The season typically begins after the academic school year ends,” Vannoy said. “The league strives to provide a good mix of flexible schedules and good competition.”

Regular season and tournament games are held within Alabama. “The American Legion is run as a not-for-profit league with the goal of improving our young people within a positive, competitive environment while preparing our players for high school and collegiate play,” Vannoy said.

The season offers both full- and part-time play with teams focused on the league, tournaments and hybrid organizations. The state tournament is held in mid-July.

American Legion observes a cut-off date of Jan. 1. The youngest players are 13-year-olds with birthdate in 2008.

For more information about American Legion Baseball, visit alabamaamericanlegionbaseball.com. Teams, individual players and coaches can enroll at this website.

For information about Madison American Legion, Post 229 teams, call Vannoy at 256-258-8534, email commander@americanlegionpost229.org or visit americanlegionpost229.org, and click “Baseball.”

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