LEDE

News-Times file photo

YORK – There won’t be any Legion baseball played in York this summer.

Late Tuesday night an email was sent from the York Cornerstone Legion Baseball Committee to parents and players letting them know the season was officially canceled. Early last week, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced that baseball and softball would be allowed to practice on June 1 and play games June 18, but with heavy restrictions such as no spectator use of bleachers.

“The only thing that we were able to come up with for a reason to play is obviously for the kids and for those last-year seniors,” Rod Woods, the chairman of the York Cornerstone Legion Baseball Committee, said on Wednesday morning. “Then the conversation was: can we really provide a season for them? With all the restrictions in place, we didn’t really feel like we could provide a quality one.”

Over the years the Legion committee has been adamant about the Cornerstone Legion baseball program being a competitive league, not just a recreational league. With state and area tournaments already canceled, the season would be stripped down to just regular-season games.

“Our concern was that, with no state tournament and no area tournament, no end-goal once so ever, that it takes away all the incentive, and it turns into a rec league and accountability would be difficult,” Woods said.

Woods said that the Utica/Beaver Crossing team, a common opponent for the York Legion, contacted Cornerstone saying it is not playing this summer. Another local team, Sutton, hadn’t made a decision as of Tuesday. Class C Legion teams make up a large majority of York’s schedule and it’s unclear how many will even play this summer.

“That was another concern – we only have a three- or four-week season scheduled the way it is. If a quarter or a half of those teams end up fizzling out and canceling, is it really worth sacrificing the entire summer for a non-productive season,” Woods said.

It was a tough conclusion for the committee to come to.

“It’s a difficult decision because it’s getting nice out and it feels like we should be playing ball,” Woods said.

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