Baseball will be returning on a local level soon.

Washington Post 218 Senior Legion Manager Kent Getsee announced several programs, which were left without a season following last week’s announcement by the Missouri American Legion Department that there would be no Legion season in Missouri, have banded together to set up an alternate league.

Getsee reports commitments have been received from 11 programs at the AAA (Senior) level, 11 at the AA (Junior) level and seven at the A (Freshman) level.

Getsee said games could start as early as May 16-17, if weather cooperates and players are in reasonably good shape.

The COVID League Senior teams include Washington, Union, New Haven, Hannibal, Alton (Ill.), Warrenton, Kirkwood, Rhineland, Prospects, Gamers and Eureka. The same group will field Junior teams.

At the Freshman level, Union is slated to have two teams. Washington and Pacific will have one team apiece. Kirkwood and Ballwin will bring one team apiece while the Gamers have two.

Getsee indicated numbers still could change this week.

There will be changes to how the game is played, to comply with Phase 1 of reopening. That includes a different positioning of umpires. There will be no umpire behind the plate, as this would put too many people in close proximity. Getsee said the umpire initially would be placed behind the mound for better social distancing. 

Currently, the format is being ironed out. Getsee foresees up to two games between each of the teams with the first one being played with metal bats and the second with wood.

“We are talking about seeding the teams on a certain date and playing a season-ending tournament to cap it off,” Getsee said.

Getsee said there would be relaxed Legion rules.

“As Legion teams we’re wired to pick players from our recruitment area and this will be no different, but there is not going to be any paperwork checks or arguments about that,” Getsee said. “We’re looking to get these young men on the field and if a team needs a player to do that nobody is going to stop them.  Personally, my goal is to stick with what we have always done.”

Getsee indicated the annual Post 218 Memorial Weekend Tournament for the Junior level is attracting considerable attention.

Schedules are expected to be announced in upcoming days. 

Tryouts

Washington will hold two days of tryouts at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field.

The Senior (AAA) team will go first Friday, May 8, with a 5:30 p.m. start.

The Junior (AA) team will have tryouts Saturday, May 9, at 11 a.m. The Freshman (A) team will follow with a 1:30 p.m. start.

“We ask that tryout participants arrive no more than half-hour before their tryout starts to observe the social distancing request,” Post 218 Senior Manager Kent Getsee said. “The tryout form is on our website, post218baseball.com, and prospective players need to bring it filled out with them. This tryout is rain or shine.”

Getsee noted that players who already have made the teams during fall tryouts should come as well.

Union will not be having additional tryouts, Manager Ryan Bailey said. Players within both the Post 297 Legion program and Union High School have been contacted and offered positions on the teams.