"There will be no American Legion baseball in Cassville this summer," said Pete Landstad of Cassville's Irwin-Easley Post #118.
With only 10 players attending the team's organizational meeting, the decision was made to cancel the summer schedule.
John Cavness, Trey Rose, and Ben Makela, of Cassville, signed on to play with the independent team from Purdy. Joshua Hughes organized that team last summer to provide opportunities for local players not included on the Cassville or Monett Legion rosters.
But many area players will not see any diamond action at all this summer due to the late cancellation. Other teams already have their rosters set, and there is no time to complete application requirements to field a new team.
The dwindling number of area American Legion teams reflects a nationwide trend. Today's youth have so many more entertainment and sports options than previous generations, and the long tradition of American Legion baseball is struggling in the race for commitment.
Plus, many communities that used to field legion squads have changed affiliations and now play under new rules with new organizations such as the American Amateur Baseball Congress. If the American Legion baseball program is going to survive in Cassville and beyond, it will have to adapt to the new environment and adopt a more successful strategy for attracting and keeping players and coaches.