Any question about whether the Western New York American Legion Baseball season would be played ended late Saturday night with the announcement by Department of New York Baseball Chairman Bruce A. Mayfield, of the Town of Tonawanda, that it was canceling the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Previously, the decision to play was left up to the leadership of the the 10 Legion Baseball districts in the state.
Mark Weigel, of East Amherst, the District 8 (eight counties of Western New York) Legion Baseball administrator, announced the cancellation after state officials had passed along a memo from the national organization withdrawing endorsement and support for local leagues.
In part, the memo read: "The American Legion National Organization has shut down all sponsorship and all involvement in baseball for the 2020 season."
It also said that the national organization would stop collecting and reimburse any national team fees.
Previously, the American Legion Baseball World Series, regional tournaments and the state tournament had been canceled.
Hamburg Post 527, which ended Rockland County's three-year reign with a dramatic comeback win in the 2019 finals, was the defending state champion and represented the state in the Mid-Atlantic Regionals last August in North Carolina.
With most of its players eligible to return this year, Hamburg was a favorite to win the District 8 and state championships again.