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Minnesota Legion Baseball season canceled over virus fears

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota’s American Legion Baseball season has been canceled over concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As much as we wanted to play this year, we cannot take chances with the players, coaches and fans we oversee,” Randy Schaub, director of Minnesota American Legion Baseball, said in announcing the 2020 season’s cancellation Saturday.

Minnesota had 366 American Legion teams last year, making Minnesota the largest state in the nation for American Legion baseball. A total of 357 teams were signed up for this year.

Legion baseball in Minnesota dates to 1923, with the first tournament being held in Mankato in 1926, the Star Tribune reported. The state tournament has been held every year since then.

The Minnesota committee met on April 11 and held off canceling the season at the time. But input from state and national legal advisers helped result in Saturday’s decision.

The Minnesota Department of Health on Sunday reported 481 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the state’s total to 11,271. Officials said 20 new deaths were reported, raising Minnesota’s death toll to 578.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.