American Legion returns for summer swing – The San Diego Union-Tribune

The coronavirus shut down the 2020 high school baseball season and played havoc with the summer season, too.

American Legion Baseball, which had made a comeback after decades of being dormant, tried several times to play before finally calling it quits.

That, however, only stoked the fires for this summer with 28 teams across the county signing up to play..

“This isn’t travel ball; this isn’t pay-to-play,” said Peter-Rolf Ohnstad, Area 5 and District 22 commissioner. “This is summer baseball for high school players up to age 19.

“Kids don’t pay a dime to play American Legion ball. American Legion posts across the county sponsor the teams, pay all the bills.”

While there were challenges this summer, San Diego will host the Area 5 Tournament, a region that includes San Diego, Orange and San Bernardino counties.

The eight-team, double-elimination tournament begins today and runs through Sunday with all games at USD’s Fowler Park.

The San Diego teams include Post 258 Phantoms (Valhalla HS), Posts 146/760 Vipers (Oceanside HS), Post 282 Cobras (Mission Bay HS), Post 149 & VFW Warthogs (Escondido HS), Post 460 SONS Trojans (Patrick Henry HS), Post 820 Coronado Seals (Coronado HS) and Post 492 Panthers (Hoover HS).

Post 229 A-Town Select (Adelanto HS) is the representative from San Bernardino.

“We had to do a lot of juggling this summer,” Ohnstad said. “Because the CIF season ran so long, we lost Eastlake, Point Loma and Mission Hills because they went deep into the playoffs, and we couldn’t reschedule all their games.

“Then the San Diego city schools wouldn’t allow us to play on their fields, so we had teams playing on the road all summer. But we made it happen.

“Of our 25 teams that played, 17 made the CIF playoffs. So the quality of play this weekend will be very good. And we have a great venue at USD.”

The top two teams from this weekend’s tournament will advance to the State Tournament at Buchanan High in Clovis.


American Legion Tournament

When: Today-Sunday

Where: USD’s Fowler Park

Time: Today-Saturday games at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday championship at noon

Tickets: Admission is free

Parking: USD will charge for parking today and Friday. Saturday and Sunday are free.

Concessions: A stand will be open.