Pittsburg American Legion baseball team embraces change, prepares for 2020 season

Post 64 is holding tryouts this week with plans to begin player later this month.

It’s a summer of change for the Pittsburg American Legion baseball team.

“There’s some things you can’t control in life,” says Ron Light, Post 64 baseball general manager, “That’s the message we’re going to take with the kids this year.” 

The Kansas office of the American Legion has already announced it will not sponsor summer baseball championships. That decision comes after the national office announced it would suspend its baseball program for the entire summer due to COVID-19.

“There’s still baseball to be played,” says coach Tyler Brynds, “I love these kids on our team. They love the game of baseball. They play it just because they want to have fun.” 

Despite not being able to play under the American Legion flag this summer, Post 64 held tryouts on Monday and Tuesday, and plans to give local players the opportunity to get on the field.

“With a lot of programs in the area canceling, it seems to bring out a little bit more,” Light says of the tryout sessions.

Light says they had around 40 players come out to tryouts between the two days.

“We’ve had a lot of really good talent come out here,” Brynds adds, “It’s going to be really hard to sift through the players.”

“They had their high school season ripped from them,” adds Light, “They didn’t have a choice in that. That was just the hand they were dealt. If we can get them playing for a couple months…maybe that will get them a little bit back to normal and give them some of what they missed out on.”

The team also has a new head coach in Tyler Brynds.

Brynds is a Colgan graduate and former player, and was an assistant coach last season.

“I’m ready,” Brynds says, “I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. I played 2-3 years of American Legion and had a great time. I loved it. I’m just excited for the opportunity to be able to lead this program.” 

While many things are changing this summer, the love for the game remains for Post 64. They’re looking forward to their opportunity to finally get to play some baseball.

“They want the uniform. They want the schedule,” Light finishes, “They want to know and they want to be prepared to go when it’s time to go.” 

“I think we’ve put together a team that’s good enough to win on a consistent basis,” Brynds finishes, “I think they’re hungry and they’re ready to play and we’re going to have a really good team this year.”

With other area teams not playing, Post 64 has had to make a few changes to its game schedule for the summer. The team is hoping to have its schedule finalized in the next few days.