Update: We spoke with Whitestown Post 1113 Head Coach/Manager, Paul Engelhart, who confirmed that both he and the New Hartford Post 1376 teams will attempt to appeal the ruling. He said that they are still in the very preliminary discussions about the appeals process and that more information will be provided when it becomes available to both them and us.
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - New York State American Legion Baseball is barring New Hartford Post 1376 and Whitestown Post 1113 from 2014 district playoffs, putting the coaches on probation, suspending five players, and recommending the teams do joint community service.
Department of New York American Legion Baseball Chairman Bruce Mayfield cited unsportsmanlike conduct that brought discredit to American Legion Baseball, stemming from an incident on July 26 at Murnane Field during 5th District American Legion Baseball Championships.
He said the Department of New York Baseball Committee issued the ruling after a review of evidence and interviews with people on the scene.
The ruling states:
- Both the New Hartford and Whitestown teams will not be eligible for post-season district playoffs, and must play the entire league schedule or they will be suspended from playing in 2015.
- Coaches for both teams who were present at the July 26 game will be on probation for the 2014 season. Any violation of probation will result in suspension. "A violation will consist of any of the following," Mayfield said. "Ejection from a game; unsportsmanlike conduct that discredits the American Legion Baseball Program by the coach, player or team; forfeit of any league game during the 2014 season."
- Two Whitestown players are suspended indefinitely due to "malicious unsportsmanlike conduct."
- One Whitestown player is suspended for nine league games.
- One New Hartford player is suspended for six league games.
- One New Hartford player is suspended for three league games.
Mayfield said the baseball committee was also recommending to the commanders of both American Legion Posts that they have players do joint community service projects.
He said it was important to note that the league stands behind the traditional values upon which American Legion Baseball was founded in 1925.
"Nationwide, we have taught hundreds of thousands of young Americans the importance of sportsmanship, good health and active citizenship," said Mayfield. "The program is also a promoter of equality, making teammates out of young athletes regardless of their income levels or social standings. American Legion Baseball has been, and continues to be, a stepping stone to manhood for young men who have gone on to serve their country or community, raise families or even play the sport at the highest level."