Tom Mix, Published January 28 2014
New American Legion baseball team forming in FargoFARGO – American Legion baseball in Fargo is getting a bit of shakeup this summer.
A new team – Post 400 – is joining the fold, but it is not exactly an upstart program. Post 400 is formerly the Fargo Metro Expos, which received sponsorship from the North Dakota State University Legion post last fall.
The Post 400 program will field a North Dakota Class A American Legion varsity program, a North Dakota junior Class A
16-under team and an independent junior varsity 19-under team this summer.
Matt Peck, who coaches the Minnesota State Moorhead baseball club team, was hired to coach Post 400’s Class A varsity team last month.
“We finally thought it was time to bump it up,” Peck said.
The past several summers, the Metro Expos operated as a summer baseball program competing within the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) in contrast to Post 2 – the longstanding American Legion team in Fargo.
“This team was started a few years ago looking to give another alternative summer baseball opportunity to kids in the community,” Peck said. “As the community has grown over the years it became more obvious that there is plenty of talent and the kids need another opportunity. It has fallen into place and we are looking forward to be competing at the American Legion level this summer.”
So with two teams in town how will each program now determine its rosters?
Peck said Post 400’s board met with board members of Post 2 two weeks ago to decide the answer to that question, and the consensus was to have an open boundary for this summer.
“Since this is a new thing for both organizations we are not sure what is going to be most beneficial to both whether it be a geographical boundary or school-based boundary,” Peck said. “Players are going to have their own choice to which program they want to play for.”
Peck also said that the issue will be revisited later this summer by both boards in order to determine if revision is needed.
Post 400 has an informational meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday at Discovery Middle School. Tryouts are scheduled for May 4, 7 and 11.
“There is still a lot of work to be done as far as legitimizing ourselves,” Peck said. “The groundwork and numbers are there. From what I can see so far it is going to be a fun summer.”
The team’s opening contests – a doubleheader against Dickinson – are set for June 6 at Bennett Field, which will serve as the Post 400’s home field.
Post 400 will play a
27-game regular-season schedule, similar to its Expos schedules, which were considerably smaller than Post 2’s schedules that routinely include
50-plus games in the regular season.
The schedule piece was a big reason why the Expos team was formed years ago and at the time was quite controversial in that it took potential talent away from Post 2.
With Post 400 joining the Class A ranks, it now means Post 2 will have an opponent in town, reducing travel for both teams.
“At first we did anticipate some backlash and there are still some uneasy feelings, but for the most part Post 2 has backed this idea,” Peck said. “They agree the population is where it is at and the high school talent is where it is at. Competition makes teams better and they know that.”
Readers can reach Forum reporter
Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562