Wasilla’s summer baseball season ended with a win. Usually that’s good sign.
Despite a 2-1 victory over Juneau in an elimination round of the Alaska Legion Baseball tournament, Wasilla will head home. On Sunday it was discovered an ineligible player was on the roster: Monday’s game was null and void. The player in question was in violation of a well-known rule that the Legion Baseball Committee preaches more than hitting the cutoff man. The player missed games during the legion season for other baseball activities outside the state.
It’s a clear-cut rule and judgment Alaska Legion Chairman Russ Baker did not want to make; sending Juneau to play an elimination game with Chugiak Tuesday at 10 a.m.
“We have it on the form, too, which every Legion player must sign; it’s in our rule book and it’s clearly published a number of places,” Baker said. “At the moment I was alerted a rule was broken, I verified the rule was broken and I had no choice.”
Baker spent five years as the head coach at South High School, and knows this is no way for a promising season to end. But numerous times during a phone interview, he said he had no choice.
“I just enforced the rule as it’s written,” he said.
The irony is that teams can request a waiver if they know a player will be away. While there’s no guarantee, it could have helped Wasilla. But no such waiver was ever requested, leaving only one option.
Monday, Wasilla waved goodbye to its season.