American Legion will offer softball in 2022

Published 9:28 pm Thursday, September 16, 2021

PAUL — Minnesota American Legion Commander Tom Fernlund announced today that the Minnesota American Legion would offer fastpitch softball for girls in 2022.

At its Aug. 7 meeting at Royalton Post 137, the Department of Minnesota Executive Committee approved launching a fastpitch softball committee. The new director of the program is Mike Arvidson, 37, a member of the Sons of The American Legion out of Parkers Prairie, where he is deeply involved in officiating and coaching sports. 

Arvidson, who championed the softball effort, had been on the Minnesota American Legion Baseball Committee since 2016. He is taking one year away from it to focus on launching the softball program. His experience with what makes the baseball program successful — it is the largest Legion Baseball program in the country — will be useful to launch the softball committee.

“It is my hope that Legion Softball in Minnesota becomes as big as Legion Baseball,” Arvidson said.

Minnesota is following in the footsteps of the North Carolina American Legion, which fielded a softball program starting in 2018. It had 11 teams its first year and now is beyond 50. A handful of other states sought to launch American Legion softball programs in 2020, but efforts were stalled by the pandemic.