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Arlington Post 139 may not field a baseball team in 2024

Team might be restarted for the following summer
Trevor McAndrews was a top player for Arlington Post 139 last summer. There is a possibility Post 139 won't field a. team in 2024.

The start of the summer season is still months away, but there is uncertainty if Arlington Post 139 will field a baseball team when the American Legion campaign is scheduled to begin next June and, if so, who will manage and coach the longstanding team.

Parents of potential players for the District 17 squad are hearing there might not be a team in 2024, then possibly “reset” and restarted the next season.

Post 139 has undergone various changes in recent months, with a new commander in Richard Rodriguez.

“At the present time, we are not planning to field a team for the upcoming season,” Rodriguez told the GazetteLeader. “I have no further comment.”

Bob Romano has been Post 139’s field manager and coach the last 13 seasons, leading the team to district championships and state-tournament berths. He has heard he will not be permitted to return to the team, if one is fielded.

Romano also was Post 139’s commander, a position he resigned from in November 2022. Along with two other past commanders, Romano filed a complaint with the American Legion Department of Virginia, on issues related to the Post’s operations, he told the GazetteLeader.

As a result, Post 139 is being investigated by the state and temporarily lost its charter, but got it back, officials told the GazetteLeader.

An official with the American Legion Department of Virginia said the investigation could take up to a year, making fielding a baseball team probably not a priority.

Post 139 plays in the local District 17 of Northern Virginia. Mike Farabaugh, the district’s commissioner, said the district is working with Post 139 to hopefully continue fielding a team next summer.  

Romano has explored starting a different Legion team under a different Arlington Post, or forming a summer travel squad as an alternative if a Post 139 team is not fielded.

A father of two potential Post 139 players next summer said he has reluctantly looked into having his sons play travel ball instead, if Arlington doesn’t field a team. Others are doing the same.

“Post 139 is an historic Arlington summer team and for years players have loved the experience of playing for the team,” one parent told the GazetteLeader. “It is very sad if there won’t be a team next summer.”

Parents of Post 139 players would like to meet with the Post’s executive committee to discuss the matter.

For decades, Post 139 has been one of the top teams in the district and state, winning multiple district championships and earning state-tourney berths. Post 139 hosted the state tournament at Barcroft Park in 2022.

Recruiting players for Legion summer ball is a year-round process, because there is so much other competition to play for summer travel and college teams. January is the deadline for local Legion teams to begin securing field requests for the upcoming season.