Tigers receive apology from Legion baseball

© 2018-Lingle Guide

TORRINGTON – The Torrington Tigers 15-and-under baseball team was issued an apology from Ron East after three Tigers players were taken out of the state championship game against Jackson on July 22.
In the championship game Saturday, the Tigers took an 8-0 lead before a protest was issued against the Tigers, saying  Sam Firminhac, Daniel Wayland and Tristan Kingsley were over the age limit for the tournament. The three players were removed from the game as action rolled on.
“In the middle of a game between Torrington and Jackson, I received pressure to pull out Torrington’s older players,” said East, the department chairman for the American Legion baseball program in Wyoming, in his apology letter. “The threat of a lawsuit caused me to go back on my word and put decisions in the hands of individuals at the tournament and on the field.”
Wayland and Firminhac were able to return to action later in the game, but Kingsley was still sidelined. The Tigers held on for a 19-15 win, forcing a winner-takes-all game Sunday. Firminhac and Kingsley were both kept out of action in that game Sunday as well.
Leading up to the tournament, Torrington checked with the appropriate officials to ensure that all of their players were eligible to compete in the state tournament.
“Torrington contacted me in the weeks leading up to the tournament to double-check their eligibility,” East wrote. “I assured them this was the appropriate tournament for their boys. I explained that other teams were in a similar situation and I wanted to give these boys an opportunity to play.”
The players being taken out and put back in to the lineup caused a distraction during both championship games against Jackson.
“I caused people in Torrington and other communities in Wyoming to question the legitimacy of Torrington’s participation in the tournament,” East wrote. “However, the greatest damage that was done was to the 16-year-old players of Torrington who were pulled in and out of the game without explanation or were pulled out completely. I sincerely apologize for the debacle that was caused by my actions.”
East made it clear in his letter that he was at fault for the decisions to pull out and put back players during the two championship games.
“Please do not question the integrity of these young men, their parents or this Post,” he wrote. “Due diligence was taken and any fault lies with me. I’m truly sorry for the Torrington ball club. They did nothing wrong by any means.”

Here is the entirety of the letter from East:

“Let me introduce myself, I’m Ron East. I am the department chairman for the American Legion baseball program in Wyoming.

On July 19-23, Wheatland, Wyoming hosted the 2017 15U American Legion baseball tournament. The eight teams participating in this tournament included Cody, Torrington, Wheatland, Cheyenne, Rawlins, Rock Springs, Jackson and Laramie.

Prior to the tournament, I (Ron East) was aware the Torrington baseball team had six players that would turn 16 before 2018. Torrington contacted me in the weeks leading up to the tournament to double-check their eligibility. I assured them this was the tournament for their boys. I explained other teams were in a similar situation and I wanted to give these boys an opportunity to play.

In the middle of a game between Torrington and Jackson, I received pressure to pull out Torrington’s older players. The threat of a lawsuit caused me to go back on my word and put decisions in the hands of individuals at the tournament and on the field.

In doing so, I caused people in Torrington and other communities in Wyoming to question the legitimacy of Torrington’s participation in the tournament. However, the greatest damage that was done was to the 16-year-old players of Torrington who were pulled in and out of the game without explanation or were pulled out completely. I sincerely apologize for the debacle that was caused by my actions.

The Torrington program in no way did anything to try and cheat themselves to a championship. All participants from the Torrington program were approved by me to participate in the tournament and the state tournament director and the head umpire were made aware of all player ages before the state tournament began.

Please do not question the integrity of these young men, their parents or this Post. Due diligence was taken and any fault lies with me. I’m truly sorry for the Torrington ball club. They did nothing wrong by any means.”


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