The Minnesota American Legion announced Thursday that the organization will offer fastpitch softball for girls beginning in 2022. American Legion Commander Tom Fernlund of St. Cloud says that playing softball around Europe while with the Air Force instilled in him a love for the game.

“Fastpitch softball is near and dear to my heart,” Fernlund said in a release. “It will be an opportunity to provide an activity for young women in the summer, a time when many communities have baseball for the boys but nothing for the girls.”

The plan was hatched at an August 7th meeting in Royalton. The director of the softball program is Mike Arvidson, who owns a school bus company and is a special education teacher in Parkers Prairie.

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

North Carolina is currently the only other state in the country offering American Legion-backed fastpitch softball. A few other states had proposals to begin softball programs but saw their efforts stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Registration for the new league will begin sometime in the new year.

10 Reasons Not to Move to St. Cloud

12 Items You Didn't Know Were Invented In MN (And A Few You Did)

These Companies Are Now Hiring In St. Cloud

10 Places in St. Cloud That Would Be Fun to Explore Once Abandoned

10 (More) Hilariously Bad Google Reviews of Central MN Landmarks