Brooklawn, N.J., players and coaches celebrate their 2013 American Legion World Series championship win. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)

Brooklawn players share their MLB experience

American Legion Baseball players and coaches from the 2013 Legion World Series championship team — Brooklawn, N.J., Post 72 — received special recognition on the field at Fenway Park in Boston during the Major League Baseball World Series. The team received MLB's Commissioner’s Award of Excellence, which was presented by former Legion player and MLB Executive Vice President of Operations Joe Torre, on Oct. 24.

The players and coaches shared their memorable experiences from attending MLB World Series.

"My best experience at the World Series was being able to go on to the field! It was such an amazing atmosphere down on the field! Another great experience was being welcomed into the fan base, it was great to be honorary Boston fans for two nights and cheer and high-five every time something good happened! Especially after the homer’s, it was such a cool ballpark and a great way to celebrate our own national championship!" - Mike Shawaryn, pitcher for Brooklawn.

"The best experience was seeing Fenway Park and being a part of the Boston atmosphere." - Jonathan Theckston, catcher for Brooklawn.

"I had an amazing experience at Fenway Park. The atmosphere was incredible, and I loved singing 'Sweet Caroline' with all of Boston. All in all, it's one of the best experiences I've had at a baseball game." - Steven Mondile

"My experience in Boston is one I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. I couldn’t imagine being with any other guys than my teammates and coaches. This past year has really made my appreciation for the men and women who are serving and who have served in the military. I’m thankful for this opportunity and can’t wait to one day tell my kids about this." - Fran Kinsey

"My best experience here at the World Series was really realizing my dream to be a professional baseball player and being able to play in a World Series; it must feel amazing to have fans yell their name." - Jonathan Gonzalez.

"It was the best game I have ever been too; the atmosphere was unbelievable! We got to meet Joe Torre which was awesome. I had a blast." - Z. Welsher

"I have now done this as a player and a coach. It’s way better as a coach to experience this and see our kids receive the rewards of they deserve." - Mike Rucci

Brooklawn lost the American Legion World Series (ALWS) championship title in 2012 against New Orleans Post 125. But the 2012 runner-up claimed what it lost by defeating Petaluma, Calif., off a 10-run mercy rule during the 2013 ALWS in Shelby, N.C. It was the third ALWS title in the program’s history. Read the story here.



  1. It was an outstanding experience that our team will never forget, thank you to American Legion Baseball, Major League Baseball, and the Boston Red Sox organization for the hospitality this was a true honor to attend the games and also get to see the USS Constitution.
  2. Why is the American Legion Youth Programs about competition and winning, instead of about developing the potential of all youth? Winning only affects a small group, I see only a few young men in this photograph, not about the many who did not win or never even got a chance to play.
  3. A well deserved honor. Congratulations to the Red Sox organization for recognizing a perservering group such as these young men and their coaches.
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