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Legion World Series to be televised

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Legion World Series to be televised
(Photo by Eldon Lindsay)

Together, The American Legion and the Shelby (N.C.) Baseball World Series Committee have inked a five-year contract that will expand the viewership of the American Legion World Series (ALWS) to nearly 80 million viewers.

Starting with the 2014 ALWS, the championship game will be televised live by ESPNU. The last time a Legion World Series championship game was live on TV was 35 years ago in Greenville, Miss.

"The extended contract (with ESPN) to televise the championship game of the World Series is testimony of the perseverance and commitment of all involved to maintain our reputation as one of the most successful and tradition rich amateur baseball programs in the world," said Richard Anderson, chairman of the Legion's National Americanism Commission. "On behalf of the Americanism Commission, it is with deep gratitude that we extend our congratulations to Eddie Holbrook (co-chairman of Shelby's Baseball World Series Committee), the committee, all the volunteers and the city of Shelby for their due diligence and successful achievement of affiliating with ESPN.

"Thank you to all the dedicated volunteers who safeguard and promote the integrity and legend of American Legion Baseball."

Holbrook, with American Legion North Carolina National Executive Committeeman Jerry Hedrick in attendance, made the announcement March 13 during a special event at the LeGrand Center in Shelby.

“This has been a dream that we have had since the beginning,” Holbrook told the Shelby Star. “We had no idea that it could be done by year four.”

All games leading up to the championship event will still be live streamed on ESPN3. And to accommodate the championship game TV coverage, the ALWS tournament schedule is changing from a double elimination format to pool play.

“ESPNU needs to know the exact time each game will be played. There can’t be any ‘what-ifs,’” Holbrook told the Shelby Star. “In double elimination, you have what-ifs with the championship game."

With the pool play format, each team is guaranteed to play up to three games. There will be two pools (A and B) of four teams each; the teams will play each other in their respective pools for the first three days of the ALWS, Aug. 14-17. The semifinals will be Aug. 18, where the winner of Pool A will play the runner-up of Pool B and the winner of Pool B will play the runner-up of Pool A. The two overall winners will play in the ALWS championship game on Aug. 19.

The ALWS championship game TV coverage also allows for several 30-second advertising spots for The American Legion and Shelby.

Events surrounding the ALWS are still in the planning stages. However, it is official that a performance by The Charlie's Daniel Band will be held during the National Commander's Reception on Aug. 12 at the LeGrand Center. The band is known for its song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." Another concert is set to take place following the Celebration of Champions dinner at Keeter Stadium on Aug. 13.


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July 19, 2014 - 1:40am


Paul L

June 10, 2014 - 7:20am

What would the tie-breading rules be to determine the 0-2 or 1-1 teams to advance to championship round play? We tried this years ago in our Department and pool-play was VERY unfavorable and a complete failure; I also believe that National tried this several years ago, only to realize that this was not the best way to determine a National champion. I also realize that the NCAA uses pool-play format but they play A BEST-OF-THREE championship format at the end to make pool-play format work for them and make it a more fair format!

Jim Delbou

April 24, 2014 - 9:06pm

First, lets fix what went on in the state of Massachusetts. They sent a team that wasn't even the "State Champion", rather a team that won a mid-summer tournament , and here's the kicker, they also sent the runner-up... Milford won @ Norwood for the Title and then was sent home, talk about not making sense Hey !!!!

Vince D

March 19, 2014 - 10:52am

While I think it's great to get ALB televised to a broader audience, pool play is the dumbest idea ever created! I've never seen a benefit to having a team with 1 loss(possibly 2!) beat an undefeated team in a winner take all situation and have said team be considered the national champion. ESPNU should just televise 2 games if that's what it takes to determine a champion.


March 21, 2014 - 12:49am

Dumb...?? Seems we have a writer that is clueless about the benefits of 'pool play' in our great sport of baseball. I have coached baseball 39 years (Legion and Palomino) and have been to the Palomino World Series six times. I could write a thesis on the benefits of 'pool play'.

Lou Ramirez

March 14, 2014 - 12:27pm

This is so great....I have been an American Legion Baseball Umpire for about thirty years and have done many State and Regional games. Its great to hear that many other people are going to see what a gret job American Legion does with baseball. I hope one day to do a ALWS be for I retire from baseball. GOOD LUCK and May GOD BLESS the program for many years. LOU

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