The countdown to see if Shelby, N.C., or Bartlesville, Okla., will permanently host The American Legion Baseball World Series is finally over. The National Executive Committee announced today during the Legion's Spring Meetings that Shelby won the bid.
"We are extremely excited and looking forward to being a partner with The American Legion statewide and locally," said Eddie Holbrook, co-chairman of Shelby's Baseball World Series Committee. "We look forward to putting on the best World Series the Legion's ever had, becoming a complementary partner with them and making the Legion proud that they selected us."
More than 100 people involved with Shelby's baseball committee traveled to Indianapolis by bus on May 1 to support their winning presentation, given to the Baseball Subcommittee, and show enthusiasm for the opportunity extended to them. The committee's presentation illustrated the immense community support, the large volunteer force of 300 people and the extensive plans for future growth.
"The baseball committee from Shelby had a real vision for the future, and I think that's one of the things that separated them from Oklahoma," American Legion Baseball Chairman Larry Price said. "They are not only looking at three to four years down the road, they are looking at forever."
The committee's immediate plans as the host city involves creating a new scoreboard and constructing a building specifically for World Series staff. The building will feature offices for game preparation purposes and seating that overlooks the playing field.
Additionally, Shelby's baseball committee members are in the process of representing Legion baseball in the best possible way. They are working with the town to build a new water tower where the base will be in the form of a bat and the tank will represent a baseball. More importantly, the water tower will read "Shelby, home of The American Legion Baseball World Series." Shelby will also provide additional World Series exposure throughout the United States with one of its local trucking companies that has more than 100 trailers traveling across the country daily. The sides of each trailer will read the same as the water tower.
Above all, staff from the Legion's National Headquarters foresees stronger sponsorship opportunities, game attendance and coverage now that the World Series will be in one location as of 2011.
"The National Americanism Commission and Baseball Subcommittee view designating a single site for The American Legion Baseball World Series as an exceptional opportunity with unlimited potential to boost recognition of the program across the country," National Americanism Chairman Joseph Caouette said. "This is a milestone in American Legion Baseball history."