The following was a letter written by Larry Gibbs, the parent of American Legion Baseball player Emerson Gibbs, who pitched New Orleans Post 125 to this year's American Legion Baseball World Series title. Emerson won both the George Rulon Player of the Year and the Bob Feller Pitching Award this year.
When asked whether The American Legion could print his letter, Larry said, "I am honored to express my sincere appreciation to The American Legion organization, the many individual Legionnaires and the good citizens of Shelby, N.C."
To the American Legionnaires,
My son was one of the pitchers on the Jesuit-based Retif Oil Baseball team who participated in and eventually won the 2012 American Legion World Series in Shelby, NC. I now write on behalf of the parents, coaches, players and the many fans from New Orleans to express heartfelt gratitude for the extraordinary hospitality extended by The American Legion organization, and the citizens of Shelby and the surrounding communities. It seems like every person and every business rolled out their red carpet to welcome the many visitors and participants in the ALWS.
The natural beauty of western North Carolina, the historically significant battlefields and museums, and most importantly the friendly people of Shelby combined for a very interesting, informative and fun trip for all. The news coverage of The American Legion World Series by the Shelby Star with numerous photos and personal stories added to the enthusiasm and excitement for the players and for the fans, and made everyone feel very special. The quaint restaurants and shops were welcoming, considerate and attentive to our every need and made us feel like one of the family.
The American Legion organized a truly outstanding sporting event. The many corporate sponsors, particularly the Lowe's company, should be recognized and thanked for their generous support of American Legion Baseball and the city of Shelby. Veterans Field at Keeter Stadium was nothing less than magnificent and the large and enthusiastic crowds were beyond any reasonable expectation. The overwhelming success of the 2012 American Legion World Series is a result of great planning and hard work; I thank the many members of The American Legion at the local and national levels for their tireless volunteer work.
The City of Shelby is the ideal permanent home of The American Legion World Series. I can think of no better place to call home for the ALWS. This was our first trip to the beautiful city of Shelby, but for sure we will return!
In short, everyone and everything was great!
We are sincerely appreciative,
Lawrence C. Gibbs
New Orleans, Louisiana