A year after American Legion Baseball alums Kris Bryant, Rick Porcello, Max Scherzer and Corey Seager dominated the major MLB awards, former Legion Baseball players once again had a good showing in 2017.
The National League’s Cy Young once again went to Scherzer, his third such award. Following up his 2016 Cy Young campaign, Scherzer, formerly of Coeur American Legion Post 397 in Missouri, had a better season and finished with a 2.51 ERA and led the MLB in strikeouts (268) and WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) of 0.90.
Craig Kimbrel received the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award after a stellar season as the closer of the Red Sox, posting 16.42 strikeouts per nine innings and a WHIP of 0.68.
The Decatur, Ala., Post 15 alum became the first player to win the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award and the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award.
He was presented with the award prior to Game Four of the World Series, which featured the 2017 American Legion champions, Henderson, Nev., Post 40, honored on the field prior to the game as well.
The AL Manager of the Year race featured four skippers, all of whom played Legion Baseball. Paul Molitor, the 1996 American Legion Graduate of the Year, earned the award after leading his hometown Twins to a 26-win improvement, going from 103 losses to the first postseason trip in seven years.
Molitor beat out Cleveland’s Terry Francona, who played Legion Baseball in Pennsylvania, and World Series champion AJ Hinch, who played in Oklahoma.
Rounding out the voting was Yankee manager Joe Girardi, who is a Sons of The American Legion member and Peoria, Ill., Legion Baseball alum.
Legion alums also littered the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger list, led by 2016 Graduate of the Year Brian Dozier and 2015 Graduate of the Year Alex Gordon receiving Gold Gloves for outstanding defense.
In addition, Justin Verlander, formerly of Powhatan Post 201 in Virginia, was the ALCS Most Valuable Player, leading the Astros to their first World Series win.