Legion Baseball Player of the Year honored in Cooperstown

Shane Spencer, whose efforts in the 2017 American Legion World Series championship game in Shelby, N.C., led Henderson, Nev., Post 40 to the title, was honored this weekend in Cooperstown, N.Y., as part of the Hall of Fame Classic.

An annual tradition, American Legion Baseball’s George W. Rulon Player of the Year is a guest of the Baseball Hall of Fame over the Memorial Day weekend festivities.

Spencer, who only conceded four hits over 14 innings at the ALWS, was presented with a plaque on the field during the game by American Legion Baseball Chairman Gary Stone and Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers, who was the 1964 Legion Player of the Year.

Prior to the contest, Spencer spoke with Hall of Famers Gaylord Perry, Ozzie Smith and Goose Gossage, and other former Major League Baseball players such as Shane Victorino and Steve Woodard.

Woodard, a former American Legion Baseball player, was especially excited to see Spencer, as the fellow pitcher was the color commentator for the nationally-televised American Legion Baseball championship game on ESPNU.

Spencer also spent time at the Hall of Fame as part of “A Night at the Museum,” hosted by the Hall of Fame, and visited the neighboring Clark F. Simmons Post 579 in Cooperstown to autograph mementos and meet Legionnaires.

“My family and I had an amazing experience in Cooperstown, I loved it,” Spencer said. “Meeting new people, especially all of The American Legion representatives, was such an honor. Also, I learned so much from the Hall of Fame museum and from all of the players that were there for the game. Thank you to everyone who made this happen for me.”