Photo by Jeremy Field/The American Legion

Delaware Post 1 players savor experience at MLB World Series

Two months after their historic American Legion World Series title, the players and coaches of Wilmington, Del., Post 1 reunited at the Major League Baseball World Series in Los Angeles.

The first-ever ALWS champions from Delaware were guests of Major League Baseball, serving as clinicians at a Play Ball event and attending a wild Game 4 of the World Series.

The busy Saturday started with the Play Ball clinic with approximately 350 young baseball players ages 5 to 13.

Post 1 helped teach the kids baseball at various stations and were joined by other guests including members of MLB’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program, coaches from the Los Angeles Police Department and Dodgers legends Micky Hatcher, Shawn Green, Dennis Powell and Billy Ashley.

“The Play Ball event was fun and exciting,” said Post 1 catcher Marshall Awtry. “We got to work with a lot of little kids who want to learn baseball or get better. The highlight of the event was being able to see little kids get excited when they were doing better and learning what we helped them with.”

Wilmington’s head coach, Brent Treml, added, “The Play Ball event was awesome. Interacting with the youth really put everything into perspective.”

The team then attended a crucial game in the World Series and were able to see former Legion Baseball players play a major role.

Rich Hill (Milton, Mass., Post 144) started for the Dodgers and was magnificent, leaving the game in the seventh inning with his team up 4-0.

Not only did Hill play American Legion Baseball as a teenager, but his career saw a resurrection after training with his nephew’s American Legion team in 2015.

The Dodgers lead was short-lived after Hill’s departure, however as Tupelo, Miss., 49er Mitch Moreland hit a crucial three-run home run that changed the momentum of the series and helped lead the Red Sox to victory.

Other Red Sox earning a title were Jackie Bradley Jr., (Hopewell, Va., Post 146), Rick Porcello (Vailsburg, N.J., Post 395) and Craig Kimbrel (Decatur, Ala., Post 15).

Brian Dozier, teammates with Moreland on the Tupelo 49ers, was on the National League champions’ roster.

Other highlights from the game included special military appreciation events before the first pitch and during the contest and the presentation of colors by all five branches of the military.

In addition, Post 1 appeared on the stadium’s scoreboard television on three occasions.

“The trip was amazing to be able to get a chance to be with this team for possibly the last time together as a team. I can’t thank The American Legion enough,” Awtry said. “What I will remember most from playing American Legion Baseball is the respect we gained for veterans through this wonderful organization and the experience of getting to play baseball as at team. I had played travel ball my whole life and it didn’t even compare to this season playing American Legion Baseball.”

“We had the time of our lives,” said Treml. “The trip was like a mini reunion for the team and it was great to see everyone again. I can’t thank The American Legion enough for this trip. It was unbelievable.”