Jacob deGrom. Photo by KeithAllisonPhoto.com

Former Legion players take home MLB awards

Following a Major League Baseball season that finished with former American Legion Baseball players in the Fall Classic, more Legion alums took home awards for their 2018 campaigns.

Headlining the year was Jacob deGrom’s unbelievable year, which resulted in the pitcher’s runaway National League Cy Young victory.

deGrom's 1.70 ERA was the sixth-best for a starter since the mound was lowered in 1969, and the Met started 29 consecutive games giving up three runs or fewer.

The right-hander led Deland American Legion Post 6 to a Florida state title in 2006.

The historic season from deGrom prevented the runner-up Max Scherzer from receiving another Cy Young.

Scherzer, a Creve Coeur (Mo.) Post 397 Legion alum, earned a Cy Young in 2013, 2015 and 2016 and has six straight top-five finishes for the award.

Former Most Valuable Player, Cy Young recipient and Rookie of the Year Justin Verlander was the runner-up in the hotly-contested American League race. Named 2008 American Legion Graduate of the Year, Verlander played for Powhatan (Va.) American Legion Post 20.

American Legion Baseball alums swept the Manager of the Year awards with Brian Snitker of the Atlanta Braves and Bob Melvin of the Oakland A’s taking home the awards.

The managers spoke with American Legion Baseball to discuss how the program prepared them for careers in baseball. For that full story, click here.

World Series champion Jackie Bradley Jr., who played Legion Baseball for Hopewell (Va.) Post 146, followed up his American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player award by headlining the Gold Glove awards.

He was joined in the outfield by 2015 American Legion Baseball Graduate of the Year Alex Gordon. Gordon’s first experience playing in the outfield came on his American Legion team, ceding his natural position, third base, to his older brother.

“It really gave me a slingshot to advance my skills early in my career and become a better player for my later years,” Gordon said of his Legion experience with Brager Post 3 in Lincoln, Neb. “I wouldn’t recommend anything else. It was a great experience and a great time of my life."

For the full list of award winners, click here.