A year ago, Idaho Falls (Idaho) Post 56 became only the sixth back-to-back American Legion World Series winner.
Oakland (Calif.) Post 337 was the first to do so in 1949-50, followed by Cincinnati Post 50 (1957-58), West Covina (Calif.) Post 790 (1970-71), Rio Piedras, P.R. (1983-74), and Brooklawn (N.J.) Post 72 (2013-14).
Each of the five previous back-to-back winners came close to a three-peat. Here’s a look at those stories.
Oakland Post 337
Legendary coach George Powles’ teams of the late 1940s and early 1950s featured future major leaguers J.W. Porter and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson in addition to six other professional players.
In its 1949 and 1950 title runs, Post 337 went 57-4 overall, 18-1 against national competition and outscored its 19 national opponents by a staggering 243-100 margin.
The 1950 team was so good that Robinson, a 21-year major leaguer who won MVP in both the American League and National League, was a reserve outfielder.
Post 337 lost to San Diego Post 6, 2-1, in the 1948 California state championship series, and to Sacramento Post 61, 2-0, in the 1951 Northern California championship series. San Diego would finish third in Sectional D in 1948 while Sacramento would lose the California state championship series to eventual ALWS champion Los Angeles Post 715 in 1951.
Cincinnati Post 50
Another legendary coach, Joe Hawk, was in the midst of guiding the Bentley post to its fourth and fifth titles since 1942 when they won back-to-back in 1957 and 1958.
The two-year combined record was 106-12, including 19-1 against national competition while outscoring those 20 opponents by a 136-76 margin.
The 1957 team had three future professionals while the 1958 team had future 15-year major leaguer Eddie Brinkman and three other future professionals.
Post 50 lost in the 1956 regional finals to Maywood, Ill., and lost to Cincinnati Hyde Park in the 1958 city elimination series.
West Covina Post 790
Coach Don Sealy’s team was dominant in an era when California won six ALWS titles from 1963 to 1976.
The two-year combined record was 91-19, including 19-2 against national competition while outscoring those 21 opponents by a 169-36 margin.
The 1970 team was led by future major league pitcher Greg Terlecky and had four other future professionals. And the 1971 team included three future major leaguers (Tim Corcoran, Ed Putman and Rob Wilfong) and one other future professional.
Post 790 lost in the 1969 state final to Ontario and finished third in the 1972 state tournament.
Rio Piedras, P.R.
The first team from outside the mainland of the United States to win the ALWS won back-to-back titles with impressive runs in 1973 and 1974.
The two-year combined record was 58-14, including 18-3 against national competition while outscoring those 21 opponents by a 146-71 margin.
The 1973 team included future major leaguer Carlos Lezcano and two future professionals. And the 1974 team had one future major leaguer and two future professionals.
Rio Piedras came close to a three-peat twice as it advanced to the 1972 ALWS, finishing sixth, and many of the 1974 players played for the San Juan team that finished fourth in the 1975 ALWS.
Brooklawn Post 72
Post 72 made five straight ALWS appearances from 2011 to 2015 to come the closest of any team to a three-peat.
Coach Dennis Barth’s team finished sixth in the 2011 ALWS, runner-up in the 2012 ALWS, won the 2013 and 2014 ALWS titles and finished tied for third in the 2015 ALWS.
The 2013 team went 46-9 overall and 9-1 against national competition with a 83-43 scoring margin. It was led by future major leaguer Mike Shawaryn and two other future professionals.
The 2014 team went 54-7 overall and 10-1 against national competition with a 82-30 scoring margin. It was led by two future professionals.