A number of American Legion Baseball alumni are on the rosters and coaching staffs of the 12 teams which qualified for the 2023 Major League Baseball postseason, which begins with the four wild-card series beginning Tuesday, Oct. 3.
Here’s a look at the playoff qualifiers, including their connections to Legion Baseball:
Baltimore Orioles (101-61). The Orioles reached the postseason for the first time since 2016 and won the AL East for the first time since 2014, finishing with the best record in the American League. They’re hoping that leads to the fourth World Series championship in franchise history (1966, 1970, 1983). Baltimore will face either Tampa Bay or Texas in the AL Division Series, which starts Oct. 7.
Houston Astros (90-72). The Astros won the AL West for the third consecutive year when they beat Arizona 8-1 on Sunday as the Texas Rangers were losing 1-0 to Seattle on the final day of the regular season. Houston and Texas both finished 90-72 but the Astros won the season series against their fellow Lone Star State rivals. Justin Verlander, who played American Legion Baseball for Post 201 in Powhatan, Va., will likely be Houston’s starting pitcher for Game 1 of the AL Division Series against Minnesota or Toronto. The Astros’ Legion Baseball alumni also include manager Dusty Baker (Post 412/Fair Oaks, Calif.) and third baseman Alex Bregman (Albuquerque, N.M.).
Minnesota Twins (87-75). The Twins won the AL Central for the third time in five seasons but are looking to snap an 18-game postseason losing streak. Manager Rocco Baldelli (Rhode Island) will lead Minnesota against sixth-seeded Toronto in the AL Wild Card Series, which begins Tuesday.
Tampa Bay Rays (99-63). The Rays qualified for the playoffs for the fifth straight year under manager Kevin Cash (Post 111/Tampa, Fla.) and will host the Texas Rangers in the AL Wild Card Series. Tampa Bay finished with the second-best record in the American League—however, AL East division rivals Baltimore had the AL’s best record. Aaron Civale (Post 36/Windsor Locks, Conn.) will be part of Tampa Bay’s postseason pitching rotation.
Texas Rangers (90-72). Texas’ loss on the final day of the regular season forced them on the road for the postseason. Corey Seager (Post 115/Kannapolis, N.C.) fell just short of the AL batting title but will be a key factor in the Rangers’ first playoff appearance since 2016.
Toronto Blue Jays (89-73). The final team in the AL field didn’t clinch a playoff spot until Saturday. Outfielder Daulton Varsho (Post 54/Marshfield, Wis.) and bench coach Don Mattingly (Evansville, Ind.) will aim to help Toronto move past Minnesota in the AL Wild Card Series.
Atlanta Braves (104-58). The best record in Major League Baseball belongs to Atlanta, who will have homefield advantage in every postseason series, including the World Series if they get that far. Manager Brian Snitker’s (Post 105/Decatur, Ill.) Braves will try to get that far after finishing the regular season with a record .501 slugging percentage and hitting a record-tying 307 home runs. Relief pitcher Brad Hand (Chaska, Minn.) will help the cause.
Los Angeles Dodgers (100-62). The Dodgers won the NL West for the 10th time in 11 seasons and are looking to win the World Series for the first time since 2020.
Milwaukee Brewers (92-70). Milwaukee won the NL Central with five games to go and locked in the No. 3 seed in the National League. Brandon Woodruff (Tupelo, Miss.) was expected to be a key factor in the Brewers’ rotation as they host Arizona in the NL Wild Card Series, but he'll miss that series—and possibly longer—due to a shoulder injury.
Philadelphia Phillies (90-72). Three members of Philadelphia’s likely starting lineup—catcher J.T. Realmuto (Post 170/Midwest City, Okla.), first baseman Bryce Harper (Las Vegas), and third baseman Alec Bohm (Post 1/Omaha, Neb.)—played Legion Baseball and will be aiming to help the Phillies defeat division rivals Miami in the NL Wild Card Series. Also contributing will be relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (Post 15/Decatur, Ala.).
Miami Marlins (84-77). Arizona’s loss in its regular season finale meant the Marlins didn’t have to go back to New York to finish up a suspended game against the Mets on Monday. Instead, the Marlins could prepare for their NL Wild Card Series against the Phillies.
Arizona Diamondbacks (84-78). Arizona earned the No. 6 seed in the National League playoffs. Among the pitchers expected to contribute in the bullpen are Legion Baseball alum Paul Sewald (Las Vegas).
The schedule for the Wild Card Series:
Tuesday, Oct. 3 Texas at Tampa Bay, Game 1, 3:08 p.m. ET (ABC) Toronto at Minnesota, Game 1, 4:38 p.m. ET (ESPN) Arizona at Milwaukee, Game 1, 7:08 p.m. ET (ESPN2) Miami at Philadelphia, Game 1, 8:08 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Wednesday, Oct. 4 Texas at Tampa Bay, Game 2, 3:08 p.m. ET (ABC) Toronto at Minnesota, Game 2, 4:38 p.m. ET (ESPN) Arizona at Milwaukee, Game 2, 7:08 p.m. ET (ESPN2) Miami at Philadelphia, Game 2, 8:08 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Thursday, Oct. 5 (times subject to change) Texas at Tampa Bay, Game 3 (if necessary), 3:08 p.m. ET (ABC) Toronto at Minnesota, Game 3 (if necessary), 4:38 p.m. ET (ESPN) Arizona at Milwaukee, Game 3 (if necessary), 7:08 p.m. ET (ESPN2) Miami at Philadelphia, Game 3 (if necessary), 8:08 p.m. ET (ESPN)
The Division Series will begin Oct. 7; the League Championship Series will begin Oct. 15; and the World Series will begin Oct. 27.