The countdown is on to American Legion Baseball’s 100th anniversary.
The American Legion’s National Executive Committee (NEC) passed Resolution 3 at the 2023 Fall Meetings to recognize American Legion Baseball’s celebration of its 100th anniversary in 2025.
The initial resolution proposing an American Legion Baseball program was passed at the Department of South Dakota’s convention on July 17, 1925. American Legion Baseball was organized “to teach practical lessons in sportsmanship and citizenship by emphasizing such qualities as loyalty, respect for the rules, fair play, courage and physical fitness.”
In the October 1975 issue of The American Legion Magazine, then-Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bowie Kuhn wrote about the game in conjunction with baseball’s 100th anniversary and American Legion Baseball’s 50th anniversary.
“The idea (of American Legion Baseball) wasn’t put forward simply to get youngsters to play a game. There was unanimous agreement that while baseball would help in physical training and ‘get kids off the streets,’ it would also be a school for all sorts of intangible values in the game of life, such as ‘citizenship,’ ‘teamwork,’ ‘integrity,’ etc.
“Nobody ever said that about shooting pool or playing tag,” Kuhn wrote.
“For me, it boils down to this: The American Legion baseball program is a national asset and every person involved should be proud of the role he has played,” Kuhn added.