A handful of American Legion Baseball alumni capped standout regular seasons in Major League Baseball — and in some cases, historic postseasons — with major awards.
Gunnar Henderson (Post 20/Selma, Ala.) became the first Oriole to win Rookie of the Year honors since Gregg Olson in 1989. Henderson was the unanimous American League Rookie of the Year after leading AL rookies with 28 home runs, nine triples, 82 RBIs and 100 runs scored. He also was the AL’s Silver Slugger Award winner at the utility position.
Following his 2023 World Series MVP Award — just the fourth player in major league history to win the award twice — Texas shortstop Corey Seager (Post 115/Kannapolis, N.C.) earned his third Silver Slugger Award. Despite missing about six weeks of the regular season due to injury, Seager still hit 33 home runs and an American League-best 42 doubles while scoring 88 runs and driving in 96 RBIs. Seager finished second in the AL with a .327 batting average, .623 slugging percentage and 1.013 OPS.
Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper (Las Vegas) also won his third Silver Slugger Award. The National League’s winner at designated hitter, Harper hit 21 home runs in the regular season despite a 37-game homerless streak.
Harper, Henderson and Seager are all also contenders for the All-MLB Team. Fans can vote online here through 8 p.m. ET Nov. 19. Other Legion Baseball alumni on the ballot include:
· Seattle shortstop J.P. Crawford (Post 496/Lakewood, Calif.)
· Houston third baseman Alex Bregman (Albuquerque, N.M.)
· Philadelphia catcher J.T. Realmuto (Post 170/Midwest City, Okla.)
· Texas pitcher Jordan Montgomery (Post 15/Sumter, S.C.)
· Houston pitcher Justin Verlander (Post 201/Powhatan, Va.)
· Arizona reliever Paul Sewald (Las Vegas)
The All-MLB team selections will be announced Dec. 16.
Hall of Fame nominees
Two former Legion Baseball players are also on the ballot for consideration by the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee for election into the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2024. Jim Leyland (Post 183/Pemberville, Ohio) and Lou Piniella (West Tampa) will learn Dec. 3 whether they are headed to Cooperstown.
Leyland won 1,769 games in 22 seasons managing the Pirates, Marlins, Rockies and Tigers, and led the Marlins to the 1997 World Series title. He was a three-time Manager of the Year Award winner.
Piniella won 1,835 games in 23 seasons as manager for the Yankees, Reds, Mariners, Rays and Cubs. He managed the Reds to the 1990 World Series title and was a three-time Manager of the Year.