Family legacy helped Wyoming finally reach ALWS

Family legacy helped Wyoming finally reach ALWS

Wyoming has competed for American Legion Baseball national postseason success since 1928.

The state hadn’t had a team advance to the American Legion World Series until last season. And the credit has to go to one family that began pursuing that glory since the 1980s.

In 2024, Tagg Lain and his son, Ty Lain, enter the 30th straight year with one of them as Cheyenne Post 6 head coach. And the journey actually began in the 1980s when Tagg first played for Post 6.

With 33 state championships, including the first in 1928, Cheyenne Post 6 has a long history of local American Legion Baseball success.

Starting in 1960, a regional runner-up was one win away from the ALWS, and Wyoming teams had gotten that close five times until this year’s breakthrough.

In this year’s Northwest Regional, host Gillette Post 42 advanced to the final against Cheyenne, ensuring Wyoming would make a historic ALWS appearance.

“That home plate meeting on Sunday (of the 2023 regional final) knowing one of us was going and giving Wyoming its first World Series appearance was really special,” Ty Lain said.

And it was Cheyenne that came out victorious, 7-4, to advance to Shelby, N.C. for the 2023 ALWS. In Shelby, Post 6 advanced to the semifinals before losing to eventual runner-up Lincoln, Neb.

It came after a heartbreaking 6-5, 9-inning loss to two-time defending ALWS champion Idaho Falls, Idaho, in the 2022 Northwest Regional final.

Tagg Lain was in attendance at that disappointing loss, but he called his son afterward with a positive message.

“I called Ty as I was driving home and said, ‘Son, you're going to get there next year. I promise you that,’” Tagg Lain said. “And the day they won it this year, I was there again.

“I knew the personnel they had coming back — and I knew they lost some guys — but I thought there would be a level of determination among those young men. And they relied on that in the regionals and it propelled them into the World Series.”

Tagg Lain's first season as a head coach saw him lead Post 6 to a regional final in 1991.

“In 1991, when we got to the regional final in my first year when my brother played for me was probably the first time we went, ‘Wow, we’re just one step away from the World Series.’

“Then all of those years later, we finally got there.”

Ty Lain was there in 1991, only he was an infant who was shown in the team photo during Cheyenne’s successful playoff run.

“In some ways, it was a triumph for this whole area,” said Tagg Lain, who forged a relationship with legendary Rapid City, S.D., coach Dave Ploof to get pointers on how to a build a successful program. “From him, I learned the importance of building a program and how it could sustain itself with hard work.

“So we brought in the best baseball guys, took the ego and we tried to make a great program.”


American Legion Baseball

American Legion Baseball

American Legion Baseball enjoys a reputation as one of the most successful and tradition-rich amateur athletic leagues. Today, the program registers more than 5,400 teams in all 50 states, including Canada and Puerto Rico.

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