Get ready for the 2024 Major League Baseball season
Former Texas Ranger and American Legion Baseball alumnus Jordan Montgomery is headed to Arizona.

Get ready for the 2024 Major League Baseball season

The 2024 Major League Baseball season officially began with last week’s two-game series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres in Seoul, South Korea.

But Thursday marks opening day for all 30 MLB teams, and there’s plenty to watch for as the season gets underway.

American Legion Baseball alumni

The Texas Rangers won the first World Series title in franchise history last season thanks in large part to American Legion Baseball alumni Corey Seager and Jordan Montgomery.

Seager (Post 115/Kannapolis, N.C.) capped a season in which he was named the Legion Baseball Graduate of the Year with his second World Series MVP Award. But his 2024 got off to a slow start after sports hernia surgery in January.

Montgomery (Post 15/Sumter, S.C.) was 4-2 in 11 appearances during the regular season for the Rangers. A free agent after the 2023 season, he finally signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks — at least, according to reports.

Coincidentally, it was the Diamondbacks whom the Rangers defeated in the World Series. Montgomery will join another Arizona pitcher with Legion Baseball ties in closer Paul Sewald (Las Vegas).

Sewald will open the season on the injured list with a strained left oblique.

He’s not the only Legion Baseball alum pitcher starting the season hurt. Houston’s Justin Verlander (Post 201/Powhatan, Va.) has a sore shoulder, and Texas’ Jacob deGrom (Post 3/Deland, Fla.) and Max Scherzer (Post 397/Creve Coeur, Mo.) are out until summer recovering from elbow and back surgery, respectively.

Other Legion Baseball alumni to keep an eye on this season include last year’s AL Rookie of the Year, Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson (Post 20/Selma, Ala.); Seattle shortstop J.P. Crawford (Post 496/Lakewood, Calif.); and Philadelphia’s J.T. Realmuto (Post 170/Midwest City, Okla.), Alec Bohm (Post 1/Omaha, Neb.) and Bryce Harper (Las Vegas).

In the dugout, six of MLB’s 30 managers played American Legion Baseball — Atlanta’s Brian Snitker (Post 105/Decatur, Ill.), Detroit’s A.J. Hinch (Post 170/Midwest City, Okla.), Minnesota’s Rocco Baldelli (Rhode Island), San Diego’s Mike Shildt (Post 262/Charlotte, N.C.), San Francisco’s Bob Melvin (Post 375/Palo Alto, Calif.), and Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash (Post 111/Tampa, Fla.)

Shildt and Melvin are in their first seasons managing their respective teams, with Shildt replacing Melvin with the Padres.

Academy ties

It’s likely that he’ll start the season in the minor leagues again, but Cincinnati’s Jacob Hurtubise could very well become the second West Point graduate to play Major League Baseball at some point in 2024.

The outfielder played 119 combined games in Double-A and Triple-A in 2023, with a .330 batting average, .961 OPS, seven home runs, 45 steals and 46 RBIs. He hit .390 in 36 games for the Triple-A Louisville Bats.

Pitcher Chris Rowley was the first West Point graduate to play in the majors, appearing in eight games for the Blue Jays in 2017-18. Outfielder Walt French, who attended West Point but did not graduate, played for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1923-29.

Pitcher Paul Skenes, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 MLB draft, will start the season at Triple-A Indianapolis but could be called up at some point by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Skenes played two seasons at the Air Force Academy before transferring to LSU. The Tigers won the 2023 College World Series with Skenes being named the CWS Most Outstanding Player.

Hall of Famers

Jim Leyland and Joe Mauer will become the 86th and 87th American Legion Baseball alumni enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Leyland (Post 183/Pemberville, Ohio) and Mauer (Post 606/St. Paul, Minn.) will join Adrian Beltre and Todd Helton in the Class of 2024.

They will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 21.

Other key dates

May 19-21: Armed Forces Day Weekend (camouflage caps for the weekend, uniform patches for Armed Forces Day on May 20)

May 27: Memorial Day (poppy patch)

June 2: Lou Gehrig Day

July 16: 94th All-Star Game, Arlington, Texas

Oct. 1: Postseason begins

Rule changes

Among MLB’s notable rule changes this season, the pitch clock will restart following a dead ball as soon as the pitcher receives a new ball from the umpire, rather than when the pitcher enters the circle. And with runners on base, the clock time will decrease from 20 seconds to 18 seconds.

Also, mound visits will be reduced from five to four (although teams will receive an extra mound visit in the ninth inning if they’ve used their four before that), and a pitcher who warms up at the start of an inning must face at least one batter.


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.

Learn more