Lyle Overbay Photo by James V. Caroll

Lyle Overbay named graduate of year

Lyle Overbay of the Toronto Blue Jays received the American Legion Baseball Graduate of the Year award May 15 in Toronto. He played for Post 17 in Centralia, Wash.

American Legion National Vice Commander James LaCoursiere presented the award in Toronto, along with Don Hays, American Legion Baseball chairman for the Department of Washington.

Overbay has tallied 237 career doubles and has a .995 fielding percentage over the past six seasons. The first baseman graduated from the University of Nevada-Reno in 1999.

Overbay spends his off-seasons in Centralia, where he conducts annual hitting clinics for hundreds of young ballplayers. He helped upgrade numerous baseball facilities in his hometown and was the major contributor to a new indoor batting cage used by youth there. He also hosts an annual golf tournament that supports local Legion Baseball teams.

The Graduate of the Year award is presented annually to a professional baseball player and American Legion Baseball alum who best exemplifies the principles and purposes of the league. Past recipients include Stan Musial, Scott Rolen, Steve Carlton, Tony Gwynn, Ted Williams, Yogi Berra, Ryne Sandberg, Dave Winfield, Greg Maddux, Gary Carter and Jeff Bagwell.