Today is the start of the 2022 American Legion baseball season. We are 97 years young! Pretty impressive.
We were created to help unify our nation immediately following the war. We were designed to put purpose into our nations lives by turning peoples attention to the greatest game ever to be played, baseball. A place, during those warm summer days, where the family could recover from the stress and strain of pulling together to win a war, a place where the lessons of resiliency and teamwork could be watched in our young boys on the field turning double plays, stealing second and throwing the runner out at home with a big league collision. That collision symbolizes what legion baseball should be all about. The courage to give up body and soul for the quest for the title, just like our veterans committed their lives to protect their country.
So my challenge and expectation of all of our coaches is to keep that name on that uniform sacred and honored and understood by all of the young men that proudly wear the name of true American heroes across their chest. Men like Milton Brounshidle, Charles H. Adrean D.S.C, Henry P Smith, Charles Miller, Ely Fagan, and James Cooke, to name a few. These and all the other sponsoring posts represent the good in men and women in sacrificing their health and well being and most certainly their life, to make American Legion Baseball possible.
So coaches, keep the shirts tucked, the hair short, the language controlled, the beards well-trimmed and the spikes polished. You are raising the next “great generation” whether you are a veteran or not. Think of that uniform, the flag and that patch on your sleeve and make that post proud of you and your players.
Play hard, play clean and God Bless.
Mike Macchione, New York State Baseball Chairman