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Sports NotebookSports Notebook: Legion Series final on T.V.

Sports Notebook: Legion Series final on T.V.

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For fans and followers of American Legion baseball, the biggest game of the summer sport was played the night of Aug. 16 in Shelby, N.C.

The contest was between Troy Post 70 of Alabama and Idaho Falls Post 56 in the championship game of the 2022 Legion World Series. The action was suspenseful the whole way. Troy rallied to win, 6-5, after falling behind 5-0 against the two-time defending champion, then celebrating with a huge dog pile.

Idaho Falls had the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning when the game ended with two straight strikeouts.

The game was broadcast on national T.V. by ESPNU, and was fun to watch. There was good professional coverage and information provided about the two teams. The semifinals also were broadcast nationally.

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In many states, Legion baseball, consisting of high-school and young college-age players, has been losing teams at a fast clip in recent years – Virginia included – because so many more players are bypassing Legion to join travel baseball squads instead. Maybe the appeal of playing on national T.V. if advancing to the World Series final four will start attracting more players back to Legion. The organization certainly should heavily promote that unique and attractive situation.

By finishing second in the Mid-Atlantic Region 2 tourney in 2019, Vienna Post 180 came very close to playing in the World Series that summer. And, who knows, maybe eventually one of its games would have been broadcast nationally.

To win a Legion World Series is very difficult and time consuming. The champion first has to win district, state and region titles to even qualify. Does travel baseball even have such elimination playoff formats set up the same way?

– Dave Facinoli

dfacinoli@sungazette

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