The eight teams competing in the American Legion World Series have arrived in Shelby.
Teams began arriving Monday afternoon and through the day Tuesday. For most, the first stop once they made it to Shelby was the Cleveland Mall for a tournament orientation.
As part of orientation, teams were introduced to tournament staff, host families and American Legion officials before receiving custom camouflaged jerseys, which will be worn during games on Saturday. Tuesday evening, teams were invited to Keeter Stadium for an open house ahead of this week’s games.
For the young men representing Alabama’s Troy Post 70, Tuesday’s activities were the latest in a whirlwind of events. Following a lengthy rain delay on Sunday, the team won its way into the World Series at around midnight, then had to catch a seven-hour bus ride from Alabama to Shelby early the next morning.
“I don’t think I went to bed until 2 am, I was so excited. Then we had a bus ride at 8 (am),” said Todd Clay, Post 70’s shortstop.
This year is Post 70s first ever appearance in the World Series. Neither Clay nor Brooks Bryan, Post 70 catcher, said they were nervous about being the first to make it.
“It’s a pretty good thought, that this team has never been here before. There have been other teams that were good. For us to make that achievement has been big for the city,” Bryan said.
“I’m a little anxious. I’m just ready to play,” added Clay.
Post 70 is one of three teams making first appearances in the American Legion World Series. Camden Post 7, of South Carolina, and League City Post 554 of Texas are also making first trips to the series.
Among the returning teams, Idaho Falls 46, of Indiana, is looking to make tournament history as the first team to win three championships in a row.
“There have been other teams to win two championships in a row, but not all of them made it back here for a third,” said JJ Guinozzo, official scorekeeper for the series. “Only one other team has won two and come back to try for the third, that was Brooklawn (NJ Post 72), but they lost in the semi-finals.”
Teams competing in this year’s series are:
Shrewsbury Post 397
Chesapeake Post 280
Camden Post 7
Troy Post 70
Midland Post 165
Omaha Post 1
Idaho Falls 46
League City Post 554
The first game of the American Legion World Series will begin 10 am Thursday, and the series concludes Tuesday.
Because of deadline and game times, game results will not be available in The Star. Game coverage will be available online at americanlegionworldseries.com.
Dustin George can be reached at 704-669-3337 or Dustin.George@ShelbyStar.com.