In an ever-evolving summer baseball league schedule for high schools and players from those schools, the great tradition of American Legion baseball opens this Saturday.
11 area teams will participate in first and second district play in the New Orleans area.
Jesuit-based Retif Oil defends its South Regional title. Gauthier and Amadee, based, in Ascension Parish, is the defending Louisiana state champion. Gauthier and Amadee features players from three different schools, including Dutchtown, East Ascension and St Amant.
The New Orleans teams are based at individual high schools and find themselves at a huge disadvantage competing against teams featuring players from several schools on a statewide, regional and national basis.
Other teams competing locally in 2012 include Brother Martin-based Peake BMW, Chalmette-based Gulf Coast Bank, De La Salle-based Ed Brauner Post 307, Destrehan-based Valero Oil, John Ehret-based Culicchia Neurological, Hahnville-based Otto Candies, Holy Cross-based Ponstein's, Rummel-based Deanie's Seafood, Shaw-based Refuel and St. Charles Catholic-based Townsend Homes.
The Louisiana champion has a special chance to make its mark at home in 2012.
Delgado Community College and Kirsch-Rooney Stadium will play host to the 2012 Mid-South Regional Tournament August 9-13. The event will feature eight teams, including the Louisiana state champion and the regular season champion of the first district. The champions of Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee will advance to New Orleans as well.
The winner of the Mid-South Regional advances to the American Legion World Series. The Mid-South Regional has not been held in New Orleans since UNO hosted the event in 1987 when Rummel-based Schaff Brothers finished as the runner-up to Midwest City, Oklahoma.
The 2012 American Legion World Series is set for August 17-21 at Veterans Field at Keeter Stadium in Shelby, North Carolina. Eden Prairie, Minnesota is the defending national champion by virtue of a 5-4 title game victory over Tupelo, Mississippi last August.
Kirsch-Rooney Stadium hosted the Louisiana State Tournament in 2011 and did so previously in 2002 and 2004. The 2012 Louisiana State Tournament is set for "Tigue" Moore Field on the campus of Louisiana-Lafayette July 28-August 2.
The proud tradition of American Legion baseball began in 1925 and has endured the proliferation of travel leagues and schools that choose to participate in localized summer league competition separate from legion ball. The American Legion focuses on service to veterans of war, service members and communities across the United States.
New Orleans has a proud tradition of success in the American Legion World Series with four Crescent City-based teams capturing national titles. The S.J. Peters-based team won the championship in 1932, the Jesuit-based team won it all in 1946 and in 1960 (Tulane Shirts) and Rummel-based Nationwide Restoration captured the national championship in 2006.
There have been close calls for area teams as well. S.J. Peters finished second in the World Series in 1929 and 1930, Jesuit was second in 1934, Fortier was second in 1937, De La Salle was second in 1956, St. Aloysius was third in 1943 and Rummel was third in both 1974 and 1976. A Gonzales-based team finished second in 1996.
You can follow American Legion baseball results and stories here at SportsNola.com all and check out schedules at www.delgadoathletics.com.