Nebraska American Legion Baseball



Nebraska American Legion
P.O. Box 5205
Lincoln, NE 68505
(402) 464-6338



Class A State Tournament History (PDF) Updated 2016 Class A State Tournament History (PDF) Updated 2016
Class B State Tournament History (PDF) Updated 2016 Class B State Tournament History (PDF) Updated 2016
Class C State Tournament History (PDF) Updated 2016 Class C State Tournament History (PDF) Updated 2016
We would like to build a history here of American Legion Baseball in Nebraska.  We welcome pictures, stories, news clippings, programs, pennants - anything related to American Legion Baseball in Nebraska.  If you have anything to contribute to this project, please email

A dissertation on the subject:
From Americanism To Athleticism:  A History of the American Legion Junior Baseball Program
Kent M. Krause, Ph.D., 1998
Degree requirement, University of Nebraska

American Legion Baseball History
"In this city on July 17, 1925, by action of the South Dakota Department of The American Legion, the nationwide organization of Legion Junior Baseball was first proposed as a program of service to the youth of America."  Those words are inscribed on a marble monument in the community of Milbank, South Dakota as a reminder of the beginning of this fine Americanism program.  The program's years of existence can be explained best by a portion of that inscription:  "A program of service to the youth of America."  Since it's beginning, millions of young men have played American Legion Baseball.

American Legion Baseball became a national program by convention action in 1925, and the first National Tournament was held in 1926.  Only 16 states were represented in this first year of national operation.  In 1928, Mr. Dan Sowers, the Director of the National Americanism Commission, appeared before the Executive Council of Baseball in Chicago, which agreed to underwrite the national program up to $50,000.  With the exception of two years, the Major Leagues have continually supported American Legion Baseball.  Major League Baseball continues to make a financial contribution each year.

During the 1929 season, every state entered teams into competition.  1931 marked the first appearance in championship play of a player who was later to become a big-league great.  Kirby Higbe hurled a complete game for Columbia, South Carolina, and lost the final game in the 14th inning, 1-0.  Ten years later, he was the National League's top pitcher.

1940 and 1941 marked the years that American Legion Baseball became an established institution for American Youth.  During the war years, the program was restricted but continued its service to our nation's youngsters.  The post-war years saw the continued growth of the program and the nation's realization of the importance of this type of activity for boys of all age groups.

In 1949, the selection of an American Legion Player of the Year was originated.  This arranged through the cooperation of Mr. Robert Quinn, Director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.  The 1960's saw the program grow stronger under the leadership of George W. Rulon, Program Coordinator for American Legion Baseball, who held that post from 1961 to 1987.  Upon his retirement, the American Legion Player of the Year Award was renamed the George W. Rulon Player of the Year in honor of the late Program Coordinator.

The 1970's saw three more national awards established by the National Americanism Commission.  The Dr. Irvin L. (Click) Cowger RBI Award, Rawlings Big Stick Award and the Bob Feller pitching awards were established based on player's statistics in Regional and World Series tournaments.

In 1982, the National Americanism Commission adopted the eight-site, eight-team, and double elimination Regional Tournament format.  Sixty-four of the best teams in the country began national competition at the Regionals.

In 1998, The American Legion established a national baseball scholarship.  A $1,000 scholarship is awarded to each participating Department.  A total of $51,000 is awarded annually to 51 outstanding American Legion Baseball players based upon leadership, character, scholarship and financial need.  The Quaker Oats Company, makers of Gatorade, annually contribute $10,000 towards scholarships to help us honor Eight Regional Players of the Year as well as The American Legion Player of the Year.

Over 98,000 players, ages 15-19, participated in 2005.  Since 1925, over 10 million young people have played American Legion Baseball.  Since 1985, over 1,900 new teams have registered to play American Legion Baseball.  Local American Legion Posts also support and sponsor some 2,500 younger-age teams who are registered with Little League, Babe Ruth, Pony, Dixie as well as many other youth sports teams such as soccer, bowling, hockey, etc.

On an average, 55 percent of Major League Baseball players played American Legion Baseball as teenagers.  Nearly 75 percent of all college players played American Legion Baseball as teenagers.  Forty-six American Legion Baseball graduates have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Since 1926, Major League Baseball has honored The American Legion World Series Champions at the Major League World Series.  The Commissioner's Office annually presents a plaque to The American Legion Champions on the field at the Major League World Series.

The history of American Legion Baseball has proven that America's youth receive on the baseball diamond a thorough understanding of the true value of sportsmanship, leadership and individual character building.  For nearly 81 years, America's largest veteran's organization, The American Legion has sponsored a baseball program.  During these eight-decades, over 10 million players have learned about teamwork, team loyalty, leadership and sportsmanship.  American Legion Baseball has been a very organized and competitive baseball program.

The American Legion is the only amateur baseball program that provides 100% expenses for meals, travel, and housing for teams participating at the national tournaments.  The number of registered American Legion Baseball teams continues to grow each year.  This growth is due to the fact that volunteers who run American Legion Baseball are committed to providing an outstanding experience for all those who wear an American Legion uniform.  American Legion Baseball is a "Winning Tradition."

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