MINT HILL, NC – Mint Hill American Legion Post 555 held its first annual golf tournament on March 29 to carry on the tradition started by local baseball standout Steve Baucom, a Clemson University All-American and a former professional in the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
Others who have been actively involved for many years include Stu Brown, Bryan Bunn, Jim Lane, and Kelly Moore. who have run a great program for many of our best baseball players in Mint Hill and from the surrounding area. Stu Brown was the senior team’s head coach for years; he also had an outstanding baseball career as a college player with the Richmond Spiders and professionally in the Philadelphia Phillies organization.
American Legion baseball is a national institution, and the league still stands behind the traditional values upon which it was founded in 1925. American Legion Baseball has taught hundreds of thousands of young Americans the importance of sportsmanship, good health, and active citizenship. The program also promotes equality, community service, and respect for our flag, the national anthem, patriotism, and the American way of life. It has been and continues to be a stepping stone to manhood for millions of young men who have gone on to serve their country or community, to raise families or to play the sport at the highest level.
Legion baseball enjoys the reputation as one of the most successful and tradition-rich amateur athletic programs offered to youngsters between the ages of 14-19. Many communities support junior and senior programs. Today the program is offered in all 50 states plus Canada.
Recently, the Legion passed a resolution allowing corporate sponsorship, with the goal of creating additional financial aid for college. Diamond Sports currently funds $25,000 in scholarships for the American Legion Baseball All-Academic Team. Eight players receive a $2,500 scholarship, and the “Captain” of the All-Academic Team receives a $5,000 scholarship toward their college education.
Major League Baseball has sponsored Legion Baseball almost from its inception, and Legion Baseball has produced many major league prospects and players throughout the years from the historical Hall of Fame greats like Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Yogi Berra, Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench, George Brett, Bob Gibson, Fred McGriff, Tony Gwynn, Brooks Robinson, Dave Winfield, Jim Thome, Steve Carlton, Greg Maddux, and many others. They’ve also sponsored some more familiar names in today’s game: Madison Bumgarner, Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper, Corey Seager, Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Jackie Bradley, Jr., and Justin Verlander.
Our golfers and sponsors all had a great day of golf on the links, and they enjoyed a wide variety of prizes and gifts for their support and involvement in helping our youth athletic program. “Without sponsors and support from the Town of Mint Hill and local business community it would be very difficult to continue to mentor our youth through offering a quality baseball program,” said Steve Baucom.
We know the veterans at Post 555 “Triple Nickel” are very appreciative of the absolutely great turnout and support received. We all look forward to the upcoming summer season of first-rate baseball in Mint Hill at Independence High School. Come on out and support “The Boys of Summer.”