The American Legion baseball tryouts began Saturday May 6th on a cool brisk morning for this time of year. However, the sun was shining, the grass was green, the clay infield was dry, and the players showed up from five different high schools to compete for positions on one senior team ages 17-19 and two junior teams ages 14-17.
The coaches were on hand assessing the talent and the smell of summer days and nights was in the air. The young players were going through drills in both the infield and outfield. The infielders were handling ground balls, turning double plays and showing off their skills to the ever present coaching staff. The outfielders were shagging fly balls and grounders making throws into the infield. The pitchers were running wind sprints, stretching and working on their pitching mechanics. Just what you would expect to encounter during early spring training at a major league camp in Florida or Arizona.
The second tryout camp is scheduled for May 13th at 9:00 am on the Independence High School baseball diamond when the coaches will continue to scout and evaluate the individual players from the five or six area high schools. “We want to get the senior team ready for the upcoming season, however, our goal is to get the athletes prepared to play college baseball as a good number of the players will be moving on to the next level of competition,” said Coach Stu Brown.
The opening day for the Army Senior team will be a home game on Sunday May 21st against Cherryville at the Independence High School stadium. The Army Junior squad coached by Queens Grant High Coach Dan Kerr will open on May 29th at Shelby, and the Marines Junior club lead by Coach Dan Cooke from independence will open in an away game with Gastonia at Ashbrook High School.
All true baseball fans who enjoy watching a good brand of baseball who live in and around the Mint Hill area should plan to attend some of these games and support the local area’s best baseball players compete against solid competition. Admission to all games is $6.00 per adult and $4.00 per student all going toward the continued promotion of American Legion baseball for our young area athletes to be able to participate, improve their skills, compete and enjoy the game they love to play.