Dear Parents and Guardians of high school baseball players,
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jack Kochu and I have had the privilege to serve as President of the Chester County American Legion Baseball league since 2005. In that time, CCALB has had teams participate in and win the Championships of both our Southeastern PA Region 3 Tournament and PA State Legion Tournament. Just last year we were honored to have a team from Chester County represent us in the American Legion National Regional Tournament hosted by the West Lawn Owls in West Lawn, PA and come within one game of qualifying for the American Legion World Series in Shelby, North Carolina. I mention these accomplishments to illustrate the depth of talent present in American Legion Baseball right here in southeastern Pennsylvania. There are over 500 Senior Legion teams registered in our state, and I am extremely proud that Chester County has had a participant in these elite tournaments for each of the past eight years. I am certain that this year will be no exception.
However, it troubles me to hear that interest and registrations for our local Senior American Legion teams has waned over the past few months, so much so that several organizations’ board members have approached me to ask for my advice. It has been mentioned to me that baseball players and their parents may have been approached by an AAU or Big League organization that promises to do more for your son and provide more exposure to scouts than American Legion baseball will. Let me assure you that this is not the case. At any number of regular season and post season tournament games, there are local and regional writers as well as college and pro representatives in attendance. Many times they are following up on reports from your son’s high school season and are interested to know if he is the “real deal”. Simply put, the case is that “his reputation precedes him”. An exemplary ballplayer will garner attention in any venue and with any league. It has been suggested quite often that if a high school baseball player wishes to continue his playing career in college his best opportunities are with American Legion baseball.
My understanding, though, is that the cost for registration and weekly travel expenses with an AAU or Big League travel team far exceeds that of your legion registration. A player in CCALB will play nineteen league games that go on record in determining our playoff teams. In addition, I have suggested to our league’s managers that they schedule as many non-league, or “friendly”, games as possible in order to give their entire roster playing time in game situations. Factor in that all our league games are played in Chester County with the longest travel time being 45 minutes and you’ll see that American Legion baseball is extremely cost effective and offers competition of the highest level in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Chester County and other Legion leagues have had dozens of players recruited by and awarded scholarships from Colleges and Universities such as Chestnut Hill College, Penn, Kutztown, Millersville, Lehigh and South Carolina. A few have been drafted by the Phillies, Padres, and Brewers. And that’s just in the past eight years!
I urge you to consider the tremendous opportunities that American Legion baseball can offer your son and your entire family. If you would like to know more about Legion baseball please visit these websites…
PA website - http://www.pa-legion.com/programs/student-programs/legion-baseball/
National website - http://www.legion.org/baseball
If you would like to contact me by email I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to address any concerns you may have about Legion baseball.