Edina Organizers Set to Honor Veterans at First Ever Opening Ceremony at State American Legion Tourney
Military fly-over and ceremony to highlight the start of tournament featuring 16 of the state’s best teams August 1-5
Edina, Minnesota (July 29, 2013) – American Legion Baseball teams from across Minnesota are on their way to Edina for the 2013 State Tournament. But before even one pitch is thrown, tournament organizers are set to honor the men women who have served their country. From August 1-5, 16 of the state’s best teams will compete at Edina’s Braemar Field complex for a state title and a trip to the regional tournament later in the month.
On August 1 tournament organizers are planning a first-of-its-kind opening ceremony that will honor the bravery of all American solders throughout history. The ceremony will begin promptly at 2:30 pm at Braemar Field. The ceremony will feature an American Legion Color Guard, patriotic music and honoring of several local veterans. In addition, a military fly-over is also planned for the ceremony.
“American Legion baseball is more than just a game. It’s a great way to combine America’s pastime with taking time to recognize the courage of our veterans,” said Tournament Director Channing Handberg. “This tournament has taken three years to plan and since day one our main goal was to find a way to honor our veterans.”
Edina’s Legion program is hosting the state tournament for the first time. Last year the Edina Legion team beat Eden Prairie, the defending state and World Series champion to advance from state to regional competition. The title was the community’s fifth state Legion title, tying them with rival Eden Prairie for the most in state history. 2013 also marks the 30th anniversary of Edina’s 1983 Legion team that won the American Legion World Series Championship.
Following the opening ceremony, a Home Run Derby takes place between 3:30 and 5 p.m., featuring one player from each qualifying team. Following the Home Run Derby the teams will be honored at the annual pre-tournament banquet held at the Double Tree Hotel in nearby Bloomington. The keynote speaker of the banquet is University of Minnesota Baseball Coach John Anderson, who has led the Gophers to a 1,092-726-3 record in 32 seasons.
For more information about the tournament or for ticket information please visit, http://www.edinalegiontourney.com.
About Edina American Legion Baseball:
The Edina American Legion Baseball Program is one of the most storied programs in the state. The program holds five state championships (1955, 1969, 1982, 1983, and 2012) and one American Legion World Series Title (1983). The program has spawned the baseball futures of more than 15 former players who have gone onto to play professional baseball. In addition, hundreds of former Edina American Legion players have gone to play at the collegiate level. For more information about the tournament or for ticket information please visit, http://www.edinalegiontourney.com.
About American Legion Baseball:
Founded in 1925, American Legion Baseball supports more than 5,400 teams and 100,000 players from all 50 states. American Legion Baseball lists baseball stars and legends Harmon Killebrew, Roger Maris, Paul Molitor, albert Pujols, Justin Verlander and Ted Williams as former players. The American Legion program has been a constant in Minnesota since its inception and produced five National Champions over that time span. Currently there are 321 American Legion teams in the state of Minnesota. For more information please visit, http://www.legion.org/baseball.