In this weekend’s William A. Doyle Senior American Legion Invitational baseball tournament at Mike Miller Park, it was impossible to “root, root, root for the home team.”
There wasn’t one.
Billy Hodge, baseball director for Calvert City American Legion Post 236, conducted the tournament for the teams that had committed to participate in it, including Legion teams from Aviston, Illinois; Shelbyville, Tennessee; and Lyon County, plus a team from South Fulton, Tennessee.
This would’ve been the 14th season for Post 236 baseball, but the senior program was canceled when the team could not compile a viable roster of players.
The cancelation announced on June 5 merely brought about an early demise; members of the post had voted June 2 to discontinue the program after this season because of inability to sustain interest.
The tryout field was a slender one, and several players either were not going to be available for all games or withdrew to play for other teams, including the Paducah and Mayfield American Legion teams or other youth baseball entities.
At the June meeting, Hodge recommended eliminating the program.
“It kills me,” said Hodge. “I love coaching American Legion baseball. But we just can’t get the kids.”
Hodge, an Air Force veteran and member of Post 236 who coaches baseball and basketball at Christian Fellowship School in Briensburg, coached the junior team (17-under) for Chief Paduke Post 31 in Paducah before moving to Calvert City’s Post 236.
The Calvert City team was launched in 2001, with Hodge – who also coached eight years at St. Mary High School in Paducah – at the helm.
The year before, Post 31’s senior team went to the American Legion