Post 88 ready for baseball

Published 10:41 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pitching: Tyler Lilley pitches for Nansemond Post 88 last season during a game at Nansemond River. Post 88 is looking for players, ages 13-19, and coaches for its 2012 American Legion season.

Nansemond Post 88 wanted to field two American Legion baseball squads last summer. Ironically, past Nansemond Indian success on the diamond helped get in the way of the plan.

A big number of past Indians, who led Nansemond to a state American Legion championship a couple seasons earlier, guided Nansemond River’s varsity baseball team to the Eastern Region finals and into the Virginia High School League State Tournament.

“Last year, we tried to form a second team but we came up short, in part because Nansemond River kept going in the playoffs,” said Al Perez, Second Vice Commander of Post 88.

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Nansemond River’s successful season cut into the Legion schedule. Perez and all of the Post 88 members would love to see the Warriors do well again this spring. At the same time, they’re getting a headstart on finding players and coaches for two Post 88 teams for Legion ball.

Post 88 has become more than a Nansemond River-based team in the past couple years. Perez is working to expand that goal.

“We’re trying to get the word out to Lakeland, King’s Fork, all over,” Perez said.

Nansemond is likely to have a Junior division and a Senior division team, bringing in players ages 13-19.

“We want to bring in kids who are very interested in baseball. This is an opportunity for them to play and to keep their skills up,” Perez said.

“Of course we’d like to work our way to another state championship. That would be great. But for the kids, they’ll get to keep working toward their next high school sesaon, whether JV or varsity,” Perez said.

Players are responsible for a small fee for uniforms at the beginning of the season. Other than that, American Legion members help put the games on and make it a good experience for players, coaches and spectators on summer evenings.

“Our volunteers clean-up the park, work the concession stand, work on the field, just do a lot. It’s good to see how people come together,” Perez said.

Teaching some attributes along with fielding grounders and throwing strikes is part of Legion baseball.

“We’re 100 percent about Americanism. We say the Pledge of Allegiance before every game. We stress teamwork. Win or lose, we’re a team and we’re about good sportsmanship,” Perez said.

With swinging for two teams comes the need for more coaches, so Post 88 is interested in anyone who is interested in coaching. There’s an interview process and the sooner a coach could come on board to be a part of meetings and planning, the better.

For more information, whether a player or coach, contact Perez at or Mike Conroy at