By Josh Brown
TROY — For more than 20 years, Troy Post 43 American Legion baseball has honored military veterans with a tournament in their name.
This weekend, coach Frosty Brown will do so once again, capping off an important week of baseball for the team.
Post 43, which is already off to another strong start after two weeks of baseball, travels to Region 2 rival Piqua Post 184 tonight to kick off its regional schedule this season, and after a home game on Thursday against Richmond Legion will host its annual Miami Valley Veterans Memorial Tournament from Friday to Sunday at Duke Park in Troy.
“We started this tournament on the 50th anniversary of D-Day, and it’s provided a lot of good baseball over the years,” Brown said. “We just feel like it’s something we should do, and it speaks well for our community that it’s doing something for the veterans.”
It’s a cause that’s especially near and dear to Brown’s heart.
“My dad was a World War II vet, as was my father-in-law,” Brown said. “They’re the ‘greatest generation,’ and there’s not many of them left. And my grandson went to Afghanistan a year ago. It’s important for us to recognize the people that have done these things for us, putting their lives on the line.
“We don’t get to play baseball for free. Someone else fought so that we could.”
The tournament itself will feature familiar teams that have played in it over the years — Beverly Legion, Lowell Legion, Hillsboro Legion and the Ohio Independents — as well as a new addition, the Englewood Thunderbirds. Teams will play two games on Friday and two more on Saturday, with a championship game scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Before then, though, Post 43 has plenty of baseball to play throughout the week.
Troy was scheduled to play Greenville Legion to kick off regional play on Monday, but that game was rained out. They hosted the Miami Valley Prospects on Tuesday night (editor’s note: the game was not complete at time of press; look for results in Thursday’s Troy Daily News), then Post 43 travels to Hardman Field in Piqua for its only road game of the week tonight — but arguably its most important one — against Post 184.
From there, Post 43 returns home to Duke Park for one final tuneup against Richmond Legion before beginning play in the Miami Valley Veterans Memorial Tournament.
The team began the season on a 5-1 tear before a tight 3-1 loss at Ottawa Legion last Tuesday. And after having Strawberry Festival weekend off, it’s ready to get back to baseball.
“When we started this team in the fall, we wanted to experiment and find out about this group, so we took them to Lansing for a tournament — and won it,” Brown said. “I know this group has the potential to do a lot. We’ve gotten off to a pretty good start this year.”
There’s still things to work on, naturally.
“We’re still in transition hitting-wise,” Brown said. “We’re trying to get the kids to do the things it takes to play at the collegiate level, but some guys still have some of those high school habits.
“One thing that’s built in, though, is that we are really good defensively, both on the field and on the mound. It’s pretty impressive that some of the teams we’ve played have had a hard time scoring on us.”
That gives Post 43 an edge when it comes to working on its issues.
“We can be patient with these guys, because they’re not going to make any mistakes or errors,” Brown said. “We’re really confident in this group of guys.”
Post 43’s game at Piqua Post 184 is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start tonight at Hardman Field.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 532-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.