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Post 64 American Legion Baseball

History

 
History of Salisbury American Legion Baseball
 
By Gordy Kissner
 
Wicomico Post 64 was the first sponsor for Salisbury area American Legion Baseball during the late 1950's.  When the program faltered in the mid 1970's it would be another twenty years before American Legion Baseball returned.  In 1994, Spirit of Democracy Post 145 under the stewardship of Post Commander Mike Wilson and former Major League Baseball player and Green Bay Packers NFL Star Tom Brown, as Post 145 Team Manager, revived Salisbury area legion baseball with five highly successful seasons before passing the torch back to Wicomico Post 64 in 200.
 
Post 64 continues to be one of the premier sponsors of American Legion Baseball in the Eastern Shore District (ESD) and within the State of Maryland.  Post 64 has averaged 44 games per season winning the ESD Championships in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008 while finishing in second place in 1998, 1999 and 2002, the year Salisbury hosted the State Tournament at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.  Post 64 finished 2nd in the State in 2004 losing the championship game with Gaithersburg Post 295 in the bottom of the 9th inning 8 to 7. 

The baseball program budget averages $11,500 annually with Post 64 shouldering nearly all of the expenses with continued support from Post 145.  Also supporting the team are local Wicomico County and Salisbury area merchants, community/civic organizations, parents of players and friends. 
 
Since 1998, nearly 100 young men have participated in our local post (POst 145 and Post 64) baseball program.  A little over 50 percent of the players have moved on to play college baseball.  A list of former and current Post 64 and Post 145 players with college baseball experience includes the following:

Marty Hebert - Dartmouth University
Dennis Lane - Towson University *
Brian Shipe - Salisbury University
Andrew Mitchell - McDainiel College
Bobby Rodriguez - Thomas College
Randy Scott - Narzarene College
Jamie Gladden - DelTech Community College
Aaron Ennis - Salisbury University
Carson Rathel - University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Brandon Laws - Tennessee Wesleyan University
Galen Morres - Salisbury University
Ben Taylor - Florida Institute of Technology
Leon Tilghman - University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Bobby Shaw - University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Chuckie Upshur - Montreat College
Jake Jones - Mt. St. Mary's College
Joel Maher - University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Dereck Casper - University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Terry Gallo - Towson University
Bobby McCauley - University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Matt Higgins - University of Maryland Baltimore Campus
Gray Kitchens - University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Anthony DeRosa - DelTech Community College
Mark Swift - McDaniel College
Jake Fiedler - Chicago State University
Sean Adams - Salisbury University
Sean Davis - University of Maryland Eastern Shore
David Whigham - Guilford College *
Nate Downes - Washington College
John McIntyre - DelTech Community College
Todd Hall - Chesapeake Community College
Tyler Riley - Salisbury University
Ryan Clohessy - University of Virginia (Club)
Jason Janeski - University of Maryland Eastern Shore
James Walls - University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Gordon Krester - Virginia Tech (Club)
Jordan Palmer - DelTech Community College & Southern University
Mike Castrignano - DelTech Community College *
Ben Kirk - Messiah College
Brandon Records - University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Steve Benvenuto - Mt. St. Mary's College
Jeff Malcom - St. Mary's College
Marty Zawacki - University of Maryland Baltimore Campus
Derrek Johnson - Cecil Community College
Keith Schoffstall - DelTech Community College
Billy Laird - DelTech Community College
Bobby Somers - DelTech Community College
Mike Boswell - Harford Comunity College
Kyle Hayes - Chesapeake Community College
Will Evans - Salisbury University
Brian Green - Salisbury University
Dominic Favazza - St. Joseph's University
Ruben Rodriquez - Thomas College
Daniel Trivits - Salisbury University
 
* Currently or previously played professional baseball
   

At the 2007 Maryland State Baseball Tournament, Wicomico Post 64 senior 2nd baseman, Jeff Malcom, became the third player from the ESD player to be awarded the American Legion Baseball Player Scholarship Award for the State of Maryland.   In 2005 and in 2003, this award was made to Post 64 players, Alex Salimian and Ryan Clohessy, respectively.  Additionally, Brian Green, the Post 64 3rd baseman, received the Maurice L. Shields Scholarship from the Eastern Shore Baseball Foundation.
 
Several ESD American Legion Baseball players have or do play professionally.  Jamie Hammond played at the University of West Virginia, and who was raised in the Salisbury area heads the list.  Others include: left handed pitcher Matt Coenan of Charleston Souther U. (Talbot Post 70 - Atlanta Braves Farm System); left handed pitcher Corey Willey of Salisbury U. (Dorchester Post 91 - Boston Red Sox Farm System); Josh Clow (Talbot Post 70 - Kansas City minor league organization); Troy Brohawn (Dorchester Post 91 - Arizona Diamondbacks World Series Champions); and David Whigham (Post 64 - Utica Blue Sox of the NY Independent league). 

However, the most famous former Major Leaguer from the ESD is future Hall of Fame outfielder Harold Baines.  Harold spent most of his long and distinguished career in the big leagues with the Chicago While Sox and Baltimore Orioles.  His son, Harold Jr., played for Talbot Post 70 American Legion baseball team in 2004/2005.
 
Wicomoico Post 64 Head Coach Gordy Kissner (former college coach and Major League Scout), who started coaching the team in 1998, has been assisted, over the years, by Bobby Rodriguez; Joe Taylor; Brian Hollamon, Rocky Burnett, George Murray and Rob Dorsey.  (Click here for current coaching staff information.)
 
Note:  Player biographical data prior to 1998 not available.