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Examiner
  • Wood Bat ready for more memories

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    • 2014 American Legion Wood Bat Invitational

      DIVISIONS

      American League Orange

      Blue Springs Post 499 Fike

      Independence VFW Post 1000 Bears

      Elsberry (Mo.)...

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      2014 American Legion Wood Bat Invitational

      DIVISIONS

      American League Orange

      Blue Springs Post 499 Fike

      Independence VFW Post 1000 Bears

      Elsberry (Mo.) Post 226

      Westmoreland (Kan.) Post 186

      Holdenville (Okla.) Wolverines

      American League Blue

      Independence Post 21

      Warrensburg Post 131 Isotopes

      St. Peters (Mo.) Post 313

      Dickinson (N.D.) Roughriders

      De Soto (Mo.) SMCI

      American League Black

      Lee’s Summit Post 189 Pirates

      Jefferson City

      Overland (Mo.) Post 338

      Hays (Kan.) Post 173 Eagles

      Bellevue (Neb.) Post 339 East

      National League Green

      Blue Springs Rod’s Sports Athletics

      St. Joseph Post 11

      Jefferson City Post 5

      St. Charles (Mo.) Post 312

      Lincoln (Neb.) Post 3 Union Bank

      National League Gold

      Sedalia Post 642 Travelers

      O’Fallon (Mo.) West Jaguars

      Omaha (Neb.) Post 1 Vikings

      Quincy (Ill.) Post 37

      Jackson (Mo.) Post 158

      National League White

      Lee’s Summit Hawthorn Bank Outlaws

      Washington (Mo.) Post 218

      Bellevue (Neb.) Post 339 West

      Leavenworth (Kan.) Geiger Redi-Mix

      Gravette (Ark.) Lions

      POOL PLAY SCHEDULE

      WEDNESDAY, JULY 9

      At Hidden Valley Field 1

      11 a.m. — Lincoln Union Bank vs. Jefferson City Post 5

      1:30 p.m. — Bellevue Post 339 East vs. Jefferson City

      4 p.m. — O’Fallon West Jaguars vs. Omaha Post 1 Vikings

      At Hidden Valley Jim Moran Field (Field 2)

      11 a.m. — Omaha Post 1 Vikings vs. Sedalia Post 642 Travelers

      1:30 p.m. — Bellevue Post 339 West vs. Leavenworth Geiger Redi-Mix

      4 p.m. — Blue Springs Post 499 Fike vs. Independence VFW Post 1000 Bears

      7:15 p.m. — Opening ceremonies

      8:30 p.m. — St. Peters Post 313 vs. DeSoto SMCI

      At Hidden Valley Field 3

      11 a.m. — Lee’s Summit Hawthorn Bank Outlaws vs. Leavenworth Geiger Redi-Mix

      1:30 p.m. — Independence VFW Post 1000 Bears vs. Westmoreland Post 186

      4 p.m. — Hays Post 173 Eagles vs. Jefferson City

      8:30 p.m. — St. Joseph Post 11 vs. St. Charles Post 312

      At Blue Springs South High School

      11 a.m. — Dickinson Roughriders vs. Warrensburg Post 131 Isotopes

      1:30 p.m. — Lee’s Summit Post 189 Pirates vs. Overland Post 338

      4 p.m. — Holdenville Wolverines vs. Elsberry Post 226

      At Blue Springs High School

      1:30 p.m. — Blue Springs Rod’s Sports Athletics vs. St. Joseph Post 11

      4 p.m. — Jackson Post 158 vs. Quincy Post 37

      At Independence Athletic Complex

      1:30 p.m. — Gravette Lions vs. Washington Post 218

      4 p.m. — Independence Post 21 vs. Warrensburg Post 131 Isotopes

      THURSDAY, JULY 10

      At Hidden Valley Field 1

      9 a.m. — Lee’s Summit Hawthorn Bank Outlaws vs. Bellevue Post 339 West

      11:30 a.m. — Warrensburg Post 131 Isotopes vs. St. Peters Post 313

      2 p.m. — Lee’s Summit Post 189 Pirates vs. Hays Post 173 Eagles

      4:30 p.m. — Sedalia Post 642 Travelers vs. Quincy Post 37

      At Hidden Valley Jim Moran Field (Field 2)

      9 a.m. — Bellevue Post 339 East vs. Overland Post 338

      11:30 a.m. — O’Fallon West Jaguars vs. Jackson Post 158

      2 p.m. — Blue Springs Post 499 Fike vs. Elsberry Post 226

      4:30 p.m. — Blue Springs Post 499 Fike vs. Westmoreland Post 186

      At Hidden Valley Field 3

      9 a.m. — Holdenville Wolverines vs. Westmoreland Post 186

      11:30 a.m. — Omaha Post 1 Vikings vs. Quincy Post 37

      2 p.m. — O’Fallon West Jaguars vs. Sedalia Post 642 Travelers

      4:30 p.m. — Bellevue Post 339 East vs. Hays Post 173 Eagles

      7 p.m. — Blue Springs Rod’s Sports Athletics vs. Lincoln Post 3 Union Bank

      At Blue Springs South High School

      9 a.m. — Independence VFW Post 1000 Bears vs. Elsberry Post 226

      11:30 a.m. — Gravette Lions vs. Leavenworth Geiger Redi-Mix

      2 p.m. — Bellevue Post 339 West vs. Washington Post 218

      4:30 p.m. — Jefferson City Post 5 vs. St. Charles Post 312

      At Blue Springs High School

      9 a.m. — Lee’s Summit Post 189 Pirates vs. Jefferson City

      11:30 a.m. — Blue Springs Rod’s Sports Athletics vs. St. Charles Post 312

      2 p.m. — Dickinson Roughriders vs. De Soto SMCI

      4:30 p.m. — Independence Post 21 vs. St. Peters Post 313

      At Independence Athletic Complex

      9 a.m. — Independence Post 21 vs. Dickinson Roughriders

      11:30 a.m. — St. Joseph Post 11 vs. Lincoln Post 3 Union Bank

      FRIDAY, JULY 11

      At Hidden Valley Field 1

      9 a.m. — Overland Post 338 vs. Jefferson City

      11:30 a.m. — Washington Post 218 vs. Leavenworth Geiger Redi-Mix

      2 p.m. — Independence VFW Post 1000 Bears vs. Holdenville Wolverines

      4:30 p.m. — Elsberry Post 226 vs. Westmoreland Post 186

      At Hidden Valley Jim Moran Field (Field 2)

      9 a.m. — St. Joseph Post 11 vs. Jefferson City Post 5

      11:30 a.m. — St. Charles Post 312 vs. Lincoln Post 3 Union Bank

      2 p.m. — St. Peters Post 313 vs. Dickinson Roughriders

      4:30 p.m. — Blue Springs Post 499 Fike vs. Holdenville Wolverines

      7 p.m. — Lee’s Summit Hawthorn Bank Outlaws vs. Washington Post 218

      At Hidden Valley Field 3

      9 a.m. — Warrensburg Post 131 Isotopes vs. De Soto SMCI

      11:30 a.m. — Gravette Lions vs. Bellevue Post 339 West

      2 p.m. — O’Fallon West Jaguars vs. Quincy Post 37

      4:30 p.m. — Lee’s Summit Post 189 Pirates vs. Bellevue Post 339 East

      7 p.m. — Independence Post 21 vs. De Soto SMCI

      At Blue Springs South High School

      9 a.m. — Omaha Post 1 Vikings vs. Jackson Post 158

      11:30 a.m. — Sedalia Post 642 Travelers vs. Jackson Post 158

      At Blue Springs High School

      2 p.m. — Blue Springs Rod’s Sports Athletics vs. Jefferson City Post 5

      4:30 p.m. — Hays Post 173 Eagles vs. Overland Post 338

      SATURDAY, JULY 12

      Quarterfinals — 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at Hidden Valley Park Jim Moran Field (Field 2)

      Crossover games — 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at Hidden Valley Park Fields 1 and 3

      SUNDAY, JULY 13

      11 a.m. — Semifinals on Hidden Valley Park Fields 1 and 3

      2 p.m. — Championship on Hidden Valley Park Jim Moran Field (Field 2)

  • The memories are plentiful:
    • Albert Pujols’ mammoth, scoreboard-clearing home run when the former St. Louis Cardinals three-time MVP was starring for Hi-Boy Drive In Post 340.
    • Future “American Idol” winner and Blue Springs Post 499 Fike pitcher David Cook singing the national anthem, while still playing for Jim Moran's squad.
    • The memorable performances of present-day major leaguers Nick Tepesch (Texas Rangers) and Kris Johnson (Minnesota Twins), when they ruled the mound for Blue Springs Rod’s Sports Athletics.
    • Seeing former St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson in the stands, as he watched his grandson play for a team from Omaha, Neb.
    • The rain delays, the early-morning games at Pink Hill Park and the rare occasions when a hometown team comes away with a championship in the 26th annual American Legion Wood Bat Invitational, which begins Wednesday at area parks, including the home base of Hidden Valley Park in Blue Springs.
    What memories will be made this year?
    We will find out soon, as the 30-team tournament begins at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Hidden Valley, Blue Springs and Blue Springs South high schools and the Independence Athletic Complex, with the opening ceremonies beginning at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday at Hidden Valley's Jim Moran Field.
    The field, which has been as large as 48 teams in the past, had dropped to 25 teams last year, but is back up to a manageable 30 teams, that make it easier to put together competitive brackets.
    “It’s going to be a great tournament,” said Moran, the tournament director and the Fike manager. “We had the junior (wood bat) tournament right before the big tournament this weekend. It’s all like clockwork. We’ve been doing this a long time, and with all the great help I’ve got, I feel like we’re ready to go.”
    Moran has ordered his 100 dozen baseballs – enough for the two tournaments for the next two seasons – and will have more than 500 Hoosier bats for the teams to use.
    “I have so much help, I have to think for a minute about how many bats and baseballs we order,” he admitted. “I get way too much credit for this tournament. Everyone involved should get equal credit because everyone makes a contribution to its success.”
    Fike begins its tournament at 4 p.m. Wednesday with an American League Orange Division pool play game against the Independence VFW Post 1000 Bears. The Blue Springs A's open at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Blue Springs High School against St. Joseph Post 11 in a National League Green Division game. Independence Post 21 meets Warrensburg Post 131 at 4 p.m. at the Independence Athletic Complex, and the Lee's Summit Hawthorn Bank Outlaws open against Leavenworth (Kan.) Geiger Redi-Mix at 11 a.m. at Hidden Valley Field 3.

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