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American Legion baseball returns to Worcester County

(March 13, 2015) After nearly a half-century absence, the American Legion will once again play host to its own baseball league and team, the OC Marlins, with tryouts being conducted on Sunday, March 15 at 2 p.m. at the Worcester County Sports Complex in Berlin.

There is no cost to try out, or to play in the league. Co-chair Jack Hyle said the addition of slots in lodges has put the legion in the financial position to offer a baseball program at no cost to players.

“The only thing they’ll have to worry about is transportation, carpooling, etc.,” Hyle said.

Wicomico High School head baseball coach Otis Elzy will manage the team.

“I’m excited and honored,” Elzy said. “The American Legion is a premier league, and we’ve got a good group of athletes in Worcester County.”

The team, representing Ocean City American Legion Post #166, is expected to carry 18 players, Hyle said, between the ages of 14-19, determined by player age at the time of registration.

“The only requirement is that players go to high school in Worcester,” Hyle said.

But, he continued, there is some flexibility built into the system on that point.

“I’m looking forward to coaching a great group of athletes and having a great time on the field,” Elzy said.

The league will include Worcester, Somerset, Wicomico, Dorchester, Talbot and Caroline counties, Hyle said, and may include some legion posts in Southern Delaware, but that hasn’t been finalized yet. Hyle said the league is expected to run a regular season of 16 games plus playoffs and championships.

At the end of the season, the top team of the league will advance to playoffs competing for regional and state championships. The winner will qualify for the American Legion World Series in North Carolina.

League play will begin after school ends, Hyle said, likely sometime in early July.

Pre-registration for the tryouts is not required, interested players just need to show up to the session. In case of rain, the tryouts will be rescheduled but as of earlier this week no rain date had been set.

Hyle said there is a possibility of another tryout date in the future before the start of league play, but that will be determined after evaluating the crop of candidates that comes out Sunday.

For more information, call Elzy at 443-783-1458.


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