Quincy American Legion Post 37 working toward reviving baseball program


QUINCY — The puzzle is not complete, but the picture is becoming clearer.

Quincy American Legion Post 37 has been without a baseball team since 2018, but it could return as soon as 2025. Matt Anderson and John Gosney are spearheading the effort to revive it.

“There’s definitely a void to be filled,” said Anderson, Post 37’s sports coordinator.

Gosney, the 3rd Division baseball chairman, said a number of factors out of Post 37’s control caused the team to fold.

“Travel baseball just looked more appealing to the young kids, and we were in a sort of decline,” Gosney said. “I’ve turned that around now, and I’ve been looking for an opportunity to get back into the Quincy area, revitalize Post 37 baseball.”

This revitalization process began in 2022.

“We did some fundraising and had some existing cash,” Anderson said. “The last two years have been just kind of putting the pieces back in place.”

During this time, Gosney reached out on Facebook to gauge interest in bringing legion baseball back to Quincy, and he received overwhelmingly positive feedback.

“I got about 20 responses within a day,” Gosney said.

The American Legion hopes to generate even more interest when it hosts an informational meeting for prospective players, parents and coaches at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Post 37 hall at 116 N. Eighth Street in Quincy.

“The meeting will be an opportunity to iron out the timeline,” Anderson said. 

It also will help reach the numbers needed to field a team.

“I would need a dedicated coach who would build his coaching staff and at least 14 young men committed to playing American Legion baseball next June,” Gosney said.

Next comes finding a place to play.

“We would love to play at Quincy High School or Quincy Notre Dame, whatever high schools or junior college would allow us to use their field,” Gosney said.

Relationships with local high schools play a crucial role in establishing — or in this case reestablishing — American Legion baseball teams.

“It’s a handshake between us and the high schools,” Gosney said. “I would really like to have the blessing of both high schools.”

Gosney said the legion baseball schedule affords student-athletes more freedom to pursue other sports and activities.

“So many times with travel ball, these young men are playing 365 days of nothing but baseball,” Gosney said. “With the American Legion, we only run from June to the end of July, and our World Series is the first two weeks of August. After that, they can play football, wrestling, high school baseball again. It gives them a chance to be a multi-sport athlete.”

The shorter schedule doesn’t diminish the impact legion baseball has on the young men who play it.

“The kids take away a sense of belonging,” Gosney said. “They belong to something more than themselves. When they leave our program, they become an alumni of that program, and it gives them a great sense of pride to see that program keep going.”

Anderson, a lifelong Quincy native, has worked with the American Legion for the last five years. He attended Quincy Notre Dame, and after a year at Missouri Valley College, he returned home and worked in construction for two years before joining the military. He served six years in the Army and another in the National Guard.

Since coming back to Quincy 10 years ago, Anderson has found new ways to serve. He worked for multiple nonprofit organizations before joining the American Legion. He is also on the development committee for Quincy Children’s Museum and has four children who play sports.

“I’ve always preached service to them,” Anderson said. “I get the most pleasure out of helping people.”

Returning legion baseball to Quincy is Anderson’s latest effort to help the children in his community.

“Any time you have something new for the kids in the area to rally behind, you create some new opportunity for a brand new kind of excitement and fun,” Anderson said. “This one is reinvigorating. I’m pumped about it. I can’t wait.”

Gosney can’t wait, either.

“I’m so excited we’re about to bring Post 37 baseball back,” Gosney said.

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