NEWBERRY — The Chapin-Newberry American Legion Post 193 accomplished a feat no American Legion baseball team from South Carolina had managed to do since 1936: They brought the World Series championship back to the Palmetto State when they capped a Cinderella season by besting the only team to beat them all season.
The Boys of Summer began their march to the trophy on Aug. 14 in Game 6 when they beat Midland (Michigan) Post 165 by a score of 2-1. The next day, they suffered their only loss of the season when they faced Retif Oil from Louisiana in Game 8 and came away three runs short of the victory. The final score was 5-2.
The next day, they hit the dirt again, this time taking on Cromwell Post 105 from Connecticut and pulled out one of the biggest comebacks of the series, taking a one-run victory after snatching a 6-0 lead from the bats of the Connecticut state champion.
The 7-6 win was the biggest late-game comeback in American Legion World Series history since New Orleans rallied from an 8-2 fourth-inning deficit to beat Natick, Conn., 9-8 in the 1983 World Series. And it was Chapin-Newberry’s largest comeback of the year since it rallied to beat visiting West Columbia 9-8 in early June after trailing 8-3 in the eighth inning.
The win improved Chapin-Newberry to 30-1 on a season in which they were the first team to enter the Legion World Series with an unbeaten record since Memphis in 1963. Memphis went 3-2 in the World Series that season to finish 38-2 overall, leaving only Yonkers, N.Y. (39-0) and Oakland, Calif. (19-0) in 1926 and 1928, respectively, as the lone unbeaten teams in Legion history.
Thanks to our newspaper friends in Shelby, N.C., at The Shelby Star and The Gaston Gazette, you can read about the games in a four-page special section included in today’s edition of The Newberry Observer. In this section, you will find the stories that appeared in those two publications about the four games that capped an amazing season of summer baseball plus photos from some of those games. We also owe thanks to The Courier-Tribune in Asheboro, N.C. — host of the Southeastern Regional — for use of photographs taken by their staff.