Letter: Virginia kid made American Legion World Series academic team

By John W. Kendall

Dear Minnesota American Legion Baseball Committee,

Thank you very much for selecting me for the Minnesota American Legion Baseball Scholarship. It was an honor to be chosen to receive the $1,000 scholarship. I am very grateful for your support of local students and athletes in our local community and the state.

As you know, after being selected as the overall winner in Minnesota, my application was automatically considered for the 2023 National American Legion Baseball All-Academic Team, which was announced during the American Legion World Series in Shelby, N.C., on Friday, Aug. 11. I was chosen to be a member of that nine-man team, which resulted in an additional $2,500 scholarship.

It was a great surprise to receive the phone calls — first for the state award and then a couple of weeks later for the national award. Mr. John Davis of West Virginia, chairman of the ALWS committee that selects the scholarship recipients, called me and my parents from the World Series to let me know I had been selected. He explained that my application received notice due to the community service I had completed.

American Legion Baseball, athletics, National Honor Society and church have given me a lot of opportunities for volunteerism and community service, including placing the Memorial Day flags out at Greenwood Cemetery in Virginia, Minn.

I am very thankful for the many years of summer baseball — first with Little League, then VFW and finally American Legion. Thank you for the support you give to youth on the Iron Range and across the state of Minnesota.

I am moving to Duluth this week to continue my education at Lake Superior College, where I will earn an Associate of Arts degree in aviation maintenance technology and become an airframe and powerplant mechanic. The state and national American Legion scholarships help me achieve my goal of graduating from college with as little debt as possible.

Thank you, again. I will work hard at Lake Superior College as I advance closer to my career goals. I will always have great memories of playing American Legion Baseball for Virginia Post 239. It was an honor — and a lot of fun — to wear the jersey.

John W. Kendall
center fielder, pitcher
Virginia Post 239