News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local Interest

August 8, 2013

Terre Haute opens its doors to American Legion regional

Great Lakes Regional begins at Warn Field Thursday

TERRE HAUTE — The success of the Wayne Newton Post 346 baseball team in recent years has not only given manager John Hayes a chance to match wits with the best American Legion baseball programs in the nation, but it’s also given him a chance to see the sites.

The sites of the games that is. For good and for worse.

After traveling to disparate locales like Mattoon, Ill. and Midland, Mich., Hayes saw no reason that the American Legion’s Great Lakes Regional — the last step before the American Legion World Series — couldn’t take place in Terre Haute.

Especially once Bob Warn Field was renovated in 2010.

“We’ve been to a lot of places and I saw no reason that Terre Haute couldn’t host this tournament. So we made it happen,” Hayes said Tuesday.

With a bevy of local businesses, organizations and American Legion supporters in his corner, Hayes helped make it happen for Terre Haute as it will host the Great Lakes Regional beginning 10 a.m. today at Bob Warn Field. Eight teams from five states — Post 346 gets to participate in the tournament as the host team, despite being eliminated in the state tournament — begin double-elimination play today.

The five-day tournament concludes on Monday with the winner headed to the American Legion World Series in Shelby, N.C.

Terre Haute last hosted the Great Lakes Regional in 1995. Hayes said he learned a lot from hosting that tournament and believes it will be better organized this time around.

Hosting the tournament is a significant undertaking. Hayes will have volunteers to help with administrative and other duties. Hayes, of course, will be ever-present, though he also has to worry about managing his own team.

Hayes is hoping the Terre Haute community votes with its feet and is as supportive of the event as the sponsors and supporters he helped line up to get the event in the first place.

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