Former World Series champs coming to Alaska

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 23, 2012

Columbia [Tenn.] American Legion Post 19 has played baseball for 84 years, and until now it had never been to Alaska.

Well, it’s about time.

Columbia in July will participate in the Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour and make series stops in Wasilla, Kenai and the BP Invitational in Anchorage.

“Everybody tells me it’s the trip of a lifetime,” said Post manager and team president Mickey McKeel. “We’ve been all over the country, but we’ve never been to the Far West, so here we come.”

Columbia is one of the great programs in the United States, having won the Legion World Series in 2007 and just missing a series berth in each of the last two years.

“I’ve been managing for 12 years and we’ve won 7 state championships,” McKeel said.

Columbia has also produced its fair share of professionals, most notably All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla of the Atlanta Braves.

He called him Danny.

McKeel said he’s always wanted to come to Alaska, but he’s making the trip for himself.

He’s coming for his friend Ron LaPorte, the Alaska State Director for American Legion.

“I respect him so much,” McKeel said.