The Rockland American Legion Post 147 Baseball was rekindled in the summer of 2002 and brought to life in the winter of 2002-2003
by Thom Roache and Joe Reis

ROCKLAND AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL 2003 ---- 2020

                                                                 SEASONS 2003 --- 2007

THE NEED FOR A HIGHER LEVEL OF BASEBALL REVIVED ITSELF IN 2003.

THOM ROACHE ATTENDED THE TRYOUTS FOR ABINGTON/ROCKLAND LEGION IN 2001 AND NOTICED OVER 10 QUALITY ROCKLAND BALLPLAYERS WERE BEING OVERLOOKED. THIS RAISED A QUESTION ABOUT THE UNWRITTEN AGREEMENT WITH ROCKLAND AND ABINGTON TO COMBINE THE TALENTS OF BOTH TOWNS TO FORM A POWERFUL TEAM. THE AGREEMENT HAD APPARENTLY NOT BEEN FOLLOWED FOR A WHILE, SO WITH THE HELP OF JOE REIS, THE PLANS TO RE-FORM THE OLD ROCKLAND AMERICAN LEGION TEAM WAS PUT IN TO PLACE. ROACHE AND REIS APPROACHED THE SMALL LEGION POST IN ROCKLAND, POST # 147 AND ASKED IF THEY WOULD LIKE TO ONCE AGAIN HAVE A LEGION BASEBALL TEAM ASSOCIATED WITH THEM. THE RESPONSE BY POST COMMANDER DAN WAMBAULT WAS POSITIVE, SO ROACHE AND REIS APPLIED TO THE STATE TO PURCHASE THE RIGHTS TO THE ROCKLAND AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL FRANCHISE IN ZONE TEN. AFTER EXTENSIVE MEETINGS AND FUND RAISING THE RIGHTS WERE GRANTED AND ROCKLAND AGAIN HAD AN AMERICAN LEGION CALIBER BALL TEAM. IN 2003 WITH THE BACKING OF MANY BUSINESS’, LIKE LNR PARTNERS, ROCKLAND ATHLETICS, ROCKLAND ICE RINK, ROCKLAND EAGLES#841, ROCKLAND K of C, ROCKLAND SONS of ITALY, ROCKLAND LITTLE LEAGUE, J.O'DONNELL FUNERAL HOMES AND OTHERS, THE ROCKLAND AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL TEAM, POST#147, TOOK THE FIELD ON JUNE 2nd 2003. THE FIRST COACHING STAFF WAS COMPRISED OF JOE REIS, TOM ROACHE, AND BRUCE KANNENBERG, AND THE FIRST SEASON WAS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE WITH ONLY 2 WINS. THE 2004-YEAR WAS NOT MUCH BETTER AND ROCKLAND REALIZED THEY WERE IN THE TOUGHEST ZONE IN THE STATE, WITH THREE ZONE TEAMS MAKING THE STATE FINAL PLAYOFFS MOST EVERY YEAR. THE COACHES KNEW THAT THIS WOULD BE A LEARNING PROCESS AND SET UP THEIR STAFF TO WIN MORE GAMES IN 2005, AND THEY DID WITH 6 WINS. THE TEAM CONTINUED TO LEARN AND GROW, AND IN 2006 THEY HAD ACCOMPLISED THE 8 WIN MARK. THE 2007 SEASON, HAS SEEN THE ROCKLAND COACHES AND BALL PLAYERS BECOME A FINE TUNED TEAM, AWARE OF THE LEGION WAY, AND WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A LEGION BALL PLAYER. IN 2007 THE TEAM WON 10 GAMES AND MISSED A PLAYOFF BERTH BY ONE GAME. THE ROCKLAND AMERICAN LEGION TEAM HAS NOT BEEN IN A PLAYOFF SITUATION FOR ABOUT 30 YEARS TO DATE. THE STAFF HAS GROWN WITH THE INCLUSION OF A PITCHING COACH, MIKE COYNE, IN AN EFFORT TO PRODUCE A QUALITY COACHING STAFF.

                                               SEASONS 2008 & 2009

IN 2008 THE “ROCKLAND RAIDERS” ACHIEVED THE GOAL OF MAKING THE PLAYOFFS WITH 13 WINS AND 7 LOSSES, AND ALTHOUGH THEY HAD AN EARLY EXIT, IN JUST SIX YEARS COACH ROACHE AND COACH REIS HAD ALSO REACHED THEIR GOAL OF BRINGING A CONTENDING TEAM BACK TO ROCKLAND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 30 YEARS. COACH BRUCE KANNENBERG AND SCORE KEEPER WAYNE MAHONEY WERE PART OF THE TEAM IN 2008 ALSO. THEN IN 2009 THE HIGH EXPECTATION WERE DASHED. THE TEAM HIT A ROUGH PATCH AND FOUGHT THROUGH 4 TOUGH INJURIES TO KEY PLAYERS AND FINISHED THE SEASON AT LAST PLACE IN THE ZONE WITH 3 WINS - 16 LOSSES AND 1 NO DECISION.

                                                SEASONS 2010 & 2011

THE 2010 SEASON BROKE THE OLD MOLD AND COMBINED ABINGTON WITH ROCKLAND. THIS COMBINED TEAM OUT HIT EVERY TEAM THEY FACED,BUT DID NOT OUT SCORE EVERY TEAM.THE RECORD IMPROVED WITH ABINGTON PLAYERS, BUT 2010 STILL ONLY HAD 6 WINS, 2 TIES, AND 11 LOSSES.  IN 2011 THE TEAM WAS ONCE AGAIN COMPRISED OF BOTH ROCKLAND AND ABINGTON PLAYERS. THE TEAM WAS NOW MORE FAMILIAR WITH EACH OTHER AND PLAYED WELL TOGETHER. THE 2011 TEAM OUT HIT MOST EVERY TEAM AGAIN, BUT WAS WEAK WITH COMMITTMENT, THUS WITH PLAYERS MISSING GAMES THE SEASON WAS AN EIGHT(8) WIN AND TWELVE(12) LOSS EXPERIENCE. MIKE LOUGHLIN WAS AN ASSISTANT COACH .  IN 2011 REIS AND ROACHE DECIDED TO JUMP INTO THE JUNIOR LEGION PROGRAM AND ADDED A JUNIOR TEAM, THE "ROCKLAND JUNIOR EAGLES". THE JUNIOR EAGLES COACH WAS MIKE GARNER AND ASSISTANT COACH TODD SHEEHAN. THE TWO TOWN TREND CONTINUED IN 2012, WITH A HANDFUL OF ABINGTON PLAYERS ATTENDING TRYOUTS. ROCKLAND WILL ALWAYS KEEP THE OPTION OPEN FOR PLAYERS FROM OTHER TOWNS TO BE ON THE TEAM.

                                                 SEASON 2012 

IN 2012 ALL THREE TEAMS (CARDINALS,RAIDERS & EAGLES) WERE COMBINED INTO THE ROCKLAND ATHLETIC CLUB A 501C3 ORGANIZATION OWNED BY REIS AND ROACHE. THE 2012 SENIOR LEGION TEAM HAD A GREAT START WINNING THEIR FIRST FOUR GAMES, BUT THEN HIT A SKID OF FIVE LOSSES. ROCKLAND DEFEATED BROCKTON POST 35 AND THINGS BEGAN TO TURN AROUND. IN 2012 ROCKLAND WON 12 GAMES AND LOST 10 GAMES AND MADE THE PLAYOFFS FOR THE SECOND TIME IN 10 YEARS. ROCKLAND ENTERED THE DISTRICT PLAYOFFS AS THE 7th SEED, AND DEFEATED WAREHAM THE 2nd SEED TO WIN THEIR FIRST DISTRICT 10 PLAYOFF SERIES IN 34 YEARS. THE 2012 TEAM ENTERED THE SOUTH SECTIONAL PLAYOFFS AND WON ONE GAME BEFORE LOSING TWO GAMES TO DISTRICT 6 NORWOOD POST 70. COACH THOM ROACHE RETIRED FROM THE FIELD AFTER THE 2012 SEASON WITH A RECORD OF 55 WINS & 82 LOSSES. COACH MIKE LOUGHLIN WAS THE THIRD BASE COACH AND MATTHEW ROACHE (a Former Legion Player) WAS THE FIRST BASE COACH IN 2012. IN 2012 THE ROCKLAND JUNIOR TEAM AND COACH GARNER WON THEIR FIRST GAME. THE JUNIOR PROGRAM CONTINUED TO SHOW IMPROVEMENT DESPITE THE RECORD. IN 2013 COACH THOM ROACHE STEPPED DOWN AND PASSED THE HEAD COACHING JOB TO ASSISTANT COACH MIKE LOUGHLIN. THOM ROACHE CONTINUED WITH THE TEAM AS THE GENERAL MANAGER AND CO OWNER OF THE ROCKLAND ATHLETIC CLUB.  JESSE LOUGHLIN (a Former Legion Player) AND ADAM WORRALL WERE ADDED AS ASSISTANT COACHES. THE SENIOR TEAM CONSISTED OF SEVEN(7) ABINGTON PLAYERS, TWO(2) NORWELL PLAYERS AND EIGHT(8) ROCKLAND PLAYERS.

                                               SEASONS 2013 & 2014 

THE 2013 SEASON WAS A RAINED FILLED SEASON, WHICH STRAINED THE TEAM WITH MANY GAMES SQUEEZED INTO A WEEK. THE TEAM ENDED THE SEASON WITH SEVEN(7) WINS AND FIFTEEN(15) LOSSES, AND UNDERACHIEVED OVERALL, CONSIDERING THE TALENT THAT WAS PICKED FOR THE TEAM. OVER THE PAST (11)ELEVEN SEASONS, 2003 THROUGH 2013 THE ROCKLAND LEGION HAS PLAYED .538% BASEBALL AND.600% IN PLAYOFF GAMES.

A CHANGE WAS NEEDED IN 2014,COACH MIKE GARNER BECAME THE "RAIDERS" HEAD COACH, WITH RICH BERNACHE, PAUL CARLEY, AND JASON MICHONSKI  AS ASSISTANTS. THE 2014 TEAM WON 9 GAMES AND WAS IN THE HUNT FOR THE PLAYOFFS, BUT JUST MISSED WITH 13 LOSSES.

THE 2014 JUNIOR "EAGLES" HEAD COACH WAS JIM DOLAN (Former Weymouth High School Coach), ASSISTED BY BRENDAN PORIER (Asst. Weymouth High Coach) AND JEFF LEAFER (CBL Hall of Famer). THE EAGLES 2014 RECORD WAS 7 WINS AND 7 LOSSES, WHICH HAD THEM ALSO IN THE HUNT FOR A PLAYOFF BERTH, HOWEVER THEY FELL SHORT. 

                                               SEASON 2015 & 2016

THE 2015 SEASON HELD GREAT PROMISE, WITH BOTH STAFFS REMAINING THE SAME AND BOTH TEAMS CHANGING PERSONNEL VERY LITTLE. SADLY BOTH TEAMS STRUGGLED TO WIN AND FAILED THE HIGH EXPECTATIONS. THE "RAIDERS" WON 2 GAMES AND LOST 20, WHILE THE JUNIOR "EAGLES" WON 3 GAMES AND LOST 13. THE 2016 SEASON WAS SUCCESSFUL AND CHALLENGING AT THE SAME TIME. THE SENIOR LEGION "RAIDERS" UNDER THE DIRECTION OF HEAD COACH JIM DOLAN AND ASSISTANT COACH BILL GRAY, POSTED A 10 WIN AND 12 LOSS SEASON, JUST MISSING THE PLAYOFFS. THIS TEAM WAS TALENTED BUT THE AFFECT OF AAU COMMITMENTS BY PLAYERS TOOK IT'S TOLL ON THE PLAYOFF BID. THE JUNIOR LEGION "EAGLES" UNDER THE COACHING OF JEFF LEAFER AND WILL McHUGH IN 2016 WERE VERY SUCCESSFUL GOING 8 WINS AND 8 LOSSES, AND MAKING THE PLAYOFFS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE FORMING IN 2011. THE JUNIOR RECORD ALSO SUFFERED THE AFFECTS OF AAU BASEBALL DUAL PARTICIPATION.  THE ROCKLAND ATHLETIC CLUB, WHICH WE ARE NOW KNOWN AS, HOSTED THE 2016 NORTHEAST REGIONAL JUNIOR LEGION TOURNAMENT, AND THE "EAGLES" HAD AN AUTOMATIC BID. THE "EAGLES" PLAYED WELL IN THE TOURNAMENT, BUT DID NOT WIN THEIR GAME. THE ROCKLAND CARDINAL CRANBERRY LEAGUE TEAM UNDER COACH JOHN COLITTI (5YEARS) POSTED A 12 WIN, 12 LOSS SEASON. THE CARDINALS MADE THE PLAYOFFS AGAIN, BUT DID NOT CLEAR THE FIRST ROUND. COACH COLITTI DECIDED TO STEP DOWN FOR 2017, HE WILL BE MISSED AS A COACH AND FRIEND. MIKE GARNER WHO TOOK OVER THE GENERAL MANAGER SPOT IN 2016 ALSO STEPPED DOWN IN JUNE OF 2016, CITING IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES. HE WILL BE MISSED ALSO AS A COACH AND EXECUTIVE AND A FRIEND.

                                                   SEASON 2017

  IN 2017 THE CARDINALS ACQUIRED THE TALENTS OF NEW HEAD COACH A.J. MAZZOLA, FORMER HEAD COACH OF THE C.B.L. NORTON KNIGHTS. THE CARDINALS MADE THE PLAYOFFS IN 2017 WITH 12 WINS AND 12 LOSSES, HOWEVER THEY DID NOT SURVIVE THE FIRST ROUND.

THE POST 147  RAIDERS, COACHED BY JIM DOLAN AND BILL GRAY AGAIN, HAD A GOOD YEAR. THE TEAM HAD 9 WINS AND 10 LOSSES, BUT BY VIRTUE OF HEAD TO HEAD WINS, THEY WERE AWARDED A PLAYOFF BERTH. THE RAIDERS WENT 0 & 2 IN PLAYOFF PLAY, BUT SHOULD MAKE A SERIOUS RUN AGAIN IN 2018.  THE JUNIOR LEGION TEAM COACHED BY JEFF LEAFER WITH ASSISTANCE FROM WILL McHUGH AND MARK STEEVES, HAD A GREAT YEAR AGAIN IN 2017. THE EAGLES MADE THE PLAYOFFS FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW, WITH 11 WINS AND 5 LOSSES. THE ALSO MADE THE STATE TOURNAMENT, BY DEFAULT, FIRST TIME  SINCE 1976 THAT A ROCKLAND LEGION TEAM ACCOMPLISHED THAT FEAT. THEIR PLAYOFF RECORD WAS 2 WINS & 3 LOSSES.

                                                   SEASON 2018 

IN 2018 THE JUNIOR LEGION "EAGLES" TEAM ACTUALLY FLIPPED THEIR 2017 RECORD AND WENT 5 WINS AND 11 LOSSES.  COACH LEAFER AND HIS STAFF WOULD NOT RETURN IN 2019..........    THE SENIOR LEGION 'RAIDERS" UNDER THE COACHING OF JIM DOLAN AND ASSISTANT COACH BILL GRAY PRODUCED A RECORD OF 11 WINS AND 9 LOSSES WHICH PLACED THEM IN THE DISTRICT 10 PLAYOFFS AGAIN, BACK TO BACK APPEARANCES. THE RAIDERS WENT 1 AND 2 IN THE PLAYOFFS, AND DID NOT ADVANCE, HOWEVER COACHES DOLAN AND GRAY HAD SUCCESSFUL SEASONS  IN THEIR COACHING TENOR. BOTH COACHES RESIGNED FOR 2019.

THE ROCKLAND CARDINALS IN 2018 WERE COACHED ONCE AGAIN BY JOHN COLITTI. THE CARDINALS HAD THEIR WORST SEASON EVER WITH 22 LOSSES AND 4 WINS, AND FAILED TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS FOR ONLY THE SECOND TIME IN RECENT MEMORY. PITCHING INJURIES WERE THE MAIN CAUSE FOR THE TEAMS' POOR RECORD IN 2108.  COACH COLITTI WILL RETURN IN 2019.  

                                                          SEASON 2019 

NOW IN 2019, THIS WAS THE FIRST YEAR WITH NO JUNIOR LEGION TEAM.  THE SENIOR LEGION TEAM WAS NOW BEING COACHED BY HEAD COACH MIKE NICHOLSON, AND ASSISTANT COACHES MARK STEEVES AND JOHN MULREADY (a former Legion Player). THE TEAM HAD A MIDDLE OFTHE ROAD YEAR FINISHING 6 WINS AND 12 LOSSES. THE TALENT POOL WAS DOWN BUT ON THE BRIGHT SIDE IT WAS A GOOD MIX OF ABINGTON AND ROCKLAND PLAYERS AS WE HAD HOPED FOR SINCE 2003. AAU & LaCROSSE HAVE WEAKENED THE LEGION BASEBALL NUMBERS AND ONLY THE DIEHARD CONTINUE TO PLAY.  IN 2019 THE CBL ROCKLAND CARDINALS ALSO HAD AN OFF SEASON WITH 7 WINS AND 20 LOSSES.  COACH JOHN COLITTI HAD PROMISING COMMITTMENTS EARLY SEASON BUT NOT ALL COMMITTED. THOSE WHO DID FOUGHT HARD ALL SEASON.   BOTH COACH COLITTI (CBL) AND COACH NICHOLSON HAVE RETURNED FOR 2020

                                                                     SEASON 2020 

IN SEASON 2020, THE JUNIOR LEGION PROGRAM RETURNED.

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