Jody Amedee of Gonzales, Louisiana, has been a baseball fan his whole life. In high school, he played on championship teams, and he attended Nicholls State University on a baseball scholarship. Later, he coached Little League. So in 2003, when a local baseball team lost its sponsor, he saw a chance to give those players some of the great opportunities that he had. “Baseball was always a central part of my life and gave me many wonderful experiences,” he said.
Amedee and his law firm partner, Andre Gauthier, decided to sponsor the team, which is part of the American Legion Baseball League. They pay for uniforms, equipment, and travel costs and work with the league to hire umpires and coaches. Having a sponsor means the team never has to turn down talented players whose parents can’t afford those costs, and players from a variety of backgrounds can form bonds as teammates.
The American Legion, a veterans’ service organization, founded its baseball league in 1925. The league now has over 5,400 teams with more than 100,000 players. According to the Legion, nearly 75 percent of current college players are graduates of the baseball program. Unlike Little League, where girls play softball, the Legion allows girls to play on the same teams as boys.
The team, named Gauthier & Amedee Post 81—or G&A for short—recruits the best players from Gonzales’s three high schools. Clad in navy and white uniforms like those worn by Amedee’s beloved New York Yankees—“Yes, I’m from Louisiana, but I’ve always loved the Yankees”—G&A has won several state finals and traveled around the country playing tournaments and exhibition games. The team is a regular feature in the sports pages of the local newspaper, the Gonzales Weekly.
Amedee is also a Louisiana state senator, representing District 18. Despite his busy schedule, there is always room for the game.
“It’s been a really uplifting experience, watching them be so successful,” Amedee said. “The players inspire me. We also have a lot of great volunteers that help with coordinating travel and making sure everything runs smoothly. It’s just been wonderful keeping my hand in the sport like this.”
As the baseball season began this spring, Amedee said, “we’re looking forward to another great year.”