After it was over, after the 18 teenagers on the Shrewsbury (Mass.) Post 397 American Legion baseball team got to experience the World Series in Shelby, N.C., the manager of that team — Frank Vaccaro — got a note from Nick McDonald, one of the team’s top pitchers.
Post 397 was a collection of players from two rival schools in town — public Shrewsbury High School and private St. John’s (with one player from Worcester Academy.). But for more than two months, those rivalries were put aside and new bonds formed.
During a summer that saw Post 397 win district and regional titles, all agreed it was worth it.
“Playing for your team was the most enjoyable baseball experience I’ve ever had,” wrote McDonald, who will continue his career at Bryant University. “You brought together two schools who were supposed to be rivals and made them best friends for life. I will remember this summer for the rest of my life and will forever talk about 397 with pride.”