More than a game: Jinright brothers relish time playing American Legion baseball

Published 7:20 pm Thursday, August 1, 2019

Baseball has always been a passion for the Jinright brothers, but for Reed and Wood, American Legion baseball means a little more.

Reed and Wood have been playing baseball ever since they could hold a bat. After years of representing Troy in recreation and high school baseball, the Jinrights will have one final chance to do it when Post 70 plays in their fourth-straight regional tournament in Tampa, Florida.

“We are playing good right now and we have pretty much been playing good all summer,” Wood Jinright said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

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This time of the year has always been fun for the Jinright brothers. After spending the regular season at Southern Union, both Wood and Reed look forward to the summer months and their time with Post 70. Playing summer baseball is nothing new for the Jinrights.

“I have been doing it my entire life,” Wood Jinright said. “I don’t think there has been a summer when I wasn’t playing ball. It’s natural for me and it’s what I love.”

Post 70 baseball has been at the center of summer baseball for the Jinright family. The Jinright’s great-grandfather WB Jinright started coaching American Legion baseball in 1958. The love for the game and for Post 70 has been passed down to grandparents, uncles, to their parents and then ultimately to Reed and Wood.

“It’s more than just baseball,” Reed said. “It represents our veterans. My family has been in American Legion for a long time. It started with my great-grandad back in the 50s. It’s been a family tradition playing American Legion baseball.”

“It means a lot to play and carry on a tradition,” Wood said. “It’s a lot of fun and it’s a great organization. It’s fun when you are winning and being able to carry on a tradition.”

The Jinrights entered the summer knowing it will be their last Post 70, and Reed Jinright is making the most of it.

“I was very lucky to play this summer. Some of my buddies that are the same age as me couldn’t play this year because they were two months too old. I’m fortunate to be playing and I’m excited to be playing.”

With the regional tournament just days away, the Jinright Brothers can’t think of a better way to end their Post 70 career than making it past the regional tournament for the first time.

“That would be extremely special,” Reed Jinright said. “Nobody from Post 70 has ever been to the world series. If we could do that, being the first team would be really special. I know we will have a lot of support from the community.”

“That’s the plan,” Wood Jinright said. “We said at the beginning of the summer that we wanted to win a regional and go to a world series and win a world series. If that worked out, it would be the way I wanted to end it.”

When the summer is finally over, Reed will be able to look back at all the memories that have stemmed from playing with Post 70.

“I have had some great teammates,” Reed said. “It’s been fun every single summer. Winning has a lot to do with it, but the people I played with have been awesome, especially my coaches.”

For Wood, sharing the field with his brother has been an experience he will never forget.

“It’s definitely been fun. We have always been on the same team, regardless of the sport we were playing. We can hit, throw and practice with each other. We know each other like the back of our hand. It’s good to have them with me.”