The Post 2 American Legion program in Morgantown, year in and year out, is the best in the state. The team is a perennial contender and it has won 12 West Virginia State Championships. But In the 85 year history of the program, there’s never been as much to celebrate with individual players as there was this past weekend.
In a span of 72 hours, three Post 2 alumni all earned remarkable achievements. It started Thursday as a buzz went through Hawley Field prior to a Big East Conference game between WVU and Rutgers that former WVU and Post 2 standout Jedd Gyorko was on the front page of the Baseball America website. Gyorko was ranked the No. 1 ranked prospect on Baseball America’s "Prospect Hot Sheet." Gyorko spent three record setting years at WVU and he was also a four year starter for Head Coach Ernie Galusky and assistant Jerry Mahoney with Post 2.
Then Saturday came the news that former Post 2 pitcher Josh Judy had been promoted from AAA Columbus to the Cleveland Indians. Judy would make his major league debut Sunday with the Tribe as he pitched a scoreless 9th inning during Cleveland’s win over Cincinnati.
Finally, Post 2 alum Ben Miller helped Potomac State earn another birth into the National Junior College World Series in a regional victory.
“All three of those guys were really good kids who had goals and big ambitions when they played for us,” Galusky said. As long as Jerry and I have been involved in this program, We’ve worked hard to replicate the college and pro type environment. We try to provide opportunities for the players who want to advance and play in college and we try to show them what it takes to get there.”
During the seven years Galusky and Mahoney have been the primary coaches, between 30-35 scholarship players have advanced from the Post 2 program into college baseball.
West Virginia Radio Corporation President Dale Miller has overseen the Post 2 program as Head Coach and General Manager for 26 seasons.
“Over the years we’ve been fortunate to make a very special program a great program,” Miller said. “Josh Judy, Jedd Gyorko and Ben Miller are fine young men from outstanding families – and all members of the Post 2 family.”
“Those three guys all had one very important thing in common,” Galusky said. “They all had a very mature approach to the game. You could tell that (the game) meant something to them and that they knew they were destined to keep playing and having success at the higher levels.
“Josh was very much under the radar at the time but he is a testament to how far hard work and determination can take you. He really matured after his first year of college when he came back to pitch for us then. He still wasn’t the biggest guy (at 6-foot-1, 170 pounds) but he worked harder than any player I’ve ever had. Once he left here, he really grew and now you have a 6-foot-4, 200 pound guy who is capable of throwing consistently in the mid-90’s.
“The thing about Jedd is that he’s never been in a slump,” Galusky continued. “It is uncanny, but everywhere he goes at every level he hits .400. He is just a guy with great ability and it is no surprise at all that he is making the best of his opportunity.
“Ben’s strength was that he knew how important it was to be prepared to play every single day. He took it very seriously and he was ready and he gave his team a chance to win every time he pitched.
“He played every inning of every game for us for four seasons and he never once asked for a day off,” said Galusky.
Josh Judy has had a taste of the Big Leagues and Jedd Gyorko seems destined to follow very soon. Ben Miller will be playing in front of in excess of 15,000 fans at the National Junior College World Series. And like proud parents, Ernie Galusky, Jerry Mahoney and Dale Miller will be following them all every step of the way.