Swinging for the Fences: How American Legion Baseball Transformed a Group of Boys into a Team of Men


Carl Paul Maggio is retired from a successful real estate career and resides in Sedona, Arizona. In addition to being a member of the 1951 American Legion championship team, he also played baseball for the University of Southern California Trojans for four years, in the Canadian League, and during his service in the United States Navy. He enjoys acting, photography, and traveling.

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In 2008, the surviving members of the Crenshaw Post 715 American Legion team gathered in Sedona, Arizona, to honor the memory of Billy Consolo. Stories of their fallen teammate opened a door to cherished memories of time spent together in childhood, learning the game of life through the game of baseball. With no adults to supervise them in the playgrounds and sandlots, Carl Paul Maggio and his friends grew to understand the principles of fair play. As teenagers, they thrived under the eccentric guidance of Benny Lefebvre, a gentle but fiercely determined coach who transformed the untamed boys, including future Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson, into a band of skillful, resourceful ballplayers. And when they competed with more than sixteen thousand teams for the 1951 American Legion World Baseball Championship, they discovered the greatest prize of all: a lifetime of enduring friendships.

Swinging for the Fences will transport you to a simpler place and time in our country’s history, when kids were allowed to be kids, and baseball was a game of integrity and simplicity.


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