Good Morning or late evening Date Line: Woodstock

Good Morning!

What a great night last night in Woodstock. I great deal of thought went into the choice of going to the New Market @ Woodstock game on opening night. I answered a ton of questions last night and was smiling the entire time.

I like the format of the top ten list so here is one from last night:


10. I had been invited to be a guest speaker at the New Market Rebels / Shenandoah Valley Grandstand Managers club dinner earlier this year. After a great evening with very knowledgeable and caring baseball fans I knew this group would be there with passports in hand looking for the River Bandits stamp. They exceeded my expectations as the Rebel faithful showed up in groves despite the threat of thunder storms.

9. Stu and Mrs. Richardson had been great right out of the box where the promotion was concerned. Stu had everything set up right where we needed it to be and was as gracious of
a host owner as one could hope for.

8. Craig Orndorff- "The voice of the River Bandits"- Craig is a special individual and we share a number of thoughts and ideas about baseball and high school sports. I had just finished calling the Luray- Strasburg Region B Championship with Craig on his self created Internet radio show. Craig put his project into operation two years ago and he makes the rounds doing broadcasts of local sporting events. Craig will be back in action Tuesday night as Strasburg travels over to Essex for their elite eight contest.

7. Melissa Dodge- Rebel fan extraordinaire (Wrangler GM-Diane Buckley, my wife Linda and daughter Rebecca all had to help me spell that word) was going to be there. Mrs. Charlie was there but Charlie was no where in sight. I asked Melissa if he had a good excuse and she told me he was up on the ridge with 20 Cub Scouts. We will catch up with him on Friday at Rebel Park.

6. Donn Foltz- Gotta love Foltzie- and I tell him so every time I see him. Foltz was joking about his four day break between the end of the high school baseball season and the start of the Valley Baseball season. Foltz is the skipper of the Central High Falcons as well as the River Bandits. I spent many a night interviewing Donn and you never had to wonder if he had won or lost that night. When I asked Foltzie to post on the blog he asked me could his kids teach him and I let him know mine had taught me! Good Luck all season Donn!

5. Bruce and Lynne Alger (& sons)- All in a days work! The last comments that were shared on the evening came at 12:20 a.m. back at Rebel Park. The team didn't board the bus until close to 11:30 (The game did last almost 4 hours) but Bruce and the Mrs. hurried back to the park to feed the victorious team meatball sandwiches and chips. I have to tell you Bruce had already ridden thru town and put out the Rebel game tonight signs.
My final question of the chat was to both Bruce and Lynne was this- When does Saturday night end and Sunday morning begin? Neither one flinched when they rolled their eyes and said together it already has. I love the Valley League for all the efforts that goes on behind the scenes.

4. Diane Buckley was going to be at our house at 7:00 a.m. to work with my support staff (my daughters Sabrena & Rebecca). The three of these brainy (they are so smart they just told me that brainy might not be a real word) ladies are trying to accomplish the same thing that five teams worked on yesterday- trying to create a opening night program. We had to start at 7:00 because that is when we finished work but Diane for more than willing to make the adjustment. It also gave me a chance to ask Diane how our dear friend Teresa Wease (Turks) was holding up last night- opening night and dodging the rain drops!

3. Mike the Sign Guy (Waynesboro)- Mike is in the early running for VBL fan of the year! Somewhere between Sabrena putting up the pictures last night (1:00 a.m.) and me turning on my computer this morning (7:15 a.m.), Mike had posted to let me know that all five road teams had won their games. To pull this off I need help like that! Good job Mike!

2.Ross Fetterly (New Market Rebels)- Ross, along with Wayne Dowling and Tyler Kuhn was one of my favorite players/ characters of the VBL. At first I was thinking Ross wouldn't be coming back this year but at the last minute he was able to return to New market. I had the pleasure of writing three articles about/with Ross for the NVD as well as meeting his Mom and Dad. Dad joined me in the Rebel broadcast booth for an inning last year and his host family Jay Hafner (another of my Rebel broadcast partner- the only sharp looking one of the bunch- did a great job of giving me updates on Ross during the school year.

1. Mr. Roger Wilkins- (& side kick Mr. Mickey) We were having our team meeting (Mom/Dad and the girls) on the way over to Woodstock. I let them know that they should not get spoiled by the treatment we would receive tonight because Roger would be handling the PA duties for the River Bandits. Roger and I go back a few years and if he has ever had a bad day it was in a previous life.

A few people overheard me talking about Roger and one of them ask for a story/example. I told them that you've heard the expression that someone would give you the shirt of their back- well that is only the tip of the iceberg with Roger. I asked him if he would sign a 10-day contract and handle things for us all the way. He hit all his marks and did so with excitement in his voice all night long! Roger- you da man!

A SPECIAL, SPECIAL thanks also goes to Mrs. Susan Thompson- new editor of the Shenandoah Valley Herald and her ACE reporter John Galle went 10 miles above and beyond what we could of hoped for!

P.S- New Market jumped out to a 10-0 lead before Woodstock rallied to cut the lead to 10-7. New Market escaped with a 10-7 but Foltz and company will try to regroup tonight in Covington!

9:24 a.m.- only 6 hours until we head south to Waynesboro!

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