This is the 3RD and final segment of me trying to answer a question of the night from Cathy Brill up in Front Royal last night. If you read the three articles in numeric order you are okay- if not it might be a touch confusing.
Lets pick it up in the top of the 8TH inning at the Bing with Luray leading now 4-2. The Cards have won two straight as they fight for their playoff lives and they really needed to win this one. Luray needed the win to stay ahead of Waynesboro in the race to finish with the best record in the VBL. My time was limited and there were a large number of folks to try and say hello to before the end of the game.
Wranglers GM Diane Buckley and her youngest daughter Morgan had collected their last stamp earlier in the evening to complete their loop Around The Valley. Diane informed me that her husband Jeff and their older daughter Madison would be getting their last stamp when the Wranglers head over to Fauquier for the double header next Saturday (7/26). Anytime an official with the VBL or one of the 11 teams finishes the loop it makes me feel the love and support for the effort. When a fan of the team makes it through it is a wide open celebration for me and when someone connected to a team takes the time I see it as a sincere form of THANK YOU.
Diane and Jeff are sitting in the middle of a pack of Wrangler fans and I was watching the game when mild mannered Donnie Middleton removed his cape and turned into SUPER FAN. His wife Sue was setting next to Donnie when it started but had slowly inched away as his efforts continued. Donnie just recently celebrated his 70TH birthday while he was working at Bulldog Field, yes I said while working. Both Donnie and Sue are there every night supporters of the Wrangler organization but apparently when the show hits the road he gets to have some fun.
Luray was still leading 4-2 when I headed over to the press box to try and share some scores with Greg and the PA man (Gill Thompson). It was then that I bumped into Mr. Jefferson (Jeff's Dad) and we were able to visit for a few minutes. Of all of the people I have met for the first time this season , Mr. Keith is one of my favorites. Tonight he makes the long drive up from the Danville area to watch his son play. Despite the 191 mile drive from Dry Fork up to Front Royal (don't forget the 191 miles back), he is always a pleasant person to share a few minutes with.
Donna Settle is the next person I run into and that leads me up into the press box where I find Cathy and Greg Brill. I have scores from Around The Valley except Winchester @ Covington and Donna pulls out her phone and tracks that one down as well. A couple of minutes work and we then get to share all of the scores with the fans at the park and then all of the fans listening to Greg on the web cast.
More people to visit (I should sneak in there that FR rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 8TH to tie the score at 4-4) with the next stop being where Linda and Bob Keen are sitting on the 3RD base side. Bob is still there because his newspaper (NVD) doesn't have a Sunday product. Most nights Bob would of had been gone to get ready for the nightly run. Linda has just completed her loop so on a night full of ATV-60 LOOPSTERS it was great to get to visit with another one.
The bullpens did their job in the ninth inning as I worked my way back across the park over to where Diane and the masked man Super Donnie were sitting. Luray scored a run in the top of the 10TH inning when Adam McClain hustled down the line to avoid being the back half of a double play. Luray made the 5-4 lead stand up and at 11:14 PM I was back in the car. There were two items remaining on the check list- Bank deposit and copies of Kip's story.Kip-great stuff!
Both were easy to do on the way out of Front Royal so it was Mission Accomplished except for the fact there was 6 or so hours worth of Sunday route work waiting for me when I made it back to Luray. I guess it was a good thing that I had printed out all of the paperwork before I headed out back around 4:00 PM. I hope that I have answered the question- how do you go/work/do/see three VBL games in one night- Try and plan it out, catch a few breaks and make the most of your time at the ball park.
For some VBL fans it is just about the game and for others it is more about being part of something special. For us here at ATV-60, it is simply about trying to tell the story of the folks we cross paths with on a given night during AROUND THE VALLEY IN 60-DAYS.