We have come along way baby! I can't remember who coined the phrase but it is a good one for the folks from Battlefield High School up in Haymarket. There was no shortage of firsts for the ownership group I like to call the Fab 4. The husband and wife tandems of the Newell's and the Schaffer's made a great deal of progress in their first full season at the helm of the organization.
The families took over near the end of the 2007 campaign and were facing quite an up-hill battle to bring the Senators to the place the ownership group wanted to be. The two things the Sens had going for them were (1) the beautiful facilities at BHS and a ton of fans living within 20 miles of the park. The park itself, from the parking lots all the way through the fan friendly open spaces that surround the diamond (Don't forget the ultra modern rest rooms), make it a great place to enjoy a VBL game.
The population in the immediate area gives the Sens as many fans to draw from as any club in the VBL but the job facing the Fab 4 will be to get the word out about their club. Haymarket is playing in the VBL but the VBL doesn't get a great deal of exposure in the Metro-DC area. The signs of progress off the diamond were obvious for the group but there is still work to due. My money is on the long term success of the group.
The team made great strides on the field as well during the 2008 campaign. Haymarket (19-28) qualified for the playoffs and then on July 30,2008 the Senators captured their first ever VBL post-season victory by defeating #1 seeded Waynesboro by a score of 2-1. I was in the park for the big moment and was fortunate enough to be broadcasting the game for ESPN-1240 with Sean Youngberg. The effort the short handed club put out for interim skipper Ryan Fecteau was pretty amazing.
The other big moment of that night took place before the contest when Haymarket Joe tossed out his ceremonial 1ST pitch for completing his Loop of Around The Valley in 60 Days. H-Joe was actually the third Sens fan to complete the loop as Scott and Emma Parker (Father/Daughter) will always be the initial Loopsters in Sens history.
The Sens season ended the next night down at Kate Collins Field in Waynesboro but the before and after pictures of where the franchise was and is now is pretty amazing. The team and organization should only get stronger as the Fab-4 continues to add VBL experience to their resumes.
Let's take a look at the times my/our paths crossed those of the Sens...
June 7TH- @ Harrisonburg... Sens win 4-1
June 8TH- Home*- Sens defeat Luray 10-1
June 13TH-@ Front Royal... Sens win 7-3
June 21ST-@ Luray...Sens fall 10-2
July 7TH- @ Woodstock... Sens win 5-3
July 11TH-@ Front Royal... Sens win 9-4
July 19TH-Home*- Sens defeat Harrisonburg 4-1
July 20TH-@ Luray ... Sens fall 13-9
July 22ND-@ Waynesboro... Sens fall 12-2
July 30TH- Home*... PLAYOFFS... Sens 2-1 over Waynesboro
My Sens road record- 4W-3L
My Sens home record- 3W-0L
Overall- Senators mark with ATV-60 in the park- 7W/3L- Winning pct. off .700
I think that .700 might capture the overall standings in connection with me being at the park!
Thanks to the Schaffer's and the Newell's for their time this season and to Mr. & Mrs. Haymarket Joe for all of their efforts... Best of Luck in 2009!