The W's & L's (16-28) don't come close to reflecting the effort that goes into Stu Richardson's team up in Woodstock. Stu works as hard as anyone in the Valley Baseball League while drawing from the second smallest market. Woodstock lists a population of 4,229 and ranks above only New Market in size. If victories were awarded by effort of the field and in the front office then the River Bandits would be competing for the Lineweaver Cup each season.
Mr. & Mrs. Richardson are surrounded by quality people at every turn, from the Walters family to Roger & Mickey up in the press box. Craig Orndorff handles the Web Casts as well as anyone in the league and the staff makes you feel right at home from the front gate. These were just some of the reasons that we chose to kick-off our Around The Valley in 60 Days campaign right there in Central Shenandoah County.
Woodstock entered the season with high expectations after pushing eventual 2007 Champion Waynesboro to the brink before losing the final game deep into extra innings. Skipper Donn Foltz (Foltzie) was back at the helm and the future was looking bright for the home team @ Central High School. As we said earlier, the final won-loss mark wasn't what the organization had hoped for but the near no-no after being eliminated from the playoffs showed the VBL just how much fight the remaining Bandits had left.
The group runs a top-notch Golf Tourney prior to the season over at Shenvalee in New Market and follows that up with everything that a club can do to try and promote itself in a 60 day season. The view from the snack bar as you stare towards home plate rivals the view at Rebel Park but in reverse. Every time we were near the team the players always seemed to be smiling and remained eager to pose for a pic here and there.
My top 5 nights list of 2008 has to include any night where Mickey, Roger, Larry Smoot and Jeff Walters are around the press box and who could forget the pic of Travis Smink of Luray wearing a Woodstock Police Officers' hat while the Officer donned a Luray cap! Want to spend a relaxed night at the ball park?- head out to Central High School!
Our trail with Stu & Company went like this:
5/31- Home- Loss 10-7 to New Market
6/13-Home- Loss 5-3 to Covington
6/15-Home- Loss 7-4 to Luray
6/28- @ Luray- Loss 3-2
6/30-@ Waynesboro- Loss 10-4
7/7- Home - Loss 5-3 to Haymarket
7/27- @ Luray - Win 5-2
Home Record- 0-4
Road Record - 1-2
Overall Mark- 1W-6L
While I worked wonders for Haymarket (.700), I didn't seem to bring a great deal of fortune
to the River Bandits. A tip of the cap to Stu for putting the link to our site in the most visible place it could be and for getting on board early and staying to the end!
Best of Luck in 2009 to Stu & Company !