We are down to the final four of a different sort today as no matter how the VBL Championship plays out we know this for sure- The maximum amount of days left in the 2008 Valley Baseball is now at 4.
The best 3 of 5 series is now Luray 1-0 and there are either two, three or four games left in the series depending on the outcome of tonight's contest at Casey Field. The question of the day now is will the run end on Day 67, Day 68 or Day 69?
Notes from last night:
1. Danny DeSimone was very UN-fortunate to be pitching against Travis Smink last night at Bulldog Field. On any other night there would be asking if you were there when Danny tossed one of the best games of the season. The run that the Wranglers scored in the first was UN-earned so that leaves just the solo home run off the bat of Ryan Schimpf blemishing the efforts of the Florida International pitcher.
2. It was great to see the crowd (586) that turned out for the opener last night. The stands on both sides were full and the lawn chairs lined the fences down both base lines. Even the left field bleachers as I like to call them (Chairs on the foul line, just behind the fence), were full of folks seeing some quality VBL baseball.
3. The two ceremonies before the game were both fun to participate in for me. Talking thru Dave and Rebecca out there with the ping pong balls was a great deal easier thanks to some help from Ryan Carroll. After the ceremony was over I took a quick look to see how the drawings broke down. There were 8 teams that had at least one Loopster and the 10 passes were spread out over 6 of the 8 teams.
4. The second ceremony was bringing out the players MLB All-Star style. This is a bit tougher than one might think as you have to separate out starters and non-starters, coaches and players,etc.... But I was very proud of the finished product and I think the crowd enjoyed it as much as the athletes did.
5. When Staunton and Waynesboro both were eliminated on Saturday night it left a gap in the coverage for the Championship series. The Staunton News-Leader is one of the two newspapers that covers the VBL as a whole (other-Northern Virginia Daily). The elimination of their two teams coupled with the 4 NVD squads (Winchester, Front Royal , New Market and Woodstock) already being gone leaves the Championship series lacking the coverage I would hope it might get. But the good news for everyone out there is that both ATV-60 & John Leonard over at All Things Valley League will both try and fill the void for the die-hard VBL fans!
John has posted his thoughts on last night and you should head over and take a look.
6. The drive from Luray to Covington is right at 131 miles and takes roughly 2 & 1/2 hours. The trip down to the hills today will be my/our five of the season and when people ask me about the trip I tell them just one thing- Don't be in a hurry and it can be a beautiful Drive !
7. Dave Biery came back out to the mound after the player introductions and tossed out the ceremonial 1ST pitch to South Florida's Cory Johnson. Have to thank Dave once again for his gift of the 10 2009 Season Passes! Haymarket Joe was at Bulldog Field as well with his camera clicking away all night. It was odd to see Joe and not here him...
8. Greg (and Cathy) Brill were in the crowd and he stopped by long enough to return my copy of "A Season of a Lifetime", our Volleyball project for Strasburg. I had only sent him home with it a couple of days ago so I was nervous that I was getting it back that quick. Loved hearing his feedback on the book and I need to remember to share his thoughts with Sabrena.
9. As the season winds down I find myself being asked more and more questions about was is next and what will I do with all of my spare time? The second half of that question is the comical one as I try and to explain this isn't spare time. This is simply adding roughly six hours a day on top of a 10 hour work day. The good news is that before we know it, life will return to just being busy and not (no word to correctly describe)...
10. For A Night... I can honestly say that I am not sure how much better a night in a VBL ball park could of had went much better. If through are efforts with the PA, camera, writing, game programs and post game interviews me made it more enjoyable for anyone out there then it was ALL worth it...
In closing I want to add that Travis Smink sticking his head back out of the dugout when he did will be one of my lasting memories of the crazy adventure! Rebecca will put up the PICS here in a bit.