It might of taken the Rockbridge Rapids a little longer to officially make it into the Valley Baseball League but I have to believe the wait will prove to be worth it. When the 2009 VBL season kicks-off here in about 9 months, all of the ATV-60 Loopsters will have a new park to add to their list!
Rockbridge County will open up a number of possibilities for VBL fans traveling to watch their teams. The beauty of the area will make for some can't miss day trips before the games are to played in the early evening. The first thing that will be appealing to those fans driving to the area is just how accessible the campus of Washington & Lee is from the interstate. Whether it is Covington fans traveling East on I-64 or the balance of the VBL heading South on I-81, the trip should prove to be an easy one.
The population of Lexington fits in well with the other big towns/ small cities that form the VBL. Lexington will fit in right about even with Warrenton (6TH & 7TH in size) in the middle of the VBL pack and the town offers a number of day trips and the surrounding area does as well. Let us get started by locating Lexington for you...
I-64 piggy backs with I-81 for a stretch of about 30 miles between Lexington and Staunton with Lexington sitting at the bottom end of that stretch. Exit #191 is the fork in the road where I-64 heads West and I-81 continues South. The 10 clubs not called Covington will use Exit #191 and then use the very first exit off I-64 West to reach the campus of Washington & Lee where the Rapids will play their home games.
Luray will be looking at a trip of 91 miles while New Market will be 76 each way. Some of the other numbers will range from Staunton (37-40), Waynesboro (40-42), Covington (42-44) and Harrisonburg (57-59). The distance from the split to the park is just over 3 miles and can be covered in just a matter of minutes. Now that you have an idea of how to get to Lexington we should take a look at some of the things one can do before a Rapids home game.
We will use a Saturday or Sunday afternoon as an example and there is a bit of something for everybody. The Chapel at W & L is a good place to start and is within walking distance of the stadium. If you have never spent time down there you will be amazed to discover that the campus of W & L sits right next to the campus of Virginia Military Institute. The amount of history that is available to you between the two is incredible.
The exit for the Natural Bridge is just a few miles South of Lexington. You can take in one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World as well as tour the Wax Museum if you like. Golfers looking for a challenge might want to head out a bit early and take on the golf course over in Beuna Vista. The Vista Links Golf Club is located just a few miles from the stadium and is as nice of a public course as you will find in the Valley.
If dining is your thing you will love the amount of choices waiting for you when you make it to town! I am not sure which ones will be on board with Mr. Cruthers as far as sponsorship goes so I will hold off on listing your choices but I promise you that you will love all of the choices. You can catch a movie, play some golf, walk the campus of two historical schools or spend an afternoon at the Natural Bridge to name a few.
I encourage you to take a look at the Rapids web site (http://www.rockbridgeradis.com/ ) to learn more about the excitement that will be coming in the 2009 season. You will be able to learn about the ownership group as well as the staff, ball park and the community of Rockbridge.
You have nine months to set aside a day to take in the sights and sounds of VBL baseball at its newest venue!