I just read a note from Teresa Wease about another one of her and Bob's former players making it into the major leagues and it made me smile when she told me how she found out. As I have mentioned in the past, my time in the Valley is limited to the past few years so I lean on both the VBL site and Mr. John Leonard (All Things Valley League) to learn about players from the VBL that have made the SHOW.
The news today came from the campus of Mary Washington University where the Wease's son Matt has just begun classes in his freshman year. MWU is located over in Fredricksburg, Virginia and the D-III school has both a beautiful campus and a strong athletic program. The idea that Matt was either listening to an Orioles game or watching one and noticed one of the players that he grew up with playing has to be pretty special.
This season I spent some time around a few different young adults (don't want to say kids) that either were finishing high school or just starting college. Three or four of these folks are the children of VBL owners and it made me wonder about just how cool it is to grow up as part of a Baseball Family.
Ashley Turner (Luray) should be down at Liberty University by now, Matt Wease (H-Burg) is at MWU and Mr. Adam Critzer (Waynesboro) is attending Shenandoah University. These are the first three that come to mind and I would be interested it hearing what it was like to grow up in a house where they had such an extended family each and every summer. Another young man that would be on a short list would be Brad Painter (Luray/ Bridgewater). Brad's parents have been hosting Wranglers for a bit know and he just finished his senior year of high school having hung out with Tyler Kuhn and Ryan Schimpf among others.
I can only imagine that the experience was something special for each of the people I mentioned above. Our Rebecca is back over at UVA now and after spending the past two seasons around the VBL, I know how fun it was for her to spend time around the players she met and then Clay Kelly and Wayne Dowling who stayed with us.
I love reading the passion that is Melissa Dodge (New Market) writing about her Sons of Summer and listening to Jay Hafner (New Market) talk about the lives that he has crossed paths with with the Rebels. I know for a fact that both Bill Turner and Bruce Alger end up with their house full of Wranglers and Rebels so I am sure Ms. Turner would have a treasure chest full of memories from her Dad's years as owner of Luray.
The difference for Matt is that I believe that his birth and his parents owning the Turks are close to the same. This young man has spent his entire life surrounded by Baseball older brothers and I can only imagine that there have been a number of them that changed his life for the better.
I know that there are a smaller number of folks following the site while there is no VBL baseball being played but I would like to think that the above families are still checking in so the Turner's, Wease's, Painter's and Critzer's should all know that there is a standing invitation to each of their children to share their thoughts on growing up with their parents baseball players playing a big part in their lives.
The same goes for anyone else out there who might have a story to tell about the same!
I would think it would have to be special to turn on the TV and see one of your extended family playing in the show...