Showing posts from July 13, 2008

Fauquier Gators are in the VBL Playoffs !

The Gators have won four straight games and when they defeated the Winchester Royals last night on the road they became the 3RD of 8 teams that are now qualified for the post season! Congrats to the Gators and all of their fans! IN THE PLAYOFFS: 1. Luray 25-10 2. Waynesboro 25-11 3. Fauquier 22-13 Getting Closer: 4.Winchester 20-16 4. Covington 20-16 6. Staunton 20-17 Hanging in there : 7. Harrisonbug 14-21 8. Haymarket 14-22 Still Hoping: 9.Woodstock 14-23 10.Front Royal 12-24 11.New Market 12-25 How does it work? The top 3 teams from the North join the top 3 teams from the South and then the two remaining teams with the next best records- regardless of division advance to play in the playoffs.

Keep an eye on Harrisonburg, Haymarket & Woodstock

The victory that the Turks picked up last night at Woodstock not only moved them 1 game ahead of the River Bandits but when Haymarket fell to Staunton it allowed Harrisonburg to go from 9TH to 7TH place. The three teams competing for the final two spots in the post season are now separated by just 1 game. Harrisonburg -7 Haymarket -8 Woodstock -9 That makes tonight's game at Battlefield High School between the home standing Senators and the visiting Turks all that more important. Harrisonburg has won four of its last six games and with a win tonight Bob Wease and company would have some breathing room in the standings. Front Royal (-12) and New Market (-13) remain alive but are running out of games to make up enough ground. The Rebels are off tonight and the Cardinals have a tough task as they host the VBL's top team in the Luray Wranglers. The Cards are hoping to duplicate their late season charge from one year ago when they came from near the bottom of th

Switching Gears for just a Moment- How about 53 year old Greg Norman

There is always time to talk golf for a moment, right? The golfing world was very worried about playing the British Open without Tiger Woods but have you seen the story that is developing over there right now? Greg "The Shark" Norman, if my memory serves me right the full nick name back in his hey day was "The Great White Shark" is two holes away from having the 54 hold lead of the Open.Playing at the age of 53 and still smiling from his honeymoon with tennis legend Chris Everett, Norman was a nice diversion on Thursday and Friday. The Shark and David Duval both playing so well gave the die hard golf fans something to think about other than No Tiger. I felt Norman's pain way back in 1986 when he carried the 54 hole lead into all four majors but to only capture the British Open. For all of us middle aged golfers that will be watching on Sunday- could there be a better ending than Norman gets the dream girl and then gets to relive his golfing dream? As I was typ

Good Morning to Day #50 of Around The Valley- Time to hit the road !

Big things are going to happen today- Saturday July 19TH, 2008. Let us start with the two friends of the promotion that will cross the line of the ATV-60 loop today in Warrenton when their Generals face the home town Gators. Mike (Generals Sign Guy) Kerr and his buddy Chuck Harris will become Waynesboro fans 3 & 4 to complete the trek. Mike has been a big part of us being able to share as much info as possible across the Valley and I am looking forward to adding both Mike & Chuck to the ATV-60 Wall of Fame tomorrow night. The duo from Kate Collins Field won't be the only ones to collect their final passport stamp tomorrow as the family of Jeff and Diane Buckley head north to Front Royal for the Wranglers- Cardinals contest. The Buckley's and their two daughters have been Around The Valley and then some with Diane's job of Wranglers General Manager but they missed out on the teams first trip up to the Bing. We mentioned Jeff and his being there every step of

Playoffs start to take shape after Night 49 Around The Valley

NEW MARKET.....000...030...010-4/6/3 LURAY.................220...010...00X-5/9/0 Attn:445 Time: 2:47 Once again the Battle for the Mountain lived up to its hype( good thing because I am one of the ones that does the hyping) as the Luray Wranglers hung on to a 5-4 lead late in the game to clinch the season series 3 games to 1. All three of the Wranglers wins in the series came by 1 run and came with a fair amount of drama down the stretch. The first win at Bulldog Field came in the 11TH inning and the game Friday night appeared to be heading down a similar path. Jeff Jefferson ( Liberty U.) hit a two run home run off of the scoreboard to put the Wranglers up 2-0 behind the pitching of Alex Koronis ( Miamai ). The Wranglers added two more runs to the lead to make it 4-0 until Brandon Kirsch (NW Missouri State) connected for a 3-run homer to pull the Rebels to within 4-3 in the fifth inning. The two bullpens took over at that point to limit each team to just 1 more run over the final

Harrisonburg @ Woodstock also on Tap for Night #49

Another big game for the teams taking the field happens tonight up at Central High School in Woodstock. The Harrisonburg Turks and the host Woodstock River Bandits are currently tied for the 8TH and final playoff spot. The Turks still have 10 games remaining due to a pair of rained out games left to make up (both at home) while Woodstock has just 8 games remaining. The winner of tonight's 7:30 PM contest will have a leg up in the battle for the remaining playoff spot. Tonight also has the North's #2 Fauquier traveling to Winchester to face the team just below them in the standings. The Gators have a 1 & 1/2 game lead over the Royals so once again the winner of this contest will see immediate dividends . A Fauquier win and they will have a 2 & 1/2 game lead but if the Royals are victorious they will pull to within 1/2 game of second place!

Has it really been 7 weeks already ? Day 49 of Around The Valley

It's time again for the next round of the Battle of/for the Mountain. New Market will cross the Gap tonight and come over to Bulldog Field to play the Luray Wranglers in game #4 of the series. Luray won games one and two by 1 run with one victory coming at each park before New Market answered with a convincing victory in Game #3 back at Rebel Park. That defeat back on July 1ST seemed to awaken the sleeping Bear inside the Wranglers. Luray has captured 8 of 10 games since then if you include their exhibition tilt against the Vienna Senators. Just as impressive as the win totals has been the runs put on the board by Skipper Mike Bocock's nine.14-16-11-16-6-7-2-5-12-19 (108 or an average of 10.8 runs per game). The New Market Rebels come into the contest tonight fresh off a 6-2 home victory over Haymarket last night. The victory over the Senators gives the Rebels a 3-3 record over their past six games and pulled the team to within just 2 games of the eighth and fina

One more chance to visit with A DBU Patriot !

Above- Chris at the plate/ Below- Chris with the Bogel family Our paths crossed with a Dallas Baptist University Patriot for the 1ST time late last summer when left handed reliever Wayne Dowling came to Luray to pitch for the Wranglers and was in need of a place to stay. We spent the remainder of the season hosting Wayne and as it turns out it was just the beginning for the Carter family and DBU ! I made a trip out to Lubbock, Texas to watch Wayne pitch at the end of his senior season. The Patriots were playing a twin bill against the Red Raiders and I met a few remarkable people that day. The list included Lacey Dowling , Clay Kelly and his aunt and uncle, Chris Haney and Josh Wilson. I was also able to visit that day with Wayne and another former Wrangler Drew Pirtle . We fast forward to the start of the 2008 VBL season and the DBU players are busy as they earned their first ever NCAA Tourney Birth! Clay Kelly (We miss him) was on his way to stay the summer with us but that wou

Update on the 6 remaining playoff spots..Day #48

Luray and Waynesboro are in the playoffs and figure to be the top two seeds and then it becomes a little more interesting . The next group of teams are battling for spots 3 thru 6. Lets take a quick look at those four teams: Team.................. Over/Under .500..................... Games Left Fauquier Gators............+8............................................ 8 Covington .......................+5............................................ 9 Winchester.....................+5............................................ 9 Staunton .........................+2............................................ 8 That was a huge win for the Gators tonight against Covington . It gives Fauquier a 1&1/2 game lead for the third spot in the playoffs. The final five teams are chasing the final two spots in the playoffs: Haymarket (-7), Woodstock and Harrisonburg (-8), Front Royal and New Market (-12) The Rebels and Cardinals are both down to just 8 games left on their schedule as is

Here is on VBL glitch we might could fix and easy !

There are a number of things that would make the VBL even a better league than it already is. Some are pie in the sky, some are attainable with a little help from a few folks. The one I want to address is the sharing of out of town scores over both the PA and over the web cast . This has slipped over the past year or two as not all parks have land lines in their press box and to some teams the other scores are just as important to them. Last night / tonight(?) at Luray we were able to share 4 of the final 5 scores before we left the park and we had a partial score on the final one. So how did we do it and did anyone notice? Yes people noticed and here is how we did it: Winchester 5- Waynesboro 2 @ Kate Collins-These updates were coming by text on my cell phone from Generals Sign Mike. Mike is following his Generals every night either by web cast, radio or at the ball park. Benji sent some text updates as well. Fauquier 8- Covington 7 @ FHS - Buck gets the credit for the fin

When the cell phone rang at 7:52 PM and I saw it was from Bruce Alger...

I knew when the vibrate on my cell phone went off at 7:52 PM that Bruce was calling with great news. How did I know? When we are both doing PA work at our respective parks, there is little time to take our eye off of the game. The great news from Bruce- We just had another fan make it to the finish line with their passport! Mrs. Kay Helsey is a host Mom for the New Market Rebels and she just returned to Rebel Park where the New Market nine were playing the Haymarket Senators. The call was a short one but a great one none the less as Kay will be the fifth person to toss out a 1ST pitch over in New Market. The Rebels are down to 3 home games left pending a late season playoff run so we will be looking forward to being there to greet Kay at her ceremony! Congrats to the newest ATV-60 loopster !

Wranglers defeat Staunton Braves 19-5/ 2ND VBL Team to clinch Post season spot!

Luray (24-10) continued its trend from the entire 2008 season of combining excellent starting pitching with some explosive offense. The Wranglers reached double figures for the 10TH time this season to turn back the visiting Staunton Braves by a final score of 19-5 in VBL action Thursday night at Bulldog Field. Staunton...000...000...032... 5-11-2 Luray........025...020...46X... 19-19-1 Luray starter Drew Rucinski (Ohio State) pitched six strong innings of three hit baseball and left with a 9-0 lead. Rucinski walked two batters while striking out 10 during his outing and faced just 21 batters, only three over the six inning minimum. While the Buckeye's night ended after six innings his team was just getting started. Jeff Jefferson (Liberty) and Chris Rey (South Florida) hit Grand Slams in the 7TH and 8TH innings respectively . Give credit to the Braves (19-17) for keeping at it despite trailing 13-0 heading into the top of the eighth inning. Staunton scratched out 5 runs o

ATV-60 Pic on its way to The Daily Review in Morgan City, La.

I just finished reading another great 1 on 1 written by John Leonard from his recent sit down with Woodstock's Gary Kahn . Two people visiting together that have both managed to combine athletics and academics! Head over to ATVL for a chance to read the story. Right at the end of the story I received a neat phone call concerning the Sports Editor (Jon Martin) of the hometown paper of New Market's David Burch. Burch (U of New Orleans) is listed as being from Berwick , La and Jon's newspaper is from Morgan City. Mr. Martin was interested in running one of my/our pictures from the All-Star game down in Covington . The actual photo in question was taken in the lobby of the McDonald's there in Covington as we were waiting to order a late dinner before making the trip back to New Market. David and his father were in line next to Bruce Alger with me standing behind the three of them when the light bulb came on- here is a great shot for a Rebel family photo! I talk about the

Night 47- Takes us back to the Bing to say thanks to Linda Keen!

Our 7TH trip up to the stadium that is the "Bing" gave us an opportunity to tip the ATV-60 Cap to another supporter that completed the Around The Valley Loop. Mrs. Linda Keen managed to sneak across the finish line ahead of the remainder of the VBL Board to join New Market's Bruce Alger as the two team/league reps to complete their ATV-60 passports. I had the pleasure of visiting with Linda for the first half of the game and our conversation was insightful as always. One of the hot topics of conversation throughout the season has been how many officials from both the teams and the VBL would be collecting the stamps along with the fans. [Editors note- Mrs. Betty Phillips (Jim's wife) falls somewhere between the two categories]. Betty is both a Winchester fan and has ties to the team as Mrs. GM... My answer to this was very simple- Our friend Bruce Alger didn't manage to keep his passport in tact and get it stamped at 11 different parks so he could be applauded-

Another "General" Update from GeneralsSignGuyMike

Extra, Extra Read all about it! Generals win again in extra innings! Written by: GeneralsSignGuyMike (Michael Kerr) I am going to give u as accurate report as I can get from not being at the Waynesboro Generals vs Staunton Braves game from John Moxie Stadium. The Generals pulled off another extra inning victory in the 10th inning winning 8-5 vs Staunton. They are 4-0 in extra innings this year, was 2-0 last year both in extra innings and that I know of have lost an extra inning game possibly since 2005 since I have kept records of the Generals. Adam Liberatore got a no decision tonight he was 5-0 coming into tonight and had the lowest E.R.A in the league. The E.R.A will go up a little due to him giving up 4 runs I think, (maybe 3). The Staunton Braves scored in the 1st, then the Generals tied it at 1 in the 3rd. Then in the 5th Staunton put 3 more on the board to take a 4-1 lead. The Generals finally started to get more hits and scoring runs on a great start from the Braves starting pi

Chris and Crystal Graham's ATV-60 & ATVL Feature in The New Dominion Magazine!

It dawned on me as I was trying to devise a plan to get copies of the magazine to each of the 11 parks I was forgetting about all the folks that read our writing and look at our pictures but don't live in Virginia! The link to the page where you can read about both our adventure (Around The Valley in 60 Days) and John Leonard's site (All Things Valley League) is . Thank Chris for the words and Crystal for the design and we THANK them both for not just the story but all the help they have provided during our journey! For those of you that take the time to read the story there are only two notes I need to make : 1. My daughter Sabrena - her name is spelled with an E not an I. No trouble there Chris- people tell me all the time that the rest of the world spells it right and that I goofed up. 2.The line that says- I can't ask people to drive to Covington or Haymarket . This line should say I can't ask people FROM Covington or Haymarket to

Pictures from the 11 Parks

I made this to honor our 11-day trek through the Valley Baseball League. I hope you all enjoy looking at it. No worries, the stars jumping on your screen are only for effect...

New Market at Front Royal in Photos

Dropping off the magazines from The New Dominion The Bing- and all of its beauty Bob and Nolan meet with the umpires Eager fans waiting the 1ST pitch Nice Bunt! UNC -Pembroke's Kevin Dietrich pulling into 3RD base Action photo Game Shot Trying to capture the angle of the park Bennet Davis getting ready to hit Rebels meeting at the mound Congrats on the Cards side Great camera work by Rebecca Steve Owens on the Hill Mr. & Mrs.(Lynne) Bruce Alger and Mrs. Linda Keen More Rebels supporters Front Row Fred in the middle of the action He likes the Dodgers- She likes the Padres-I like them both! A large number of Rebels fans made the trip They were everywhere you looked Mr. Pete Mooney and a buffed Master Alger Completed Loopsters - Noah & Melissa Dodge Mr. & Mrs. Greg Brill in the web cast booth (Cathy) Linda and her husband Bob visit with a friend Another friend of the Keens- wearing a birthday present the Keen's brought back from the All Star Game in Covington W

Breaking News from Around the Valley- Generals are in the VBL Playoffs/ Wranglers magic number down to 1!

Following the action around the VBL tonight with a little help from Generals Sign Guy Mike we are now able to report that the Waynesboro Generals have clinched the 1ST playoff birth of the eight that are awarded. Waynesboro (24-10) rallied from down 4-1 to the red hot Staunton Braves to take a 5-4 lead only to have the Braves tie it up in the bottom of the ninth. Pinch hitter Brandon Sizemore hit a 3-run double in the top of the 10TH inning to give the visitors an 8-5 victory. When word came out of Memorial Stadium that the visiting Winchester Royals had defeated the Turks by a score of 4-0, they were dancing in the streets down at Kate Collins. Okay- dancing in the streets might be a reach but I am sure Waynesboro skipper Lawrence Nesselrodt had told his team- you can't defend the title if you don't make the playoffs. Congrats to Jim Critzer , Lawrence and his staff and all of the gang that supports the Generals ! Luray was idle tonight but the Wranglers magic number fo

John L. is back at it- Check out the great 1 on 1 with NM's Riley Cooper

If Rebecca was awake she would plug in a fancy way to have you click over to All Things Valley League but I am on my own right now so- I just finished John's 1 on 1 with Florida Gator Riley Cooper and you will enjoy the read..Head over to for the interview. Another solid effort!

Final thoughts as Day 46 rolls into Day 47- 1ST VBL Playoff birth on the line Wednesday night

Good Night or to some Good Morning!- One more look at my notes as Day 46 and Day 47 collide. Waynesboro (23-10) travels to cross county rival Staunton on Wednesday and with a Generals victory coupled with a Winchester win at Harrisonburg , Waynesboro would clinch the 1ST VBL playoff birth. Waynesboro and Luray (23-10) both have reduced their magic number down to two but the Wranglers have Wednesday night off so skipper Lawrence Nesselrodt and his team can reach the post season tonight with a little help from the Royals. ATV-60 will be traveling up to the Bing tonight to celebrate our newest addition to the ATV-60 Wall of Fame- Mrs. Linda Keen. Linda has completed her Passport to become the 15TH person to make the entire VBL Loop. I have to believe "The Commish " has been to all of the parks but we will need to check his passport. Bruce Alger and his New Market Rebels will be facing off with the Cards after the ceremony. Andrew Struckmeyer travels with the Vienna Sen

Day #46- Photos and a thanks to the Sens Andrew Struckmeyer for a days worth of help

Early game action A packed house in the Bulldog Field Press Box Waynesboro's Greg Meleski at the dish Welcome to the VBL ! Rapids owner Jim Crothers Jim and Missy Miller take in part of the game The Commish is the man in the Middle up in the stands A little fun with the post game 1 handshakes Exit Generals / Enter Wranglers Generals rally around Owner Jim Critzer and Skipper Lawrence Nesselrodt . Skip allowed me to stick my head in long enough to say congrats on both the W and the class they displayed in representing our beloved VBL . Bill Turner (L) is always quick to tell me that Jim Critzer is the man that deserves the credit for both the Wranglers and Bill being involved with the VBL ! The Generals line up for the post game meal Todd Thompson catches up with Dave Biery VBL President or as I like to call Mr. Biery , "The Commish ". Some of the many supporters of the Generals that made the drive up for the game Bill Turner joins the group of Jeff Jefferson suppo