Author: John Leonard
About twelve days ago, when Charlottesville lefthander Sam Crawford (Georgia Tech) blew strike three past Strasburg’s Bryson Horne (Columbus State), it not only finished off Crawford’s dominating 5 ? shutout relief innings, but it also finished off the Strasburg Express in the Valley League championship series, sending the Charlottesville Tom Sox to a dogpile on the mound to celebrate the franchise’s second Valley League title in the last three years.
While many players have already headed home, and as we wait for the league to crown a champion (which could happen as early as Tuesday night), let’s take a look at some notable achievements from the last eight weeks.
Perusing my Twitter feed a few days ago, I happened on a post about summer college league playoffs. The user suggested a new paradigm for getting kids to play hard right up to the end of the season: the winner of the regular season goes home first. Everyone else stays for the playoffs. Losers in each round move on to face the next team, while winners get to go home.
Last Saturday afternoon, officials from 10 of the 11 Valley League teams huddled in a dark banquet hall at the Southern Kitchen in New Market to hash out decisions that could potentially change a college player’s life: who would appear in Sunday’s Valley League All-Star Game.
Of the roughly 400 players who come from near and far to play summer baseball in the Valley League, almost every single one aspires to someday play professional baseball and perhaps, maybe, eventually advance to the major leagues.
Of the many, many things to do in Harrisonburg on a summer evening, few have been around as long as the Harrisonburg Turks, a local baseball team with a tradition stretching back almost 100 years. The Turks open their season at 7:30pm on Friday, May 31st, with a home game at Veterans Memorial Park against the Charlottesville Tom Sox.