Well, why else would you be reading this, right?
Here are some answers to a few fictitious questions as we get ready for the 2016 VBL season:
- When does the season start? The Valley League regular season begins June 1st, with four games on tap for the first evening.
- When’s the All-Star game? The All-Star game will be held on Sunday, July 10th, in Harrisonburg.
- Wait, wasn’t the All-Star game in Harrisonburg last year, too? What gives? Harrisonburg has hosted the last few All-Star games. The reasons I have been told include that with the turf field, a rain out is less likely, and Harrisonburg is a relatively central place in the League. The facilities are top-notch, also.
- If I attend just one game, what are the odds that I’ll see a future professional baseball player? I’m so glad you asked this question. I’ve been working on this project for quite a while, so I can say without hesitation: your odds are almost literally 100%. From 2006-2012, every single Valley League team had at least one future pro player on the roster. Results are still coming in for 2013-2015, so I’ll hold off on making any proclamations on that stretch of time.
- So what about a future major league player? Will I see one of those? This is much less likely. These numbers change quickly, but Luray had 8 major leaguers from 2005-2011, while Staunton has had 1 over the same span. Woodstock has had 4, Covington 3, Winchester 4, Harrisonburg 4, New Market 2, Front Royal 1, Waynesboro 1, Loudoun 1, Rockbridge 0, Haymarket 5, and Strasburg and Charles Town need more time. It’s very, very difficult to make the highest level!
- Does the Valley League have a Hall of Fame? It does now! The charter class should be announced at some point in 2016.
- Where can I go to get game scores, standings, and other information? Well, first of all, the Valley League official website will have oodles of information during the year. You can also check back here, too, where you will find scores, and a hitter and pitcher of the day each and every day of the season. (And usually other good performances, too.)
- Tell me about the structure of the league. I can do that. The League is split into two divisions. The North Division will have Purcellville, Front Royal, New Market, Winchester, Woodstock, and Strasburg. The South will have Charlottesville, Covington, Waynesboro, Staunton, and Harrisonburg.
- That looks like an unbalanced league. Will the League look to add a team soon? Probably not. Actually, it is somewhat more likely that the League will reduce to ten teams, instead of increase to 12. But as far as I know, no team has been targeted for “contraction” or anything like that.
- What about the playoffs? The regular season will end the last week of July (hard to say exactly when, as rain outs can destroy best-laid plans, but the last game is scheduled for July 26). The top four teams will make the playoffs. First round will be #1 vs. #4, and #2 vs. #3. Semi-finals will also be within the Division, and the Finals will be North vs. South winner. All rounds will be best of three.