Which is the Most Successful Franchise?

I haven’t posted a holistic view of the Valley League franchises in a number of years, so it’s time.

Seven Valley League teams have been in the league since 2001: Covington, Front Royal, Harrisonburg, New Market, Staunton, Winchester, and Waynesboro. Woodstock joined in 2004, Strasburg in 2011, Charles Town/Purcellville in 2013, and Charlottesville in 2015. Several other teams were active in this time span: Luray, Haymarket/Aldie, Fauquier, Loudoun, and Rockbridge.

So which teams have the best winning percentage? Worst? Who has done the best in the playoffs? Won the most titles? The best overall?

Here’s the completely ridiculous idea. I decided to assign a point total to various achievements.

Here’s what I decided to call “Franchise Points:”

  • 1 point for a season finished at .500 or better
  • 1 point for 30+ regular season wins (sort of a bonus for a truly outstanding year)
  • 1 point for winning the regular season division title (or in the case of 2014, 2010, 2007, and 2006, winning the regular season pennant, since there were no divisions those years)
  • 1 point for losing in the first round of the playoffs (or you could call this a point for qualifying for the playoffs)
  • 2 points for losing in the semifinals
  • 3 points for losing in the finals
  • 5 points for winning the title (what we play for, obviously)

Got it? I know, it’s ridiculous, but it’s fun.

So let’s start with winning percentage, split into two sections- the “original” 7, and the rest…

 The “Original” 7 W L Pct
Harrisonburg 439 286 0.606
Winchester 401 326 0.552
Waynesboro 377 349 0.519
Staunton 374 349 0.517
New Market 363 362 0.501
Covington 338 385 0.467
Front Royal 338 388 0.466

I am not surprised at all that almost all of the teams are between .450 and .550 (roughly), but look at the Turks! They are an astounding 153 games over .500 in 17 years. Wow!

Not only are Staunton and Waynesboro close in proximity to each other, but their records are almost identical- they are only 3 wins apart.

Now the rest:

 The “Partials” W L Pct
Charlottesville 65 61 0.516
(2015-2017)
Luray 261 251 0.510
(2001-2012)
Purcellville/Charles Town 107 105 0.505
(2013-2017)
Strasburg 148 150 0.497
(2011-2017)
Fauquier 62 70 0.470
(2007-2009)
Aldie/Haymarket 222 256 0.464
(2005-2015)
Woodstock 250 351 0.416
(2004-2017)
Rockbridge 84 134 0.385
(2009-2013)
Loudoun 15 28 0.349 (2004)

It didn’t take the Tom Sox long to climb over .500, did it? Luray was very successful over its 12 years, and Strasburg and Purcellville are floating right around .500. Woodstock is 101 games under .500 in 13 years, but is still ahead of Rockbridge and Loudoun in winning percentage.

Now, let’s take a look at Franchise Points. We’ll split it into two groups again first, but because I have also averaged the number by how many seasons the team has existed, we’ll combine them in on last chart.

Team Franchise Points Avg
Winchester 52 3.06
Waynesboro 48 2.82
Harrisonburg 45 2.65
Covington 43 2.53
Staunton 34 2.00
New Market 34 2.00
Front Royal 25 1.47
  • Winchester: 6 division titles, won 3 championships (2001, 2003, 2004)
  • Waynesboro: 5 division titles, also 3 championships (2007, 2013, 2014)
  • Harrisonburg: 4 division titles, 1 championship (2012); oddly, the Turks have lost in the first round of the playoffs 12 times in the last 17 years, including the last 5 in a row
  • Covington: 3 division titles (but none since 2005), won two championships (2005, 2011)
  • Staunton: 3 division titles, 0 championships; the Braves made the finals in 2004, 2006, and 2015, but have not won a championship since 1999
  • New Market: 1 division title (2006), and one championship (2002)
  • Front Royal: 2 division titles (2009, 2015), 0 championships, one finals (2010); Cardinals won their only championship in 1986

The “partials:”

Team Franchise Points Avg
Strasburg 25 3.57
Luray 35 2.92
Charlottesville 8 2.67
Purcellville/Charles Town 10 2.00
Aldie/Haymarket 21 1.91
Rockbridge 5 1.00
Woodstock 11 0.79
Fauquier 2 0.67
Loudoun 0 0
  • Strasburg: 1 division title, 2 championships (2015, 2016). The Express did not make the playoffs in their inaugural season, and then went like this: lost in the 1st round, lost in finals, lost in semifinals, won title, won title, lost in finals
  • Luray: 3 division titles, 3 championships (2006, 2008, 2010)
  • Purcellville/Charles Town: 1 division title, 0 championships
  • Aldie/Haymarket: 1 division title (2010), 1 championship (2009)
  • Rockbridge: 0 division titles, 0 championships- Rapids made the finals in 2011
  • Woodstock: 1 division title (2013), but the River Bandits have not advanced to the finals yet as a franchise
  • Fauquier: in their 3 years of existence, the Gators did not win a division title or championship. They lost in the first round in 2008
  • Loudoun: the Rangers finished last in their only season

Let’s put them all together, what do you say?

Team Franchise Points Avg
Strasburg 25 3.57
Winchester 52 3.06
Luray 35 2.92
Waynesboro 48 2.82
Charlottesville 8 2.67
Harrisonburg 45 2.65
Covington 43 2.53
Staunton 34 2.00
New Market 34 2.00
Purcellville/Charles Town 10 2.00
Aldie/Haymarket 21 1.91
Front Royal 25 1.47
Rockbridge 5 1.00
Woodstock 11 0.79
Fauquier 2 0.67
Loudoun 0 0

What conclusions can we draw? Well, you can see the numbers for yourself. The Harrisonburg Turks are far and away the best regular season team, and with the flawed system of “Franchise Points,” Strasburg and Winchester have achieved the most.

So, what say you, Brilliant Reader?

 

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