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Chris Graham | El Presidente

You might have seen the news in Friday’s News Virginian about me being named president of the Waynesboro Generals Valley League baseball team. If not, check it out here. The story is by NV sports editor Rob Sisk.
The next year is going to feel presidential, alright. It’s not quite turning around a tanking economy and fighting two wars, but my plate is full – with a corporate restructuring to manage, for starters, plus a whole host of community partnerships to begin to build back up, a website to blow up and restart from scratch.

Oh, and we have to hire a new manager. And work out a new plan for handling concessions next summer. Not to mention figuring out a way to increase our marketing sponsorships on an order of 50 to 100 percent so we can get out of the red and into the black in 2010.

To borrow from another presidential type, yes, we can do it. I believe that with every fiber of my being, otherwise I wouldn’t commit myself to the year-round volunteer gig that is running a Valley League baseball team.

We proved this year that we can have success off the field even against an off-year on the field and against Mother Nature. This year’s cool, wet June and July hit us harder than the the Staunton Braves’ updated version of Murderers Row did, washing out several games and dampening attendance even when it didn’t actually rain because the threat was there every single solitary night.

All that accounted for, we still increased attendance 15 percent over 2008, which is saying something considering that the ’08 team was at the top of the league standings from day one and made a deep playoff run.

A run of injuries hurt us on the field this year, but we in the organization are looking at what happened down the stretch, in particular, as motivation for a pennant drive in ’10.

The organization is also ready to unleash 22 nights of fun off the field on Waynesboro next summer as well. Be prepared when you show up to hear your name called to participate in an on-field, between-innings ’round-the-bases race or to throw out the first pitch or have one of our starting pitchers give you a buzzcut or any of a hundred things we’re going to try to do to add an element of I gotta see what they’re doing tonight to a night at the ol’ ballyard.

It’s T-minus 10 months and counting ’til Opening Night, and we’re already thinking hard about what we’re going to do next year, and we’d like to hear your ideas and ask you to get involved if you want to be a part of the team.

Drop me a line at if you want to dish.

Honestly, we can use all the help that we can get.

That’s how my presidency is going to work, anyway.

Declaring war on the Braves after they took seven of eight from us this summer would be a good place to start, wouldn’t it?


– Column by Chris Graham

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augusta free press news