Story by Chris Graham
Staunton Braves fans know their baseball.
This is a warning to Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, who will be throwing out the first pitch at Sunday night’s Staunton-Woodstock game in John Moxie Memorial Stadium.
They’re going to expect a strike, Mr. Governor.
“We’re excited that he picked Staunton,” Braves co-owner Kay Snyder told The Augusta Free Press. “There are nine other Valley League cities that he could have chosen, but he chose to come here to see the Braves, and we’re glad to have him.”
The governor’s office initiated the contact with the Valley League team, Snyder said.
“They said that the governor is interested in promoting Virginia tourism, and that he considers Valley League baseball to be an important tourist attraction in the Shenandoah Valley,” Snyder said.
“They also said that he’s a big baseball fan, which I didn’t know before,” Snyder said.
Warner is visiting the Queen City, spokesman Kevin Hall said, “to do what hundreds of families across the Shenandoah Valley do every summer, and that’s take in a Valley League baseball game.”
“Gov. Warner has been a huge supporter of Virginia’s arts, cultural and recreational assets. The same attractions that draw tourists to our state also draw companies who are looking to relocate or expand their operations,” Hall said.
Snyder said the publicity from the governor’s visit “can only help get the word out to people. The kind of exposure that a visit from the governor can bring can only be good for us.”
“We average 800 to 900 fans per night in Staunton. Of course, Staunton is a baseball town. We have loyal fans who have been following the team for years and years. It will be nice to add Gov. Warner to our fan base,” Snyder said.