It won’t be easy. I was all geared up for a repeat after our organization won the 2013 Valley League championship.
That dogpile – won’t ever forget that. I was on the field, video camera in hand, to capture the moment so that we’d all remember it. Still can’t believe, watching it, that Tyler Bocock didn’t break his neck after that somersault over the pile.
The issue isn’t love or lack thereof for the Generals. It’s time. Being involved in the operations of a summer baseball team is a year-round job that intensifies in June, July and if your team does well in those months into August.
My wife, Crystal, who handled marketing and sponsorships for the organization, and I each put in 250 hours a year. That’s 12 full-time-equivalent weeks between us, which is a lot no matter who you are, but when you also run two small businesses outside of that kind of intense volunteer effort, yeah, wow.
The hard part for me will be that those two intense months each summer helped us make what I hope are lifelong friends. David and Teresa Gauldin, who are also stepping away, worked even harder than we did. Mary McDermott was a friend before we joined on with the Generals organization, but our friendship intensified over summer nights at Kate Collins Field.
Diane and Brian Lundstrom are top-notch in my book, always will be. Brian is easily the best public-address announcer in the Valley League.
Jeff Fife could do on-field promotions for a minor-league team (if we ever get one here in Waynesboro!).
Kris Neil from WKDW stepped in this past summer to join me in the Internet radio booth, and despite his initial misgivings blossomed into the top play-by-play guy in the VBL.
It’s fitting for me that our tenure with the organization ended with the championship (and the dogpile). As a writer, I couldn’t have scripted a better ending.
The championship run in 2013 was special not just because of the fact that it ended with us being handed the big trophy, though that was nice. The final two weeks of the 2013 season were a traveling road show. Waynesboro fans caravanned I-81 back and forth to support the boys in Harrisonburg, New Market and Strasburg. We sat through rain, through tense endgames, through beanball wars and late rallies.
There’s a spirit to the Waynesboro Generals family that’s special in the VBL and across summer baseball.
Here’s to more caravans and dogpiles.