Friday, June 3, 2011

Roots in the Valley: The Valley League

It's late. I'm tired. I'll continue the story of where I am from tomorrow. Tonight I'll just mention briefly the event that, for John Paul and me, has signaled the beginning of summer since he was seven years old: the opening night of Valley League Baseball.

The Shenandoah Valley is home to one of several special summer leagues for college players. They are sponsored by Major League Baseball and use wood bats (which means a lot to me--a baseball bat is not supposed to go "ping"!). Promising college players from all around the country come to play in the two month summer league. It means that for two months we have a real home town baseball team right here in Front Royal: the illustrious Front Royal Cardinals. The games are fun, admission is cheap, the seats are great, and we have a nice little ballpark of almost minor league quality. And it's only five minutes from our house. John Paul and I have gone to games regularly since 2004. Mommy and the girls have come a few times, but they don't like it much. We love it.

Actually this does relate to the theme of heritage. It is a piece of this small town that is part of my son's life. It's something he will always remember. Baseball has something to do with roots, as I have learned from my own curious allegiances. We have the Washington Nationals. But this is really special: real baseball right in town. Front Royal Cardinals' season is something unique.