Valley Baseball League
PresidentR.W. "Porky" Bowman, Jr.
CommissionerR.W. "Porky" Bowman, Jr.
Motto"Gateway to the majors"
No. of teams12
Country United States
Most recent
Harrisonburg Turks
Official websiteValley Baseball League

The Valley Baseball League is an NCAA and MLB-sanctioned collegiate summer baseball league in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia.[1]

The league was started in 1923 and sanctioned by the NCAA in 1961. It has been a wooden bat league since 1993. It is one of almost a dozen leagues in the National Alliance of College Summer Baseball. The VBL is funded in part by a grant from Major League Baseball. The Valley League has produced well over 1,000 professional baseball players, including a record 79 former players drafted in the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

In 2007, the Valley Baseball League expanded to include one new team with the addition of the Fauquier Gators. Another team was planned to be added in Lexington, Virginia but difficulties with the lighting system delayed the team's addition to the league. The VBL announced in July 2008 that the Rockbridge Rapids would start play in the 2009 season, but the team folded a couple years later. In 2011 the Strasburg Express entered the league and in 2015 the Charlottesville Tom Sox entered the league.[2]

The league canceled the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[3][4]

The Culpeper Cavaliers joined as the league's 12th team in 2023.[5]

The Harrisonburg Turks host the Winchester Royals in a Valley Baseball League game in June 2022.

Current teams

John Moxie Memorial Stadium, home of the Staunton Braves since the Valley League's inception in 1923.
Team City Stadium Capacity
Charlottesville Tom Sox Charlottesville CHO Airport Field 1,200
Covington Lumberjacks Covington Casey Field 2,000
Culpeper Cavaliers Culpeper Culpeper County High School
Front Royal Cardinals Front Royal Bing Crosby Stadium 1,500
Harrisonburg Turks Harrisonburg Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park 1,200
New Market Rebels New Market Rebel Park 550
Purcellville Cannons Purcellville Fireman's Field 2,000
Staunton Braves Staunton John Moxie Stadium
Strasburg Express Strasburg First Bank Park
Winchester Royals Winchester Bridgeforth Field 1,200
Woodstock River Bandits Woodstock Central High School Field 796
Waynesboro Generals Waynesboro Kate Collins Field at Union Home Mortgage Park 350

Former teams

Team City Years Active
Aldie Senators Aldie 2013-2015
Charles Town Cannons Charles Town, WV 2013-2015
Charlottesville Hornets Charlottesville 1967-1974
Elkton Blue Sox Elkton 1954-1957
Fauquier Gators Warrenton 2007-2009
Haymarket Battle Cats Haymarket 2005
Haymarket Senators Haymarket 2006-2012
Loudoun Rangers Middleburg 2004
Luray Colonials Luray 1963-1969
Luray Wranglers Luray 2001-2012
Madison Blue Jays Madison 1969-1988
Rockbridge Rapids Lexington 2009-2013
Shenandoah Indians Shenandoah 1958-1975

Season structure

The regular season consists of 44 games played beginning the first week of June and continuing until late July. Through the 2019 season, teams played all inter-division opponents 3 times and intra-division opponents 5 or 6 times. Beginning in 2021, teams no longer travel to every other ballpark in a single season: rather, all inter-division meetings were scheduled as a single, 7-inning weekend doubleheader. This format was continued in 2022 but with the home teams reversed.

In 2023, the league eliminated divisions and moved to a scheduling model where each team played each other four times for an expanded 44-game schedule, an addition of two games from the previous 42.

In 2024, the league again adopted a new scheduling model where teams play games within their respective divisions for the entirety of the season. The league also reverted to a 40-game season with a change of playoff formatting.

Playoff format

Playoffs begin immediately following the regular season and continue into early August. In all series, the higher seeded team hosts games 1 and 3. No off-days are taken except for rain-outs and while waiting on other series' to finish.

First Round
#1 vs. #8 (Best 2 of 3 games)
#2 vs. #7 (Best 2 of 3 games)
#3 vs. #6 (Best 2 of 3 games)
#4 vs. #5 (Best 2 of 3 games)
#1/#8 vs. #4/#5 (Best 2 of 3 games)
#2/#7 vs. #3/#6 (Best 2 of 3 games)
Matchup of semifinal series winners (Best 2 of 3 games)

VBL champions

Year VBL Champion Runner-up Series
2023 Harrisonburg Turks Charlottesville Tom Sox 2-0
2022 Charlottesville Tom Sox Woodstock River Bandits 2-0
2021 Strasburg Express Waynesboro Generals 2-0
2020 None[a] None N/A
2019 Charlottesville Tom Sox Strasburg Express 2-0
2018 New Market Rebels Charlottesville Tom Sox 2-0
2017 Charlottesville Tom Sox Strasburg Express 2-1
2016 Strasburg Express Waynesboro Generals 2-0
2015 Strasburg Express Staunton Braves 2-1
2014 Waynesboro Generals Charles Town Cannons 2-1
2013 Waynesboro Generals Strasburg Express 2-1
2012 Harrisonburg Turks Winchester Royals 3-1
2011 Covington Lumberjacks Rockbridge Rapids 2-1
2010 Luray Wranglers Front Royal Cardinals 2-0
2009 Haymarket Senators Covington Lumberjacks 3-1
2008 Luray Wranglers Covington Lumberjacks 3-0
2007 Waynesboro Generals Luray Wranglers 4-1
2006 Luray Wranglers Staunton Braves 3-2
2005 Covington Lumberjacks New Market Rebels 2-1
2004 Winchester Royals Staunton Braves 2-0
2003 Winchester Royals New Market Rebels 3-2
2002 New Market Rebels Covington Lumberjacks 3-1
2001 Winchester Royals Covington Lumberjacks 3-2
2000 Harrisonburg Turks Staunton Braves 3-0
1999 Staunton Braves Winchester Royals 3-0
1998 Waynesboro Generals Staunton Braves 3-0
1997 Winchester Royals Front Royal Cardinals Forfeit
1996 Staunton Braves Harrisonburg Turks 3-1
1995 Staunton Braves Waynesboro Generals 3-0
1994 New Market Rebels Harrisonburg Turks 3-2
1993 Winchester Royals Staunton Braves 3-2
1992 Winchester Royals Harrisonburg Turks 3-1
1991 Harrisonburg Turks Front Royal Cardinals 3-1
1990 Winchester Royals Staunton Braves 3-2
1989 New Market Rebels Harrisonburg Turks 3-1
1988 Waynesboro Generals Madison Blue Jays 3-2
1987 Winchester Royals Waynesboro Generals 3-0
1986 Front Royal Cardinals Harrisonburg Turks 3-1
1985 Staunton Braves New Market Rebels 3-0
1984 Waynesboro Generals Harrisonburg Turks 3-0
1983 Winchester Royals Staunton Braves 4-3
1982 Winchester Royals New Market Rebels 3-0
1981 Winchester Royals New Market Rebels 4-0
1980 Winchester Royals New Market Rebels 3-1
1979 Winchester Royals Madison Blue Jays 4-3
1978 Madison Blue Jays Harrisonburg Turks 4-1
1977 Harrisonburg Turks Waynesboro Generals 4-0
1976 Staunton Braves Harrisonburg Turks 4-0
1975 Madison Blue Jays Harrisonburg Turks 4-2
1974 Shenandoah Indians Waynesboro Generals 4-2
1973 Shenandoah Indians Madison Blue Jays 4-2
1972 Shenandoah Indians Charlottesville Hornets 4-2
1971 Harrisonburg Turks Shenandoah Indians 4-0
1970 Harrisonburg Turks New Market Rebels 4-1
1969 Harrisonburg Turks Staunton Braves 4-0
1968 Luray Colonials Harrisonburg Turks 4-0
1967 Luray Colonials Harrisonburg Turks 2-0
1966 Luray Colonials Shenandoah Indians 4-1
1965 Luray Colonials New Market Rebels 4-2
1964 Harrisonburg Turks Shenandoah Indians 4-0
1963 Shenandoah Indians New Market Rebels 4-1
1962 Harrisonburg Turks Shenandoah Indians 4-2
1961 Shenandoah Indians Harrisonburg Turks 4-0
1960 Shenandoah Indians Staunton Braves 4-3
1959 Harrisonburg Turks New Market Rebels 4-2
1958 Harrisonburg Turks New Market Rebels 4-3
1957 Staunton Braves Harrisonburg Turks 4-3
1956 Staunton Braves Shenandoah Indians 4-2
1955 Harrisonburg Turks Shenandoah Indians 4-3
1954 Staunton Braves Elkton Blue Sox 4-1
  1. ^ Season cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Championships per team

Not all teams have been with VBL since 1954. Throughout its history, teams have been removed and added.

The summer of 2008 was highlighted by a promotion called Around the Valley in 60 Days. This promotion was started by Crystal Clear Delivery and S. Carter Studios and encouraged patrons to visit all 11 parks in the 60-day season. The program was deemed a huge success as some fifty fans completed the program and attended all 11 ballparks.

Notable players

  • Rhett Lowder, Strasburg '21
  • Wyatt Langford, Charlottesville '21
  • References

    1. ^ Fisher, Marc (June 16, 2004). "Perfect Pitch". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
    2. ^ Hudtloff, Marty (February 5, 2015). "Tom Sox Chosen as Name of Charlottesville's New VBL Team". WVIR-TV. Archived from the original on February 5, 2015. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
    3. ^ "The 2020 Valley League Has Been Cancelled". (Press release). Valley Baseball League. April 2, 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
    4. ^ Hite, Patrick (April 2, 2020). "Valley Baseball League season canceled". The News Leader. Staunton, Virginia. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
    5. ^ Payne, Devin. "Summer college baseball coming to Culpeper in 2023". Culpeper Star-Exponent. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
    6. ^ "Cardinals That Made it to The Show". Front Royal Cardinals. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
    7. ^ "Eddy Rodríguez". Miami Hurricanes. Retrieved March 27, 2018.