The New Market Rebels in Print
April 22, 2009 - As many of you know, the New Market Rebels 2009 season will be the subject of my upcoming book, Shenandoah Summer: Safe at Home in New Market, Virginia. For those of you unfamiliar with the Rebels, they are a member of the 12 team Valley Baseball league, a wooden bat, collegiate league that plays a 44 game schedule in June and July. The Valley League is pure baseball and New Market's Rebel Park just might be the best ballpark in America in which to enjoy a baseball game.
Though never the main subject, the Rebels have appeared in previous books, most notably James C. Roberts' Hardball on the Hill: Baseball Stories from Our Nation's Capital. This collection of essays examines a wide variety of topics including a chapter entitled, "Shenandoah" that profiles the New Market Rebels. Written in 2000, the chapter contains quotes from Mo Weber and then-president of the Rebels, Larry Strawderman. It also discusses a fight that took place between the Rebels and Harrisonburg, and presents an accurate view of New Market's charm and the affection that its citizens have for their team. Also mentioned is Brad Ziegler, a member of that 2000 squad who just this past summer burst onto the major league scene with the Oakland Athletics by not allowing a run scored in his first 39.1 innings in the majors, a new record.
In researching Shenandoah Summer, I also came across a print-on-demand book entitled, I See Me In Your Eyes by Joe Graves, who as it turned out, was a teammate of Lorenzo Bundy's in New Market in the late '70s. Bundy is the current Arizona Diamondbacks' first base coach. This book, in Graves' words, "is a collection of stories about my life, my son Jake, and baseball." Chapter 4 details his time in the Valley.
Bob Dart, a national correspondent for Cox Newspapers from Vienna Virginia, has also written a book entitled, Down Home: Dispatches From Dixie that contains a chapter dedicated to the New Market Rebels, but I must confess that I haven't read this work.
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