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FAU in the Summer Leagues


Every summer, I head up to Virginia and catch some of the Valley League, a collegiate wood bat league. It's always a lot of fun. The stadiums are small, but have some character. The fans are absolutely rabid. Many of them are host families for the players, and these people love their baseball. In many towns, it is the biggest thing going on all summer, and the fans know the game (quite unlike the juvie wannabe Cubs "fans" who think we go to a game to see them as they consume what must be the 1st beer of their lives). A few years ago I was setting next to a couple that happened to be Anthony Mesa's host family.

My parents live between Staunton and Waynesboro, about 20 and 10 minutes away from each stadium, respectively. There are others, such as Harrisonburg and Charlottesville, that are about 30 minutes away. In short, it is easy to see somebody from FAU just about every day. If anyone happens to be traveling throught the Shenandoah Valley in June or July, or up near DC, there will be some FAU players you can see.

The FAU summer players as I know them by tracking the rosters are:

In the Valley League:
Staunton (VA) Braves: Kevin Abraham
Charles Town* (WV) Cannons: Weston Clemente, Gunnar Lambert
Woodstock (VA) River Bandits: Esteban Puerta

* Not to be confused with Charleston, the capital. Charles Town in in the eastern panhandle, almost due west of DC (people actually commute to DC from there)

In the Cal Ripken League, we have some on the Bethesda Big Train (I believe still owned or operated by Hugh Adam's father):
David McKay
Mark Nowatnick
Alex House

If you are heading towards New England, in the Cape Cod League:
Bourne (Monument Beach MA) Braves: CJ Chatham
Harwich (MA) Mariners: Sean Labsan

If anyone is going to up in the Shenandoah Valley, or up near DC, and wants to hook up for a game, let me know. I doubt I'll make any Cape Cod League games this summer.
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Good stuff. What do the other guys do over the summer? 
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There are some leagues here in Florida, Wisconsin, New York, and elsewhere, but I haven't found their rosters yet. So, their may be more. Last year we had about 18 guys playing in 8 different leagues. Archer was pitcher of the year or something similar a few years ago in a Florida league. I think that was between his junior and senior year. FAU will probably put out a full list soon - it takes about a week after the last game of the season to firm things up.

I don't think it is a coincidence that Bethesda Big Train (BBT) a lot of our pitchers. They'll keep and eye on them, and not let them throw too many innings. Otherwise we would be shutting them down a bit in fall practice. There seems to be a very nice connection between BBT and FAU. Bo Logan was the Ripken League MVP for BBT a few years ago, and he, Labsan and Rhodes played there last year. FAU has a pretty good following up that way.  

Labsan is in the Cape Cod league, same team on which Sanger and McGarry played last year.

If you go to a game, be sure to wear some FAU gear so the guys know you are there for them. It is more informal, and you can go down and talk to them before or after a game. Just go to the dugout and call their name. They seem to really like having a connection to back home for a few minutes. Last year I went to one game, and heard my name being called, and turned around to see Stephen Kerr and Billy Endris running up behind me. That made my whole season up there. I saw Puerta and Bonilla up there last year as well. I'll never forget talking with Mesa after a game a few years ago. He wasn't handling the mountain roads very well. I got the impression he was getting car sick. Santiago became my parents' favorite Owl because he played in Staunton after his freshman year, and they we able to see him.
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Hey MLBBoca,
Here is the website for the Wisconsin league.

Northwoods League
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