The curtains have closed on another VBL season in New Market, VA. Our beloved Rebels were eliminated in the decisive 3rd game of the first playoff round. Last games are always a sad event, and this year was no exception.
The season as a whole was up and down- up, mostly, in the first half, and down in the latter. We lost several key players at the end, which didn’t help our cause any. The guys never called it quits, though… they didn’t just roll over and resign themselves to a losing fate. They did not, to quote poet Dylan Thomas, “go gentle in to that good night.” As far as I am concerned, that’s all you can really ask of a team, that they fight. There were intervals in that short playoff series where, for some reason, I kept feeling possessed to shout, “Goonies never say die!” (But I didn’t.)
I will miss a lot of things about the 2011 team and about Rebels baseball in general. Here are just a few of them…
- The choir of chirping grasshoppers backing up Tacy Hawkins’ National Anthem from the hayfield beyond the outfield wall.
- Explaining the various dishes of food to the hungry boys at postgame meals. Most of them will eat pretty much anything, but they always want to know exactly what everything is, and what is in it.
- The now-traditional 6th inning rally song. The player involvement is always amusing, but I won’t miss that so much as watching all the older ladies who sit behind homeplate pumping their fists to the beat. Always puts a smile on my face.
- Coming home with an inch of dusty dirt on the hems of my pant legs.
- Antonio Callaway’s fro.
- Jaren Sustar’s defense at third base. Sparkling.
- Seth Greene continually attempting to get tossed baseballs to land/perch on a beam in the roof of the dugout. The silly game never seemed to get old.
- Waiting for an appropriate opportunity to shout “Nobody puts Gaby in a corner!” in the direction of outfielder Tyler Gaby. I never got it…
- Reciting poetry in my head during hard-to-watch losses. Though I still have the Cubs for this, I suppose.
- The sort of random, assorted antics that inevitably hatch from the minds of college-aged relief pitchers with enough time on their hands.
A few more photos, for fun:
So long and farewell, 2011 Rebels squad! I salute you, one and all.