Much has been made of recent Japanese imports to Major League Baseball, and for good reason. A vast majority sport a mid-high 90’s fastball with impeccable command. While some of these pitchers haven’t worked out (Kei Igawa immediately springs to mind), others have had amazing success but most share one common theme: Health. Japanese pitchers have had an astonishing track record of durability and longevity over the years (maybe there’s something to the 7 day rotation, but that’s an article for another time). With American-born pitchers struggling to maintain arm health, many coaches, scientists/researchers, and “professionals” have been in search of a solution. My response? Head East. Far East.
The Shenandoah Valley is a great place to live with a great history. You are never too far from a Civil War landmark, an exciting festival or thriving small businesses. Things in the Valley tend to move a little slower and seem a bit more relaxed. The times may change and the people may come and go, but the history remains. One tradition in the Valley is the greatest game ever played: baseball. From amateur to professional, baseball fans in the Shenandoah Valley have always had their choice of baseball games to watch and teams of which to root. The Shenandoah Valley and baseball have become intertwined throughout history. There have been at least twenty semi-professional baseball leagues in the Shenandoah Valley since the game of baseball was invented. This is proof that the people of the Shenandoah Valley love this game. I chose to expand on the two most well-known and local leagues: The Valley Baseball League and the Rockingham County Baseball League. These two leagues represent the Shenandoah Valley and all of its history and perseverance through tough times.