Valley League baseball
Last night I joined other local Red Cross volunteers in a community promotion event at a Staunton Braves baseball game here in Staunton. The Braves are part of the Valley League, the "Gateway to the Majors." It consists of eleven teams from the Shenandoah Valley and nearby parts of Virginia. The fifth-place Braves beat the third-place Luray Wranglers, 5-2. The highlight of the game came in the sixth inning, when Matt Payne and David Burns hit back-to-back home runs, the second of the game for Payne. After the sun went down, the temperature was very mild, making for a very pleasant evening.
Nats fall again
If it weren't for my Red Cross duties, I probably would have gone up to Washington to see the Nationals host the Brewers last night. I figured it would be a good chance to see the likely playoff contenders and their four All-Star players, even if it was a very daunting challenge for the floundering Nats. Indeed, it was, as the last-place home team lost to the first-place visitors from Milwaukee, 6-2. As a result of their recent cold streak (5-15 since June 14), the Nationals have fallen below .400 once again.
Home run milestones
Congratulations to Ken Griffey, Jr. of the Cincinnati Reds for hitting his 586th career home run, tying Frank Robinson at the number six rank. He still has an excellent chance of passing Willie Mays (660), and perhaps going even higher. The Rangers' Sammy Sosa recently hit his 600th career four-bagger, though it didn't get much attention; "Slammin' Sammy" may not have many more homers left in him. Speaking of aging veterans, late in June, Toronto's Frank Thomas hit his 500th career homer, on the same day that the Astros' Craig Biggio got his 3000th career hit. Alex Rodriguez only has seven more homers to reach the 500 mark, and despite cooling off in June, he still has a shot at a single-season record this year. Meanwhile, Barry Bonds has come within four of Hank Aaron's lifetime record of 755 homers. A dark day is looming, sports fans...