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Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Lots of pulling from old posts this summer.  I haven't written my Summer Lovin' post for 2013, but these baseball players top the list.  The Haymarket Senators from last summer have had a name and location change.  Those in Northern Virginia looking for a fun family night out can find the Aldie Senators playing ball at John Champe High School.  As you will see from last summer's post we were a little concerned last year that the boys of summer wouldn't be around this year, but they most certainly are in town and in fact, they play tonight!  Read about them below and we'll see you at the ballpark!

SUMMER LOVIN' ADDITION:  Haymarket Aldie Senators Baseball - July 2012

Oh, my gosh, she is writing about baseball....again.  I am.  I know.  No one is more surprised than me.  We just got home from the pool and I'm hot and waterlogged and this would seem to be a great time to find some reruns of Beverly Hills 90210 on TV, but I just got an email that made me a bit concerned and now I've taken it upon myself to tell some of you Northern Virginians what you should do with your family on some of these open summer nights you have.  Also, this will include some awfully cute pictures of my people and we all know I am shameless when I come up with a way to post a picture or six of my children.  It's really annoying.

The gist is this:  I wrote a post HERE about some of my favorite things about summer and I left something out, so I'll add it now.  For those of you who live in Northern Virginia, you should take your family out to see the Aldie Senators play ball this summer.  This is a wonderful organization that is great for the community and it seems they might be in danger of not being around next season. So here are some reasons why we love Senators Baseball:  (If you don't feel like reading this, just scroll through the photos and then find the website at the bottom.)

The Senators hold three weeks of baseball camp each summer.  The little guys get to learn from college players and Senators' coaches.  Yep...that is way cool.  This is what Kyle looked like on the last day of camp a few summers ago.  He is dirty and sad.  He is not sad because he's dirty.  He's sad because it is the last day of camp.

Here's a glimpse at a bit of  the email I received today to explain the team to you:

The Haymarket Senators are a member of the Valley Baseball League (VBL), a summer collegiate wooden bat baseball league made up of teams from the Shenandoah Region of Virginia. The VBL has been supported, in part, by a grant from Major League Baseball for over 25 years. In 2010, MLB made it a requirement, as part of its grant eligibility criteria, that all recipients are IRS qualified 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organizations.  The folks you see at each and every home game are either volunteers, interns or managing partners of the non-for-profit organization, and all operations are supported solely by operational revenue, donations, and fundraising.

Since 2007, two wonderful families have been the managing directors of the Senators.  As both families are friends of ours, we have had the privilege of not only going to watch the games, but also volunteering over the past few summers at some of the games.  There is a very close knit community feeling at all of the games.  We have made dinner for the players and helped serve them after the game.  We have hung out with friends in the sunshine and sipped 'Natorade.  Both Joe and Kyle have been allowed to act as bat boys for the team and we have had a blast working in the concession stand and at the merchandise tent.  Families in the area act as "host" families for the players for the summer.  I cannot tell you how many times my boys promised me that they would stop bugging me about getting a dog if we could just get a Senator for the summer.

In the email our friends wrote, "We are often asked why we do this; and the simple answer is for the satisfaction we get from helping young college student athletes pursue their ultimate dream of playing professional baseball. While providing this opportunity to the players, we have also developed many lasting relationships with those in the local area and provided endless summer nights of family enjoyment for the local community. We want this legacy to continue."

You cannot ask for a better atmosphere for a family night out in the summer.  Besides the fact that you will get to watch some seriously top rate baseball action, there is so much more.  Fun music is played throughout the game.  Sponsors offer prizes to those who buy raffle tickets.  I once had the chance to win a gift card to a running store if one of the Senators stole a base during a particular inning.  Thank you to Mr. Speedy Pants who stole that base - I was wearing new running shoes the next week.  The players walk through the stands during the 50/50 raffle.  Needless to say, Little Leaguers delight in rubbing elbows with the big boys.  Volunteers fire up the grill and serve up hot dogs and burgers while they watch the boys of summer play out their dreams under the lights.

One of our favorite parts of the night is the hamburger and hot dog race.  Two kids are picked out of the stands.  One wears a hamburger hat and one wears a hot dog hat.  They race in between innings and depending on the winner either hot dogs or hamburgers are half price for the remainder of the inning.

I know what you're thinking:  A hamburger vs. a hot dog race?  Does it get any better than that?  Not really, folks, not really.  This is good, clean, American summertime fun.  The Washington Nationals are all kinds of awesome right now.  I get it.  That Bryce Harper guy?  He is somethin' else.  But driving to DC?  Paying the big money?  Not the easiest thing to do, right?

Going to Aldie is a breeze compared to fighting DC traffic.  It's cheap and fun.  And I can guarantee you with 99.9% certainty that there won't be any obnoxious fans pouring beer on your new summer sandals.  Bonus, right?
It appears that if some funds are not raised, there might not be a Senators team next summer...if there aren't more Senators games, my middle man and a whole lot of other folks just might just make this face:

And nobody wants that. 

Go to and find out all the information on directions and schedules that you need.  And if you are out of the area, look around for a similar league near you.  See you at the ballpark!  Let's go Senators!!

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