Wednesday’s winner is Jason Kipnis (69% to 31%). He will go on to face Daniel Murphy in the elite eight.

Thursday’s Match

Today we have Mike Lowell (Waynesboro 1993) against Gene Richards (Harrisonburg 1974).

  • Lowell beat Adam Everett to get here. His writeup: “Mike Lowell was drafted out of Florida International by the New York Yankees in 1995 in the 20th round. He made his major league debut with the Yanks in 1998, but was traded that offseason to the Miami Marlins, where he proceeded to lock down the third base job for the next seven years, before getting traded to Boston, where he played another five years before retirement. Lowell’s best season was in 2003, when he hit .276/.350/.530, with 27 doubles, 32 home runs, 105 RBIs, and an excellent 56/78 BB/K ratio. He finished 11th in MVP voting that year, was an All-Star, and won the Silver Slugger award. He also won the World Series title with the Marlins that year. In 2007, with the Red Sox, Lowell won another World Series, and was even named MVP in the series after hitting .400/.500/.800 in 18 at-bats. Overall in his 13-year career, Lowell hit .279/.342/.464 in 5,813 at-bats, with 394 doubles, seven triples, 223 home runs, and 952 RBIs. He was an All-Star four times, won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, received MVP votes twice, and won two World Series titles. He retired after the 2010 season, and has worked for Major League baseball since then.”
  • Richards won by a forfeit in the first round. His writeup: “Gene Richards had a relatively short career, only eight years in the majors, but they were pretty dynamic years. The first overall pick of the San Diego Padres in the 1975 January draft, Richards was putting in full seasons in the majors as early as 1977. He burst on the scene in ’77, hitting .290/.363/.390 in 525 at-bats, with 16 doubles, 11 triples, five home runs, 56 stolen bases, and a 60/80 BB/K ratio. He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting. His best season was the next one, 1978, when he hit .308/.381/.420 in 555 at-bats, with 90 runs scored, 26 doubles, 12 triples, four home runs, 37 stolen bases, and a 64/80 BB/K ratio. The star burned brightly, but it didn’t last long, as 1984 was Richards’ last season in the majors. In his career, over 3,549 at-bats, he hit .290/.357/.383, with 127 doubles, 63 triples, 26 home runs, 247 stolen bases, and a 356/436 BB/K ratio. He led the National League in singles in 1980, and triples in 1981. After his career, he spent several seasons coaching and managing in the minor leagues, including in Hagerstown in 2005.”

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And by the way, if you want to read much, much more about the 2019 VBL season, be sure to check out the 2019 Valley League Annual!