For today’s matchup, we are doing something different, and altogether ridiculous… and I hope I can still count them both as friends when it’s all over.
Most people familiar with the Valley League know that the Neal Family=the Strasburg Express. Paterfamilias Jay Neal, a former football star at Virginia Tech just a few years ago, and sons Matt and Parker helped bring the Valley League to Strasburg, and all they’ve done is build one of the best franchises in the League (certainly the very best when it comes to voting on ATVL’s silly offseason matchups. In fact, it takes another Express to beat an Express player. No Strasburg player has lost in these matchups to anyone outside of his own organization.) But let’s not forget mother Tina, who is in charge of arranging host families for all the players who show up each summer… and I’m sure she does much more than that during the short but intense Valley League schedule, like, for example, keep all her men in line.
So, today we have a matchup between the two Neal boys. (Whatcha gonna do now, Express faithful?!?) Because not only do they play critical roles within the organization, both sons played for two seasons in the Valley League, as well. And they lead the league in fines almost every year! Sooooo, let’s take a look:
- Matt (the elder) pitched for two seasons for the Woodstock River Bandits- 2004 and 2005. Coming from Presbyterian and Christopher Newport, Matt went 0-0, 12.00 in nine innings in 2004, and 1-0, 12.15 in 6 2/3 innings in 2005. Matt takes care of much of the media relations duties for the team.
- Parker (the younger) played for two seasons (and for Christopher Newport, too)- for the 2007 New Market squad, and the 2008 Front Royal Cardinals. In 2007, he hit .138/.172/.219 in 29 at-bats, with a double and two walks. In 2008, he improved to .209/.277/.279 in 43 at-bats, with three doubles, an RBI, and four walks. Parker is Strasburg’s GM, and furiously works the phones all summer (all year, really) to bring in the Express roster.
So who ya got?
As always, vote by going to twitter.com/JohnATVL.
And by the way, if you want to read a ton about either the 2015 or 2019 VBL season, be sure to check out this post on the 2019 Valley League Annual.
Also, please check out and subscribe to the Valley Baseball League youtube channel!
(I have another idea or two about fun matchups, but if you can think of one, Brilliant Reader, drop me a line.)