BASEBALL: VBL to establish Hall of Fame

HARRISONBURG — The Valley Baseball League, one of the oldest NCAA sanctioned wooden bat summer leagues, has announced its plan to establish a long overdue Hall of Fame.

Established in 1897 with charter members Winchester, Woodstock, Front Royal and Edinburg, the league evolved from a Class D minor league to an NCAA-sanctioned league in 1961.

The VBL has produced over 1,100 professional baseball players in their history, including a record 79 former players drafted in the 2008 Major League Baseball first-year player draft.

In 2015, 30 VBL alumni were playing in the majors and 46 current players or alumni were drafted last season.

League President Donald Lemish stated in an email that the league has 66 nominations for the selection committee to consider for the inaugural class.

Lemish says the goal is to induct at least 10 this summer.

The purpose of the hall, according to a VBL press release, is to honor individuals who by excellence of their VBL achievements, or their connections with the league as a competitor, coach, administrator or interested individual that have bought recognition and esteem to themselves and the Valley Baseball League.

To qualify, players must be out of the league for a minimum of five years and administrators and other nominees must have been retired or disassociated from the VBL for period of one year.

All nominees must have demonstrated good citizenship, and players will also be considered for the national exposure and recognition they have brought to the league as well as their VBL stats.

The VBL Hall of Fame Class of 2016 will be announced at this July's All-Star game and the permanent location of the new hall will be at Rebel Park in New Market.

Nominations for the 2017 class must be submitted to the VBL by December 1, 2016.

Lemish said the VBL would like to add an additional 6-12 new members each season.

For more information about the new hall and the league, visit their webiste at

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