Four former Rebels headed to VBL Hall of Fame

Bruce Alger

NEW MARKET — Four former New Market Rebels will be inducted into the Valley Baseball League’s Hall of Fame this season. They are among a group of seven new inductees.

The 2017 former Rebel inductees are John Kruk, Sam Perlozzo, Marion ‘Bo’ Trumbo and Maynard ‘Mo’ Weber. The rest of the 2017 class is Wayne Comer, Claude ‘C.C.’ Michael and Earl Shirkey.

“We’re happy that all four of them got in there, very pleased,” New Market general manger Bruce Alger said. “It’s an honor to have known those guys, to have them here, to see the success that they’ve had.”

Alger said Kruk only played for the Rebels for two or three weeks before leaving after getting drafted in the Major League Baseball draft. He played 10 seasons in the majors with the San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox. He was named to the MLB All-Star game in 1991, 1992 and 1993. He is currently a broadcaster for the Phillies, and was a long-time analyst on ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight.”

Alger said Kruk stayed at Alger’s grandmother’s house during his short stint. Alger said Kruk’s replacement with the Rebels was former major leaguer Dan Pasqua.

Perlozzo played for both the Rebels and the Waynesboro Generals during his Valley League career. Alger said he played third base for the Rebels in 1972. Perlozzo played in the majors in 1977 with the Minnesota Twins and 1979 with the Padres.

Perlozzo was an assistant coach with the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles and the Phillies. He was the Orioles’ manager for 300 games from 2005-2007. His son, Eric, played for the Woodstock River Bandits for a season.

Alger said Trumbo played in the 1970s for the Rebels. He was a MLB scout for the Reds, Mets, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners.

“He was a pitcher extraordinaire,” Alger said. “He was a great guy.”

Weber was the hitting coach for the Rebels for 17 years. He coached in baseball for 65 years and was the head coach at College of William & Mary in 1965 and again from 1978-81. He was also the general manager of the Peninsula Pilots, a White Sox minor league affiliate in the Carolina League. His No. 1 jersey was retired by the Rebels.

“Mo is a legend of the Valley League,” Alger said. “The Coach of the Year award is named after him.”

Comer played for the Shenandoah Indians in 1961, winning a VBL championship. He played pro baseball for 12 years, including five years in the majors. He played for the Detroit Tigers, in 1967-68 and 1972. He was part of the World Series championship team in 1968, picking up a hit in his only at-bat. He also played for the Seattle Pilots (1969), Milwaukee Brewers (1970) and the Washington Senators (1970). He is currently the head baseball coach at Page County High School.

Michael was the VBL president from 1946-47. The VBL Most Valuable Player award was named after him in 1972.

Shirkey was the longtime scorekeeper for the Harrisonburg Turks. He was elected to the Harrisonburg High School Hall of Fame after working at their basketball scorer’s table for 51 years, and was also a longtime clock operator for James Madison University’s basketball teams.

This is the second year for the VBL Hall of Fame. Players will be inducted on July 9 at the VBL All-Star Game in Harrisonburg.

Last year it was announced that Rebel Park will be the home of the Hall of Fame. A three-dimensional board will be on display that will honor all of the Hall of Fame inductees.

Work has begun on building the display and Alger said the plan is to have it done by July 9.

He said they are very honored to be the home of the Hall of Fame.

“The Rebel organization is just so proud that the league has picked Rebel Park for it,” Alger said. “We think it’s the best place for it and evidently the league does too. So we’re honored to have it here, honored to host it here. We’ll take good care of it.”

The VBL also announced earlier this week that the league will compete in a special All-Star event in July with four other collegiate summer leagues.

The VBL will put together an All-Star team to play in the Southern Collegiate Showcase on July 15 and 16 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The four other leagues in the showcase are the Southern Collegiate Baseball League, Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, Sunbelt League and the Florida Collegiate Summer League.

The VBL would play three games over two days. They will play SCBL at 1 p.m. July 15, and then later in the day the winner of that game will play FCSL at 7 p.m.

The championship game is scheduled for 4 p.m. July 16.

New Market head coach Zac Cole said that the showcase is a great opportunity for the players to play in front of Major League scouts.

He said that it should be a competitive event.

“I’m high on the Valley League, obviously. We have a good league, but when you start putting All-Star teams together everybody’s going to send their best guys,” Cole said. “It will be a challenge. It should be a great event. Those are some quality leagues and they’ll have their best players there, and we’ll send our best guys. But we feel confident that we’ll have the best team there.”

The VBL coaching staff will include: Bob Wease (Harrisonburg), George Laase (Staunton), Brett Fuller (Purcellville), Butch Barnes (Strasburg) and Matt Williams (Waynesboro).