Thomas Stallings Enjoying Hometown Feeling In Valley League
Thomas Stallings made the switch to third base this summer
Former Miller School star Thomas Stallings is playing in the Valley Baseball League for the first time this season, but he's been following the league for a long time.
"I knew a lot about the league," says Stallings. "NBC 29 has been covering Waynesboro forever, so I've seen highlights all the time at night. The league is really good. Real good talent, good game play, so it's always a dream of mine to come play in the Valley."
The Charlottesville-native says he would have been happy playing anywhere in the Valley League, but having a chance to play for Waynesboro makes it extra special.
"My parents are always here, they come to every game," says Stallings. "Neighbors will come, people will say, 'Hey, we saw you on 29.' It's fun. Nice to be the local guy."
Stallings is heading into his junior season at VMI, after playing in 42-games for the Keydets last season.
He went 2-for-3 with two RBI in a game against Virginia at Davenport Field.
The big difference between college baseball and the Valley League is the use of wooden bats.
Stallings says, "It's been fun. It really makes the game a truer game. That's why the pros use it."
Stallings was a shortstop in high school, and played a lot of second at VMI, but Keydets coach Marlin Ikenberry gave him a directive heading into the summer season: Learn third base.
Stallings says, "This summer, and a little bit last spring was really the first time I had consistently played third. I've gotten thrown over there at times, and had to fight for myself, but now I'm technically considered a third baseman."
Thomas Stallings says he's learned about more than just the hot corner in his first season in the Valley.
"Everyone understands the fraternity of baseball, and the people you meet, and it's been real cool getting to know all the guys, and understanding where they're from," says Stallings. "It's been a great experience."
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Friday, March 7 2014 11:01 PM EST2014-03-08 04:01:45 GMT
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