04/24/2008 – Daily News Record
Written By Mike Barber Jerry Carter saw the Master Card commercials … the ones where two fans visited every major league baseball stadium during a season … and inspiration struck. So in 1998, he completed the same tour. "People are sports collectors," Carter said Wednesday by phone from his Luray home. "I collect memories, not memorabilia." In fact, Carter enjoyed his major league trip so much, he and his son did a tour of the Northwest League … a minor-league circuit with teams in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Vancouver … in 2000. Then, he visited each Atlantic Coast Conference basketball gym. five years ago, Carter moved to Luray and discovered the Valley League. Last season, he saw a game in each of the wood-bat college league’s 11 parks. Now, he wants other fans to do the same. Carter, 44, is the man behind a new Valley League promotion, "Around the Valley In 60 Days." Fans can get passports from their local clubs, then get those passports stamped at each VBL park they visit. Fans who complete the 11-team tour get a T-shirt with all 11 team logos. Carter said, and also are entered into drawings for prizes, including a season pass for 2009. "We’re trying to get people excited about the league," Carter said. Carter has had 11,000 passports printed … each team will receive 1,000. He said he doesn’t expect 11,000 fans to complete the tour, but hopes that the promotion will get more people to visit multiple parks this summer. And, if he had his way, fans who complete the tour would get an extra reward. "I’d like to see them get to throw out the first pitch at their home park," Carter said.