A Summer Tradition

By Jen Kulju
Turks Staff Writer

HARRISONBURG – Kitty Cline has been coming to Turks’ games since the mid-1960s when head coach Bob Wease played for the team. She either sits with her friends or somewhere with a seatback behind home plate and always orders a bag of popcorn and a Dr. Wham. Cline says she came to games with her husband when she was first married—and then sometimes with her son and daughter. Cline moved out of the area in 1970 for 16 years, but started coming to games again when she returned home.

“I love baseball,” says Cline, whose mother also liked the game. “This league has good players and good quality baseball. We’re lucky to have this caliber of play in the Valley.”

Since 1986, Cline has consistently spent her summers supporting the Turks. She served on the Turks’ Board of Directors, and for the past couple of years, has fixed a meal for the players. “They’re away from home. I want to help out as much as I can,” shares Cline. At one time, she also sold 50-50 raffle tickets, and her daughter worked in the concession stand.

Most of all, however, Cline cheers on her Turks from the stands at both home and away games. She has been to games in Shenandoah County, Craigsville, Madison County, New Market, Winchester, Front Royal, Waynesboro and Staunton—and to JMU’s old Memorial Baseball Stadium and new Eagle Field.

Cline has been coming to games with her grandson Ben since he was “4 or 5.” Ben is now 13, and according to Cline, “When the season first starts, Benny wants me to take him to every game.” This season, Cline has not travelled to the away games, but has come to “most all of the home games.”

Cline attended the game on June 27th against New Market where she waited out a 50-minute lightning delay and donned her poncho to see the finish of the game in the light rain. “I won’t leave,” declares Cline. “I’m going to stay until the bitter end because I really enjoy it.”

“Baseball is just my game,” says Cline, who turns 70 on Monday, July 2nd. As for her affinity for the Turks’ season: “It’s something that at the beginning of August when it’s over, I will miss until the 1st of June when it’s back.”