06/05/2008 – The Warren Sentinel
Carter’s Passion is Promoting the League Written by Kip Rittenour The Warren Sentinel Jerry Carter is used to being a man on the move. As owner of Crystal Clear Delivery in Page County, Carter is the local distributor of the Washington Post and USA Today. Carter is also a self-professed sports nut and a man on a mission. He wants everyone this summer to experience the fun and excitement of the Valley Baseball League and it’s wealth of college age talent – but also meet the people behind the scenes who run the teams and put in countless hours of volunteer work. so after a trial run last season on his own, Carter has started a promotion called Around the Valley in 60 Days. Fans can pick up a passport card at any of the 11 Valley Baseball League ballparks and have them stamped each time they visit for a game. The idea is to get people around the Shenandoah Valley to see what carter calls "afascinating league," and enjoy at least 11 great nights at a VBL game. "I want to help the league promote itself," said Carter as he visited Bing Crosby Stadium during Tuesday’s Waynesboro-Front Royald Cardnials contest. "You have 11 owners who are marketing their own teams, but the league doesn’t really have a marketing department to market itself." Everyone who completes the cycle this summer will have their name go into a drawing for prizes that include a total season pass for the 2009 season for every VBL game. "We don’t know how many people will do it, but that doesn’t really matter," Carter said. "But if some people just do half of them, that’s great. We’re trying to get the non-fan to become a fan. We’re trying to get the casual fan more involved with the league." Carter covered the VBL the past two summers as a part-time sports writer for the Northern Virginia Daily and saved all the money he earned from that to put back into his promotion. "A lot of people don’t understand the talent that comes through the league," Carter said. "We want people to understand that there is a quality product out there for them to see." After touring all the league’s ball yards last summer, Carter met hundreds of dedicated volunteers and the rabid fans of each organization, and realized how special the entire inner-workings of the league were. "It’s amazing how much effort goes into this league," he said. "Most of the people are volunteers – people working the concession stands, housing the players and finding sponsors to pay for things. I want people to know what happens behind the scenes. Front Royal Cardinals president Donna Settle said she and her organization appreciate the effort that Carter has put into help promote the league. "The program is a wonderful experience that will be filled with great memories of each ball park and each team," Settle said. "I would like to personally say that Jerry Carter has put an enormous amount of energy into this program. Hopefully this will entice fans to get out and follow the Front Royal Cardinals and visit the parks with us." Carter is also documenting his journeys around the league – usually with one or two of his daughters in tow – on a lively and colorful blog that can be reached by visiting www.crystalcleardelivery.com The web site is packed full of interesting stories and plenty of photographs. "Everyone always asks me what’s my angle or what’s in it for me, Carter said. "I just wanted to find a way to shine a light on this amazing league."