Happy Father’s Day to all Turks Dads

Written by Kaelyn Spickler
Turks staff writer

Dads and other father figures play a special part in the lives of our players. They have helped raise a great group of young men, and the Harrisonburg Turks would like to celebrate you. Many of you were out throwing a baseball with our players or cheering from the sidelines. You were there for support and encouragement during travel ball years and school ball. Some of our dads shared some of the advice they have given and memories they have shared with their sons.

John Brian never played baseball on an organized team; however, he did play street ball and knew he would want to get his kids involved in the game. He did just that, and the Turks are happy to have his son, pitcher Will Brian. Mr. Brian faced the challenge many dads face- finding a balance between hectic work schedules and packed game schedules. “I tried to never miss a game and/or miss any activities. I travel a lot with work, so trying to make it to all of the events was challenging,” Mr. Brian said. He found a way to make it work and support his son by attending games, in addition to being a great listener. During these chats with his son, he had one big piece of advice. “You have to fail to succeed. No one likes to lose, but you have to learn from that to grow,” Mr. Brian said. He remembers several big moments for his son which included throwing his first no hitter, breaking records during his senior year of high school, and simply the time they shared on the road. Mr. Brian is proud of son for making a D-I college baseball team (Eastern Kentucky University), “along with 1,000 other things.”

Quentin Mellett, father to our second baseman McCann Mellett, played baseball in his childhood and has been able to show his son the love for the game. Mr. Mellett has given McCann advice on a number of things, but with regards to baseball, he always tells his son to “do your best and have fun.” Like all our dads, Mr. Mellett is incredibly proud of his son and enjoys seeing him succeed on the field, in addition to seeing him succeed academically. (“My proudest father moment) is seeing the hard work that he has put in, pay off with his success in the classroom and on the field,” Mr. Mellett said. He remembers one game, in particular, where his son was successful which was during McCann’s sophomore year at Wingate University. It was the first game of the season, and McCann hit his first college home run. This also happened to be his first grand slam, and it tied up the game.

John Reifsnider, father to our catcher and right fielder, Travis Reifsnider, grew up playing baseball and attending Toledo Mud Hens, Detroit Tigers, and Cincinnati Reds games. Supporting Travis is a teamwork job for him and his wife. “Travis had a ton of support on and off the field, and it started with his Mom. She was there helping him navigate life, drive carpools (1,000’s of miles), wash uniforms, and supply him with anything he might need. I had the easy stuff like play catch, hit ground balls, pitch to him, and take him shopping for sports equipment,” Mr. Reifsnider said. Being so supportive also means sharing some wisdom every once and awhile, and Mr. Reifsnider hopes what has stayed with Travis the most was the advice he gave his son before heading off to JMU- “Go to class, get involved, and think for yourself.” Mr. Reifsnider is a proud father to four kids, and he is proud of the way Travis plays with class, whether he wins or loses. Travis has even taught him something in return. “Travis taught me how to delight in cheering for others and find happiness in watching your son live his dream. I learned a lot from him this year, and I am truly proud and grateful to be his father.”

The Harrisonburg Turks hope all of the dads, uncles, grandfathers, and other men in our Turks community had a very happy Father’s Day. Thank you for raising our great group of guys and for your continued support and encouragement. Be sure to check out our Father’s Day video posted on FaceBook.