Twenty-four of the most dedicated VLB players this season battled on the home field of the Quad City River Bandits. As usual, the game was also used as a charity event to raise money for the River Bend Food Bank.
The players along with over 200 fans were able to donate 1,099 pounds of food this year, over 200 pounds more than the amount raised in 2011. According to the Food Bank, many of their events bring in about 200 pounds so they were very pleased with the totals from the VLB night game.
Success was had on the field as well including a homerun from Jared Hurlbut, who finished the season hitting two homeruns. Though Hurlbut did not lead the league in homeruns playing in just 24 of 75 total game this season, Hurlbut was consistently one of the most powerful hitters all year long.
Before the game, the year’s VLB Awards were handed out. Scott Raes, who led the league in 11 categories, was named MVP of both the regular season and the postseason. Raes also took home the Outfield Gold Glove award consistently showing that he is one of the best offensive and defensive players in the league. Scott Ellefritz, one of the longest tenured players in the VLB won Most Improved Player as well as the Infield Gold Glove Award.
Mark Wishnia won a tight race for Rookie of the Year. Wishnia started playing VLB in mid-June after graduating from Penn State and moving to the Quad Cities from New York.
In terms of non-performance awards, Jeff Kilgard, another one of the league’s most tenured players took home the Member of the Year Award. Mark Kirkhove won the President’s Award and Keith Youngs won the Sportsmanship award.
Many new records were set this year as well:
Games: Raes/Reese 73; Previous: Reese (2011) 65
Hits: Raes 233; Previous: Reese (2011) 164
2Bs: Raes 71; Previous: Raes (2011) 43
3Bs: Raes 20; Previous: Hurlbut (2011) 12
Runs: Raes 177; Previous: Veto (2004) 107
RBI: Reese 117; Previous: Engstrom (2005) & Zerull (2009) 98
Wins: Raes 53; Previous: Reese (2011) 36
The nightgame officially concludes the 2012 season and the 2013 season should start up around a similar time the 2012 season did in mid-April. The winter meetings to discuss the 2013 season in detail should take place in March.
Keep checking back for updates for information on the 2013 season and if you want to play, just click the “Join the VLB” tab on our site.