Never has the league seen a player turnout for a weekday non-night game like what happened Wednesday. A whopping thirty players made Wednesday's game easily the most attended game of the season. The Hitters swept the double header in two close six-inning contests, beating the Cannons 16-14 and then the first-place Katanas 19-16. Thirty players is 9th most all-time for a single game.
Jefferson was drenched with over 1.5 inches of rain overnight and during the day, however, the sun came up for five hours before game time, just enough to dry the field and let players dig in. Participants came from as far east as Galesburg, IL, (Michael Carlson) and as far west as Tiffin, IA (Craig Thomas).
The turnout was highlighted two-fold. Long time VLB legend Scott Raes made his first VLB appearance of the season. Raes, a sure first ballot hall-of-famer, is 5th on the all-time homeruns list with 42 and 11th all-time with 262 games played. Raes added to his dinger total by going 4-for-6 with two doubles, a homerun and an evening high seven RBI.
Also of note was the Melton family affair. Luke Melton played four games last season, but has become a fixture in 2023, playing the second most games as a rookie (Bailey Rericha 36). Luke's younger sister, Paige, has played five games in 2023, batting an impressive 0.643 to start her career. Luke and Paige brought the rest of the family, with brother John and father, Kurt. The Meltons batted 14-of-22 with 11 runs and 5 RBI on Wednesday. They also took up at least half the spectators in the stands.
In addition to John and Kurt Melton's debuts, the league also had three others who tried VLB out for the first time. This pushes the season debuts to 36 (15th most in 26 seasons with 2+ months yet to play) and the career debuts to 927.