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P-Rays' Little League Caravan Going Strong!
06/12/2007 12:52 AM ET
There have been quite a few stops already made and a success has been declared as a result of the 2007 version of the Princeton Devil Rays "Little League Caravan." The P-Rays' organization had set a goal this year to visit as many of the area's Little Leagues as they could and it has been a rousing success.

The purpose of these visits was to spread the joy of the game of baseball and the team came loaded with Rays logo goodies such as wiffleball bats, bat bags, baseballs, figurines, and batting helmets to hand out to the kids at all of the stops they made. Of course, P-Ray schedules were handed out and both youngsters and their parents alike learned about things like the P-Rays' youth baseball clinic and "Field of Dreams" program. The P-Rays organization had made it known in March they were wanting to do this (make these visits) in 2007 and, as a result, several leagues extended an invitation to the P-Rays to visit their respective facilities.

It started with P-Rays' General Manager Jim Holland visiting the Grundy Little League on April 14, continuing the next week when he and the team's mascot, Roscoe, The Princeton Ray Rooster, visited Shady Spring Little League. This was followed by a whirlwind day on April 28 when Holland and Roscoe visited the Welch, Princeton, and Mullens Little League facilities all on the same day. They were assisted in Princeton by P-Rays' Booster Club President Bobby Choate and local fans Brenda and Amy Thomason. On May 5, the voice of the Princeton Devil Rays, team radio announcer Rich Bogard, loaded with a car full of Rays' logo goodies, paid a visit to the Rainelle Little League. The caravan then started June with an appearance at the Sophia Little League facility on June 2 and followed it with a visit to the Beckley Little League complex at the Raleigh County Armory on June 6. The P-Rays front office staff and Roscoe will visit the Peterstown Little League facility on Saturday, June 16 to conclude the caravan's activities prior to the beginning of the 2007 Appalachian League campaign.

"We never get weary of telling people what a great time they can have when they come to a P-Rays game and that they do not have to spend an arm and a leg to do it," commented Holland, after the eighth on the caravan's 2007 appearance schedule, which was in Sophia.

Holland said the stops have been fun and have reaffirmed to him that the cities they visited are indeed not that far away from Hunnicutt Field and the world of professional baseball.

"In most cases people know about the Princeton Rays but maybe not all of them have made that first step to come to a game and check us out. These (little League) visits are good for us in helping to reduce any existing barriers of that type," explained Holland. He added that any local leagues that would like to learn more about the P-Rays' "Little League Caravan" can contact the team either by e-mail at raysball@sunlitsurf.com or by telephone at (304) 487-2000.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.