Press Release

Safe at Home: A Season in the Valley is now available as an e-book for only $2.99. Each chapter contains a link to the Safe at Home on-line photo album where Melissa Dodge’s outstanding photographs that appeared in the printed version may be viewed in full color. It’s worth the price just to see those photos!

Safe at Home is available for Kindle, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Kobo and may be ordered through the Kindle Store or

You may download a free Kindle application for your PC, Mac, iPhone, Blackberry, iPad, Android, or Windows 7 phone by clicking here.


College baseball players hone their skills in summer leagues all across America. Often playing in small towns and living with host families, the players strive to develop their abilities to the point where they are signed to professional contracts. For the towns, the summer league team is often a major source of local pride and community involvement. Nowhere in America is this more true than in New Market, Virginia, where every game is “not just a game,” it’s an event. Safe at Home: A Season in the Valley tells the story of the 2009 New Market Rebels and the townspeople who house them, feed them, and root for them; welcome them into their homes in June and send them back to their schools in August. In the process, both players and fans become part of something greater than themselves, even if it is just a baseball team in a little town in the Shenandoah Valley.

What they’re saying about Safe at Home

Austin Gisriel has written a very interesting book about the progression of a baseball season in a small community, New Market, Virginia.  Becoming better players and gbetter people from the values learned on the field and in that community is the essence of this excellent book.

--Tom Petroff, a member of the American Basebll Coaches Hall of Fame, has taken two different teams to the College World Series in Omaha.

Talk about bringing back some great memories of my time in the Valley League!  This wonderful book tells of the passion that many of us have shared as we chased our baseball dreams in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.  A must read for the baseball fan who appreciates small towns producing future stars!

--Lorenzo Bundy is an instructor in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ minor league system and has served as a coach with the Marlins, Rockies, and Diamondbacks.  He is also a former New Market Rebel (1978-1979).



Melissa Dodge, a first grade teacher at W. W. Robinson Elementary School in Woodstock, VA is the official team photographer and website designer/administrator for the New Market Rebels.  Her photos not only grace the pages of Safe at Home:  A Season in the Valley, they also appear throughout this website.

More from our resident author:

cover photo by Melissa Dodge

Their Glorious Summer

New Market, VA—July 21, 2011  New Market Rebels' Director of Publicity, Austin Gisriel has just released Their Glorious Summer, the story of the battle between the Winchester Royals and the New Market Rebels in the summer of 1981.  It is available as a free download at At the bottom of the page, you will see a list of formats to which you may download the article. If you do not have an e-reader, you may go to Kindle Download to download a free Kindle app for your computer. This takes but a minute and is easy to do.

An abridged version (only 1,600 words) of Their Glorious Summer will be appearing in two parts this Friday and Saturday in the Winchester Star.

In 1981, the Rebels featured future big leaguers Tom Browning and John Kruk on their opening day roster and when Kruk was drafted, head coach Preston Douglas signed another future major leaguer, Dan Pasqua, to take his place. It was the Royals, however, who at least for that summer, had the more talented team and were led by Dennis Clow (50 RBI in 20 games!), Clay Daniel, and Steve Peruso. Peruso would produce one of the Valley League's greatest single-game performances in Game 4 of the President's Cup.

Their Glorious Summer features comments from Douglas, Peruso, his host parents, Bruce and Peggy Saville, Jim Phillips, Bruce Alger, former Royals owner Keith Lupton, and former Royals' head coach Larry Bryant.

CONTACT:  Austin Gisriel, 301-988-4000,,

A little something to usher us into the new season:

Why Baseball?

Resident Author Austin Gisriel has another book coming out!
Boots Poffenberger: Hurler, Hero, and Hellraiser.
Release date July 14, 2014
Click here for a sneak peek:

Click the photo above to order your copy

See the Safe at Home Facebook page

About the Author
Austin Gisriel

Author Bio

Austin Gisriel grew up in Baltimore County playing baseball and rooting for the Orioles. Early on, his chosen career path was to take over third base for the Birds when Brooks Robinson retired, and it was only a lack of talent that prevented him from accomplishing this goal.

A 1975 graduate of Loch Raven High School and a 1979 graduate of Western Maryland College, where he obtained a B. A. in psychology, Gisriel obtained his Masters of Theological Studies from Wesley Seminary in Washington, D. C.

Gisriel is a frequent contributor to as well as Hagerstown Magazine.  A member of SABR, Safe at Home:  A Season in the Valley is his first book.  The host of Baseball in the Valley, a podcast which is part of the Seamheads National Podcast Network, he is often found during home games doing play-by-play in the Rebel’s webcast booth with partner Charlie Dodge.

Read more from Austin on his website @

If you enjoyed Safe at Home: A Season in the Valley, please go to the book's Amazon page and leave a positive review. It does not matter if you read the hard copy or if you have read it as an e-book, we encourage you to help our resident Rebel author! You may also do the same thing for Their Glorious Summer by clicking on this link, creating an account (easy to do), and leave a positive review. Remember, Their Glorious Summer is a free download. You don't have to write anything long, just let Austin and the world know what you think!


Austin has been at it again! In a change of pace Austin offers 3 fictional short stories sure to delight baseball fans of all sorts. Rebels fans may even recognize the inspiration behind a few of the characters!
You can download it for Kindle here:
3 Tales From the Grand Old Game

For those of you with an e-reader other than a Kindle,
please click HERE!

Go Off the Beaten Basepaths to Rebel Park with Austin !
Click here for video