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.
A little something to usher us into the new season:
Click the photo above to order your copy
About the Author
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