Since 1999, as a sports reporter in the small Virginia town of Front Royal, Andrew Iden and photographer Donnie Biggs have considered baseball in the Shenandoah Valley, and the Valley Baseball League one of the true and authentic stories of not just sports, but the American idea. For the last 17 years, they've planned, un-planned, and talked about the idea of being embedded with a baseball team for an entire season, and specifically the New Market Rebels, one of the league's flagship organizations. In the summer of 2015, the idea was a possibility, and due in part to the graciousness and kindness of Bruce Alger, the coaching staff and the administration of the team, they spent 10 days in the locker room, in the coach's office, and in the dugout. This story is a 10 day snapshot of the team, the town and the season they all experienced in 2015.
A native of the Shenandoah Valley, Andrew Iden is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and content producer. He's worked in television news as a producer for 9 years at CNN and it's sister network, HLN as well as with CNN's sports and news gathering divisions. He's written for CNN.com and was a writer on the award-winning This Built America, a digital series devoted to American manufacturing. He's also written for the music site The Bluegrass Situation, and works as a digital content strategist. To contact Andrew about writing inquiries, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org