The City of Martinsville, located in Southern Virginia, has a long history of churning out strong baseball players. Hooker Field, named for the Hooker Furniture Company, was built in 1988 and hosted the Martinsville Phillies until 1998. From 1999 to 2003 the field hosted the Martinsville Astros and it has been home to the Martinsville Mustangs since 2005.
During the past 25 years, Hooker Field has been the starting place for some pretty impressive names in professional sports
Martinsville Phillies (1988-1998)
Scott Rolen- (Third Baseman for Cincinnati Reds) On June 15, 2011, Rolen became the 3rd third baseman ever to have 2,000 hits, 500 doubles, 300 home runs, and 1,200 RBIs. He held this honor along with George Brett and Chipper Jones.
Jimmy Rollins- (Shortstop for Philadelphia Phillies) Rollins became the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to collect at least 200 hits, 15 triples, 25 homers, and 25 stolen bases in one season, and he holds the record for most at bats in a season with 716. He also owns the record for the longest hitting streak in Philadelphia Phillies history at 38 games (2006). It is currently the eighth-longest streak in Major League Baseball history.
Mike Lieberthal- (Catcher for Los Angeles Dodgers until 2007) During his career, Lieberthal won the Gold Glove Award and was named to the All Stars twice. In 2002, he was named the National League's Comeback Player of the Year.
Ryan Madson- (Relief Pitcher Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) In 2008 Madson had become part of the "bridge to Lidge" developing into an outstanding set-up man for Phillies closer Brad Lidge. When Lidge was placed on the disabled list in 2009, Madson was selected as the team's closer and retained the role even after Lidge returned.
Ricky Williams- (Running Back for Baltimore Ravens until 2012) A well-rounded athlete playing numerous sports in his youth, Williams got his professional sports start playing in the outfield at Hooker Field. In 1998 he accepted an athletic scholarship to the University of Texas for football where he won the Heisman Trophy and was drafted to the NFL in 1999.
Martinsville Astros (1999-2003):
Wandy Rodriguez- (Pitcher for Pittsburgh Pirates) 2009 was a great year for Rodriquez when he, at that time a Houston Astros player, was moved up to second in the pitching rotation behind Roy Oswalt. He started in 33 games, pitching 205 innings with 193 strikeouts.
Martinsville Mustangs (2005-Present):
Scott Diamond- (Starting Pitcher for Minnesota Twins) After playing two seasons on the Mustangs, Diamond signed with the Atlanta Braves organization as an undrafted free-agent, he played on several farm teams prior to being drafted to the Twins in 2010. In 2012 while playing against the Cleveland Indians, Diamond pitched his first career complete-game/shutout.
Tom Layne- (Pitcher for San Diego Padres) A former Mustang from the 2006 season, Layne made his MLB debut in August of 2012.
Carter Capps- (Pitcher for Seattle Mariners) A former Mustang from the 2009 season, Capps made his MLB debut in August of 2012.
Be sure to come out and root for the Martinsville Mustangs this season and cheer on your favorite player; you never know...he might become your favorite player in the MLB! The 2013 "Must See Mustangs" Season opens on May 28th.