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Virginia War Memorial Presenting “Play Ball! 100 Years of Baseball in Virginia” on April 16

Author and Historian Al Barnes and Flying Squirrels COO Todd Parnell to Discuss the Importance of Baseball from World War I to Today

April means it’s baseball season. The Virginia War Memorial is commemorating America’s favorite pastime with a special program entitled, Play Ball! 100 Years of Baseball in Virginia,” Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in the Memorial’s Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center, 621 South Belvidere Street in Richmond.

Admission is free and baseball fans of all ages are encouraged to attend.

Al Barnes, Virginia National Guard Command Historian and noted author, will discuss his new book, “Play Ball! Doughboys and Baseball in the Great War.”  In his book, Barnes takes readers back to 1918 and World War I when millions of American soldiers were already fighting in France or in stateside training camps.  According to Barnes, wherever they were and wherever they had room to pitch a ball, soldiers played baseball.

Joining Barnes will be Todd “Parney” Parnell, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of the Richmond Flying Squirrels.  Parnell has spent more than 30 years in baseball management, including the last ten building the Flying Squirrels, the Double-A Eastern League affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, into one of America’s most successful minor league franchises. He will give his perspective on baseball history, baseball today, and what he foresees for the future.

Following Barnes and Parnell, Jim Triesler, Virginia War Memorial Education Director, will moderate a question-and-answer session with the speakers and the audience.

In addition, there will baseball artifacts and memorabilia on display and baseball-themed snacks available for purchase. Plus, attendees can purchase autographed copies of Barnes’ book, “Play Ball! Doughboys and Baseball in the Great War.”

Seating is limited and will be on a first-come, first-seated basis.  Parking is limited due to the Virginia War Memorial expansion project. Free parking will be available in the VHDA surface lot next door at 601 South Belvidere Street and in the Afton Chemical Company lot at Belvidere and Spring Streets.

For more information, visit or call 804. 786.2060.

About the Virginia War Memorial

The mission of the Virginia War Memorial is to Honor Veterans, Preserve History, Educate Youth and Inspire Patriotism in All. Dedicated in 1956, the Memorial includes the names of the

nearly 12,000 Virginia heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II, Korea,

Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and the Global War on Terrorism. Situated on nearly five acres overlooking the James River at 621 South Belvidere Street in Richmond, the Virginia War Memorial is a division of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and serves as an integral part of its mission in support of all Virginians who served in our military. More at .

 About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  DVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans.  Today, DVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs. The agency operates two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries. It also oversees the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit