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Batting Against Cancer

Washington and Lee junior Jonathan Stutts, the starting shortstop on the Generals’ baseball team, is scheduled to make his Rockbridge Rapids debut this Friday night, June 3, when the local team in the Valley League begins its third season at Smith Field. Stutts, who batted .318 in 31 games for W&L this spring, is the only General on the 29-person roster of college and junior college players.

Jonathan had a solid performance on the diamond this year, but he made an even stronger impression in his fund-raising for cancer research in memory of his father, who died of brain cancer when Jonathan was 15.

Throughout the year, Jonathan raised money for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the charity created by Jim Valavano, the late North Carolina State basketball coach, just before his death.

Jonathan’s work is chronicled in a story in the Charlotte Observer’s South Charlotte News this week. As he explained there, he started with a letter to family and friends asking them to pledge money based on his number of hits during the season. (For the record, he had 41 hits, second best on the Generals.) When his teammates learned of the effort, they joined in. Stutts asked donors to pledge based on the team’s performance or on an individual player’s performance.

He had hoped to be able to raise $5,000 in his father’s memory. At season’s end, Jonathan said, the total was $9,600.

“I’m just so happy and amazed,” he told the newspaper. “Everyone tells me my dad would be proud.”