, 2015

Three to join Northern Neck Wall of Fame

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

An all-around athlete, a coach and a baseball player will be inducted into the 14th class of the Northern Neck Sports Wall of Fame during ceremonies this Saturday, April 12, at Dream Fields near Kilmarnock. 

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Fred D. Pitman
Leonard Rock
Howard Wood

The induction will be at 4 p.m. in the Hayden Building. 

The family of the late Leonard Rock of Ophelia will accept his award posthumously. Rock, formerly of Luttreville, was an all-around athlete at Rappahannock High School, where he played and excelled in football, basketball, baseball and track and field. He held the school’s shot put record for many years. 

Considered to be one of the hardest throwing softball pitchers in the Northern Neck, Rock won 61 games, including four no-hitters and 20 shutouts, with the Texacos. One of his wins was a record-setting 14-inning game. He was named the team’s MVP in 1971 and to the All-Time Texacos team.

While serving in Korea, Rock was chosen to play on the 7th Army Division baseball team. He was the only player on the team who had not played in college or for a professional team.

Former school administrator Fred D. Pitman of Farnham was an accomplished baseball and basketball player at Northumberland High School, where he was a four-year starter on both teams. After graduation, he headed to Lynchburg College where he took up the sport of soccer for the first time. Although he’d never even seen a soccer game before, Pitman was a natural and was named an All-Mason Dixon Conference and All-Southern Region goalkeeper. While at Lynchburg, he was also an All-Mason Dixon baseball player. 

When he returned to the Northern Neck and a teaching job at Rappahannock High School, he became the school’s first football coach, leading the Raiders from 1964 to 1968. His 1968 team went undefeated. 

Pitman went on to become principal at RHS and later superintendent of Richmond County Public Schools.

Howard Wood of Warsaw grew up playing baseball in the cow pasture on a family farm in Richmond County and ended his career on the professional baseball field. 

Wood started playing with his brothers as teammates and his father as his coach and was a member of the family Sharps Elite team. A catcher with a strong arm and a long-ball hitter, Wood was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies major league baseball organization in 1964 and later drafted by the Chicago White Sox triple-A team, where he played for 10 years before ending his career after an injury. 

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