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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Baseball Notes - Updated ***

Baseball continues to be big news. I am watching a classic Red Sox - Yankees game from Fenway Park and switching over to watch the Orioles in between innings. Meanwhile here are some personal observations, including some updated remarks regarding Opening Day Partners proposal for the Diamond.

  • UVA is going to the College World Series.
    I'm trying to figure out a way to get on the media junket.

  • Busch Stadium is still Busch Stadium
    My early days in baseball (in the stands) were spent at a brand new Busch Stadium. It's arched crest resembled the Gateway Arch that loomed behind it. I learned to love baseball there. Joe Torre, Lou Brock, Bill White and Bob Gibson. Two world series, a win against the Red Sox in '67 and a loss to the Tigers and Denny McClain in '68. Busch helped finance the first stadium and his successors must have come through to maintain the tradition.

  • Royals Stadium is now Kaufman Stadium
    Royals Stadium along with it's neighbor, Arrowhead Stadium (the Chiefs) is considered one of the finest sport complexes in the U.S. Not bad for a small 2nd tier city not all that much bigger than Richmond. The downside to Royals stadium is it's location, 10 miles east of downtown along a freeway stop off I70.

    There is no way there except by automobile or bus. It is isolated and cut off from the rest of the city.

    The upside is it was renamed for the late Ewing Kaufman, owner of the Royals and benefactor to Kansas City

  • The steroids era is over. The new wave of baseball player seems to genuinely love the game.

  • The worst stadium in the Major Leagues Award goes to Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay. It's actually in St. Petersburg, but they might as well drop it in the bay. It would become a fishing reef which would attract larger crowds.

  • The worst franchise award also goes to Tampa Bay. For 15 years they have averages 11 - 12 thousand per game. You could set a cannon off in TF and not hit anyone. The only games that sell out are when the Yankees come to town and then the crowd is rooting for the Yanks.

  • The 2nd worst? The Florida (Miami) Marlins. Baseball just doesn't sell in Florida unless it is spring training.

  • There are two historic stadiums left in the Major Leagues, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. They are considered the two best places to watch baseball. Fenway Park and the Red Sox are on pace to sell out 500 games in a row, a record.

  • Randy (Big Unit) Johnson won his 300th game at 45 years old, only the 24th player ever to achieve it.

  • Another 300 game winner was Nolan Ryan who is exploring bringing a team to Richmond.

  • Baseball is back and a welcome alternative to the primadonnas that dominate basketball and football.

  • Richmond will have a team next year. This is my opinion only. Do you want to bet against me?

*** The RTD reports a new stadium proposal for the Diamond. There is a very nice picture which I will reproduce below. If this is built, I will support it. Maybe the counties will even contribute. They should contribute. The bizarre nature of Virginia law makes cities and counties separate tax jurisdictions and we are at the mercy of the counties to help pay for anything and they were holding their noses about Shockoe Bottom. If they weren't so parochial, we would be nearing completion of the "world class" stadium the Sierra Club is so excited about.

So Shockoe Bottom take a different direction. Buses will rumble though 80 times an hour. Construction will swamp the Bottom as high speed rail rips the area to shreds. An underfunded slave museum will hunker down and open to mixed reviews and peanut gallery commentators will find something else to whine about.

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FanGuy said...

Sad to see you give in to a recycled, mediocre Boulevard proposal. Baseball is not the best use for the Boulevard (see Davenport's study from last year), and the City of Richmond deserves better. 50 years of baseball on the Boulevard, and all we have to show for it are a bus station, self storage facility, and Bill's Barbecue. Unless a new park can be an economic catalyst, Richmond taxpayers should not be asked to spend a dime on it, regardless of whether the counties are chippingin.

Paul Hammond said...

I haven't given in to anything. I do see the writing on the wall. SB would be much better. I hope it happens. If it doesn't and this does, then I will support it. Rather that than Short Pump or Hanover.

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