Tag Archives: baseball

Sayonara R-Braves, you will be missed

While I’ve known for awhile that they were going, talking to my Dad about the impending departure of the Richmond Braves today made it more real. The Richmond Braves, the Atlanta Braves’ AAA affiliate, are packing and moving to suburban Atlanta for the 2009 season. Unable to negotiate the building of a new stadium with Richmond mayor Doug Wilder and the city government, the Braves have elected to take their business elsewhere.

I grew up in the greater Richmond area, and it was always a delight to take in an R-Braves game on a lazy summer night. I loved going to see the next talent, the great players and heroes of tomorrow. You could always get amazing seats too, for very reasonable (under $10) prices.

Over the years I got to see Chipper Jones, Javy Lopez, Ryan Langerhans and more at the beloved Richmond ballpark. They all must have still been kids when they played. I distinctly remember Dad saying back when I was in middle school or so, “There’s this kid, 18 or 19 years old, who is tearing up the minor leagues. He’s going to be playing in Richmond, but only for a week or two. I want to see him before he makes it to Atlanta.” He was talking about Andruw Jones.

Thanks to my Dad’s insight, I was one of only a few thousand to ever see Andruw ever suit up in an R-Braves uniform. We caught one of his scant few games in Richmond. He hit one out of the park, and sure enough, only had one more game or two with the R-Braves before getting the call up to Atlanta.

I had some wonderful times in that stadium. It’s a shame that the next generation of Richmonders won’t have the same memories.

Goodbye Richmond Braves. You will be sorely missed. I just hope I get to see one more game before you embark.

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Opening Day at the Nationals New Stadium

Tonight the Washington Nationals christened their brand new ballpark. Having lived in DC the past two years, witnessing the past two opening days in person, and watching 20-plus games at old RFK, this game certainly piqued my interest. It also didn’t hurt that the Nationals opened up against my beloved Atlanta Braves.

Based on all I could see radiating from my TV set, the new stadium is an amazing upgrade from the personality-lacking RFK. Food venues looked decent, the field didn’t show the evidence of splitting duties with a soccer team, and on the whole the stadium looked like a great place to enjoy a night or afternoon of baseball (perhaps this was aided by a 40,000+ crowd on hand). I can’t wait to catch a game there the next time I’m in the area.

I’ve yet to see a quality photo of the finished stadium as yet, but this might give you a good idea:

Picture source: The Ballparks of Baseball website
http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/future/wash751.jpg

Now that looks like a real ballpark. Eerily similar to the Braves’ own Turner Field… Apparently the Nats’ new home offers views of the Capitol and National Monument as well.

Sadly, the Braves lost 3-2… I didn’t have the chance to see much of the game, but I did see the Braves come from behind in the top of the 9th to tie it up 2-2 on a passed ball, but this excitement was brief. In the bottom of the inning Ryan Zimmerman hit a walk-off homer to make the inaugural day memorable for Nats fans. At least Zimmerman is a UVA baseball alum, so that lessens the pain.

Overall it’s been an abysmal day for teams I like… Texas lost by almost 20, and won’t be joining the Final 4. Also, Davidson lost by 2 to Kansas, ending the awe of the nation. We will now be “treated” to a Final Four with four #1s, which has never before happened. I don’t know what angers me more, how dull and uninteresting that makes next weekend or that millions of basketball idiots across the country who make picks solely on the basis of seed are slaughtering me.

For the record, I picked two of them, UNC and UCLA. My final is UNC over UCLA.

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