A rough Diamond

There’s not really much shine left in ‘The Diamond’ these days serving as the home of the Richmond Braves and it’s really too bad for an extremely proud city that has heralded its long affiliation (since 1966) with the Atlanta Braves. The Braves welcomed their 10 millionth fan to The Diamond in 2007, took home a Governor’s Cup Championship and then learned the Boys of Summer would not return in 2009. So far, there has been no farewell tour.

The bad news just keeps compounding itself for a once proud park. Last night they announced a little over 1,400 tickets sold and followed it up with actual attendance: fewer than 300. Yes it was a wet, cold and desolate place to play and we can’t expect any changes in the coming games over the series.

No stadium upgrades (Rochester lost a game Sunday because there were holes in tarp and the water ran through), improvements that need to be made are just kept operational – including a pipe above the visiting radio booth that saturates the floor putting our equipment at risk and by the summer will have a putrid stench that is already starting to linger.

Bisons skipper, Torey Lovullo, Bob Black (my broadcast partner for the series and Richmond resident) and I talked Monday before the game that this park and Columbus once served as the flagships for the league and now both will now be gone by 2009. The sheen of the new parks has made older facilities obsolete and its start can be traced all back to the incredible development that went into the big ballpark in downtown Buffalo.

In fact, Dunn Tire Park (1988) is the only facility newer than The Diamond (1985) to host more than10 million fans and over all, only eight hold the honor in all Minor League Baseball.

  • Cooper Stadium, Columbus (1932)
  • McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket (1946)
  • PGE Park, Portland (1956)
  • Cheney Stadium, Tacoma (1960)
  • Rosenblatt Stadium, Omaha (1969)
  • Herschel Greer Stadium, Nashville (1978)
  • Dunn Tire Park, Buffalo (1988)
  • FirstEnergy Stadium, Reading (1952)

To sum it up, be thankful Bisons fans and embrace the team and the fact you have a true diamond in your backyard.

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