When we moved from Richmond to the coast of North Carolina, the one thing I thought I’d lose was my husband’s fanatical obsession with his season tickets to the Richmond Braves. Now don’t get me wrong….I thoroughly enjoy baseball. If my husband had to follow one sport, baseball would be my choice. From the intellect and strategy behind the game to the lack of brutal clashes and posturing to the downright attractiveness of the players, I’m a fan.
But when you have season tickets to a minor league team and live 5 minutes from the stadium, baseball becomes an almost nightly event. I used to get so excited when the Braves left on a road trip because it meant that I had a window for a normal life. Romantic dinners at home, staying late at the office, running errands after work…..whatever it was, I knew that I wouldn’t be sitting at the ballpark those evenings.
Well…..eight years later, it looks like the Braves organization has followed us to North Carolina. And not only North Carolina, but they’re thinking about opening up shop in Wilmington…..our nearest town! Did they miss us at the games or something? Have they just not been the same since we left?
Actually, I’m kidding. It would be a great thing if the Atlanta Braves decided to move their Advanced Single-A team from Lynchburg (the Lynchburg Hillcats) to Wilmington. And it looks like that might happen. After the Atlanta Braves (including former manager Bobby Cox) and Mandalay Baseball Properties came to Wilmington last fall to meet with local leaders and talk about bringing a professional team to the Port City, the Wilmington City Council voted unanimously to start negotiations that could lead to Wilmington getting a minor league team. They now have six months to figure out how much it would cost to build a stadium, how it would be funded, potential locations, and what level of public support would garnered from such a decision.
Although it’s seems a long way off with a ton of hurdles, a minor league team (and an Atlanta Braves affiliate) would be great for the city….and Lynn.