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Richmond's "the Diamond"... Illustrated!

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  • Richmond's "the Diamond"... Illustrated!

    Hey, everyone.

    This was linked to from Paul Lukas' Uni Watch blog. It's a pretty amusing explanation of what was wrong with the Richmond Braves' stadium in comic form.

    The Braves recently announced that they're moving their AAA team from Richmond to Gwinnett County (just NE of Atlanta) so it looks like the Diamond's nosebleeds will soon be things of the past. I'd imagine that most baseball stadium enthusiasts will join Robert Ullman in saying "good riddance!"
    Last edited by JohnCropp; 03-02-2008, 12:01 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by JohnCropp View Post
    Hey, everyone.

    This was linked to from Paul Lukas' Uni Watch blog. It's a pretty amusing explanation of what was wrong with the Richmond Braves' stadium in comic form.

    The Braves recently announced that they're moving their AAA team from Richmond to Gwinnett County (just NE of Atlanta) so it looks like the Diamond's nosebleeds will soon be things of the past. I'd imagine that most baseball stadium enthusiasts will join Robert Ullman in saying "good riddance!"
    Total bummer! I always loved pulling in to the Richmond bus terminal and watching the unaware passengers get startled to see the HUGE Braves head sculpture looming out of the grandstand, especially at night when its eerily floodlit.

    Dennis
    BrooklynDodger14

    Comment


    • #3
      Isn't it kind of ridiculous for a Mets fan to use the term "nosebleeds" about a minor league park? There are thousands of seats at Shea that are worse than the worst one at the Diamond.
      Last edited by Pere; 03-02-2008, 11:48 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by spark240 View Post
        Isn't it kind of ridiculous for a Mets fan to use the term "nosebleeds" about a minor league park? There are thousands of seats at Shea that are worse than the worst one at the Diamond.
        1). Mets fans aren't really thrilled about the poor sightlines at Shea.

        2). The cartoon itself says that minor league baseball shouldn't be like this.
        http://www.virtualfenway.com

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        • #5
          The link didn't work for me, so I don't know what the cartoon says.

          Even the highest seats at the Diamond aren't really high enough to be called nosebleeds. The pitch of the upper deck and the comparative smallness of the lower deck make it seem higher than it is, especially in pictures.

          EDIT: Okay, I got the link fixed. There was an extra "http" in there.

          The guy is wrong about a whole bunch of points there. I have to suspect he hasn't lived in Richmond very long (is that him in a Pittsburgh cap?), because he seems to be unaware that the R-Braves have been in Richmond exactly as long as the A-Braves have been in Atlanta, that a lot of Richmond area baseball fans are Braves fans. Almost all the members of the Braves '90s championship teams came through Richmond at some point, and Richmond fans in my experience were more knowledgeable and more baseball-oriented (as opposed to between-innnings gimmick-oriented) than folks in many minor league towns. (The Fodor's baseball travel guide, among other published sources, also notes this.)

          He says "I'm not gonna go just because it's baseball," and he's annoyed by the regimentation of the (hugely successful) Braves farm system, and he doesn't care if the Braves affiliation goes away, all of which suggests to me that he's the kind of hipster-come-lately (is that him with the little goatee?) who thinks it's cool to hang out at the ballpark, but doesn't actually pay much attention to the game. In some minor league towns, there are people at the games who aren't even aware of who the major league parent is, or if they know, they don't care. But at Richmond, I always found people knowledgeably discussing roster moves--somebody just back from a series in Atlanta, somebody else just moved up from Greenville. The best class of Richmond fans, and for that matter in each of the Braves-farm towns, were in effect fans of the whole organization.

          He doesn't like the Braves name; "wouldn't it be cool for our local team to have some sort of local character? Wouldn't it be more fun to root for the Robins? Or the Racers?" These cute modern alliterative names have belonged to a hockey team and a swim team, respectively, but if he actually appreciated the history of minor league baseball in Richmond, he would have proposed the Virginians, Bluebirds or Colts.

          The guy complains about being seated too high up (despite his drawing, you don't need binoculars even at the top of the Diamond), yet he also claims that crowds were usually sparse when he was there... so why didn't he just spring the extra dollar and get a seat behind the dugout, like I usually did? And his comment about a "mega-corporation" just wanting to "squeeze a profit" from Richmond, as if that was the reason the Braves were running a farm system, is such an absurd misconception, I don't even have time to begin addressing it.

          He is right that the area around the ballpark is rather desolate, which is why I was hoping that the Shockoe neighborhood ballpark, or a similar downtown project, would be implemented, but that was undone by dysfunctional city politics. And he's right that the ballpark itself wasn't as pretty as it could have been. The Diamond itself won't be much mourned, and as he says, "a city Richmond's size could land another minor league team in no time." Yes, but it won't be the Braves. And that is a loss.
          Last edited by Pere; 03-02-2008, 01:12 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by spark240 View Post
            Isn't it kind of ridiculous for a Mets fan to use the term "nosebleeds" about a minor league park? There are thousands of seats at Shea that are worse than the worst one at the Diamond.
            It is ridiculous for a Mets fan to use the term "nosebleeds" about a minor league park.

            Which is exactly what is wrong with the Diamond.

            Comment


            • #7
              John, you have two "http://"'s in a row in your link - not working right.

              Edit: I'll throw it up for ya...it's pretty neat!




              The seats are up there....

              Last edited by alpineinc; 03-02-2008, 12:14 PM.

              Showcasing the finest photography to illuminate the lesser known stories from classic baseball. Now over 2000 followers!
              https://twitter.com/behindthebagbtb

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              • #8
                Originally posted by alpineinc View Post
                John, you have two "http://"'s in a row in your link - not working right.
                Ah, crap.

                Thanks!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Again, look at how few rows there are in the first deck. The very highest seats in the upper still aren't that far from the field.

                  And again, if the height is such a big deal to him, why didn't he just sit down below in the first place?

                  If you look closely at that picture, though, you can see one of the real drawbacks... the aluminum benches instead of real chairs.
                  Last edited by Pere; 03-02-2008, 12:54 PM.

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                  • #10
                    While Richmond may have to go without MiL Baseball for a couple of seasons, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a new stadium, and the Nationals AAA squad playing there in say, 2011.
                    4 5 (7) 8 20 22 33 42 (44)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bigtime39 View Post
                      While Richmond may have to go without MiL Baseball for a couple of seasons, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a new stadium, and the Nationals AAA squad playing there in say, 2011.
                      That's the other thing Richmond loses when they lose the Braves, the International League franchise itself. Richmond needs a franchise in some league before it can get a new team. Columbus has just built a new downtown ballpark, so there's no way that franchise is going anywhere, no matter what the Nationals might want to do. The Nats might be happy to have an affiliate in Richmond, but the International League is staying in Columbus. Other than the Braves, the only AAA franchise that might be relocating in the near future (that I'm aware of) would be the PCL's Nashville Sounds, and if anything, they'll be moving west, not east.

                      At the AA level, you've got the Erie (PA) Seawolves and the (Norwich) Connecticut Defenders possibly looking to move. One of those could move to Richmond, and maybe play a season at the Diamond, if they were promised a good new ballpark thereafter. In the best-case scenario, Richmond loses its Braves affiliation, then builds a smashing new downtown ballpark, and gets a new franchise in a lower-level league. This is exactly what happened to Greenville SC, who used to have the AA Braves in a lousy ballpark, and now have the Low-A Greenville Drive (Red Sox) in a great park. In each case, it's just a shame that the city didn't get their new ballpark built for the Braves, although in Greenville's case it looks like the Red Sox will be a good parent, with a much-improved system, and their new park is a mini-Fenway. In Richmond's case, this means the best outcome is probably being a Tigers farm team for a couple years, then convincing the Nats to switch their AA affiliation over from Harrisburg PA. And to do this, they'll have to make their city and their ballpark attractive to two separate groups of people: those that own the Eastern League franchise in Erie (or Norwich), and those that run the farm system for the Nationals. With the Braves, that was one and the same.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by spark240 View Post
                        The guy is wrong about a whole bunch of points there. I have to suspect he hasn't lived in Richmond very long (is that him in a Pittsburgh cap?), because he seems to be unaware that the R-Braves have been in Richmond exactly as long as the A-Braves have been in Atlanta, that a lot of Richmond area baseball fans are Braves fans.
                        Rob Ullman, the humble author of the strip here, just popping in to say thanks to everyone for checking it out, and to kind of "re-but" a few of Spark's points.

                        I don't know if I'd really say anything I've said here is "wrong"...it's really just my opinion, and was presented as such. I've lived in Richmond since 1998 (with a few years' detour to Greensboro, NC), and I've been a baseball fan since I was a kid...yeah, that is me in a Pirates cap. I'm 36, so I'm way too old to be a "hipster-come-lately", but I am someone who demands a certain amount of quality when it comes to the choosing of where I spend my time and money, which, sadly, the Richmond Braves and the Diamond fail to deliver. I go to the games, I watch the games, but I admit, I'm not one of those uber-fans who keeps score and listens to the radio feed of the game on headphones as it's going on. There's nothing wrong with a little bit of atmosphere to go along with the game to make it more fun for everybody.

                        And it's true...I hate the Atlanta Braves. I had tickets to the '91 and '92 World Series at Three Rivers Stadium, neither of which actually happened, thanks to the Francisco Cabrera, Sid Bream and the rest of the Braves...althugh I suppose Doug Drabek should shoulder a bit of the blame as well (didn't have to look any of that up, BTW). There's just no way on earth I'm able to root for a team called the Braves, especially one that looks exactly like Atlanta's. If they took the time to differentiate the teams at all it might be a different story...but I doubt it. Still, when I lived in Greensboro I went to and cheered for the Bats, who were a Yankees farm club, even though I can't stand the Yankees! That's a personal preference, I realize, but it's an opinion piece, so...

                        On the names Robins and Racers: The Richmond Robins played minor-league hockey here in the 70s, and Richmond Int'l Raceway sells out two NASCAR events a year, so, obviously, racing is popular here. Sure, they're alliterative, but so what?

                        I personally can't wait until there's another team in town...a team that is NOT the Braves and is owned locally. Don't get me wrong, I blame the city government just as much as I blame the Turner Corp. or whoever owns the Braves now, but when apathy reigns, you have to expect it to trickle down to the fans.
                        Rob Ullman
                        Atom-Bomb Bikini

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by spark240 View Post
                          Other than the Braves, the only AAA franchise that might be relocating in the near future (that I'm aware of) would be the PCL's Nashville Sounds, and if anything, they'll be moving west, not east.
                          Oh yeah the Sounds are good as gone. Can't blame them, I don't think Greer meets double-a standards.I wont go near that neighborhood. Maybe some franchise shifting?
                          Jerry

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                          • #14
                            Normally, I'd say The Diamond represents the bland, souless stadium architecture of the 1960s-1980s (Dodger Stadium and Kaufmann Stadium aside).

                            However, I have a soft spot for the ballpark on The Boulevard. Every summer around my birthday, my friends and I would trek down from Southern Maryland to The Diamond to catch the R-Braves for some good old minor league action. This started when we were young and had our parents drive, all the way until I had my own license and we'd drive ourselves. There was something exciting about going to the ballpark there--you'd walk in and there'd be a Dixieland band playing at the entrance to the steps. $8 would get you box seats behind home plate, something that was unheard of at the major league parks. My friends and I would always have a great time up close to the players--occasionally, we'd see a former major leaguer either on a rehab assignment or trying to take a second shot at the majors.

                            Plus, there was always the excitement of driving by the Diamond on I-95 and seeing it right off the side of the expressway standing tall. When I was very young and didn't know all the major league teams, I remember wondering if Richmond was a major league team because the ballpark seemed so big. And it was--it looked like a mini-major league park.

                            And then there was the statute of the indian crawling out beneath the grandstands and looking out at the street beside the ballpark--that was always a fascinating sight to see.

                            So count this baseball fan who would like to see The Diamond get a good renovation and have it see minor league baseball once again.
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                            On a related note, the Braves are putting their AAA team where? Gwinnith County? Has anyone even heard of Gwinnith County outside the Central Georgia region? Pardon the ignorance, but is there even a city of distinction in Gwinnith? Obviously, the Braves want a minor league team nearby Atlanta, but come on--at least give us Columbus or Augusta or Savannah. When a market has a AAA team, it should really be a mid-sized city recognizable to the general populace. Heck, Jacksonville is only about 3-4 hours away from Atlanta and has one of the most beautiful minor league ballparks around which was built to AAA specs. Isn't that a more deserving market for AAA than Gwinnith County?
                            Last edited by PeteU; 03-04-2008, 08:02 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jl1718 View Post
                              Oh yeah the Sounds are good as gone. Can't blame them, I don't think Greer meets double-a standards.I wont go near that neighborhood. Maybe some franchise shifting?
                              Do you think if Las Vegas doesn't get a new stadium to replace its aging park Cashman Field, it might move?

                              I doubt it--I think someone will pony up the money for a new ballpark there, and it's a substantial market. But if Richmond could lose AAA ball for failing to address the ballpark situation, couldn't Vegas lose it as well?

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