Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Part 3: Looking back on a departed baseball team

Earlier this year, the Columbus Catfish were sold. The new owner wanted a team to move to Bowling Green, KY.

He got it.

And I'm losing a baseball team.

Oh, not just me. The whole Columbus area. But don't but a few people care. Because, if they did, they'd have been at the games and the team wouldn't be packing up and moving out.

Columbus has been through this before.

Back in 1988, Dave Platta of WTVM did a report on the plight, and possible departure, of the Columbus Astros.

The Astros didn't leave in '88. But they were gone just a couple of years later.

This year, it's a done deal about the Catfish. They are leaving.

And speaking with Dave earlier in the season, he had mentioned his 5-part series from 1988. Naturally, I wanted to see it. Only he couldn't lay his hands on it.

Well, the series was finally located, and WTVM has posted them on their Website.

And, I'm taking advantage of their offer to share it over the Web.

I've already posted videos of parts one and two. Here's part three.

Dave, along with another WTVM sports anchor, Andrew Whittenberg, are running a series this week on their 11 PM newscasts, about the Catfish departure. I'm enjoying it immensely.

But the thing is, the current report is a lot like the 1988 report: no fan support, old facility, no money for improvements, and so on.

History repeats itself. Except for one thing. The last two teams to leave -- the Astros/Mudcats in 1990 and the RedStixx in 2002 -- each had another team to replace them. The Mudcats (nee Astros) were replaced the next year by the Indians (who renamed themselves "RedStixx"). The RedStixx were replaced by the South Georgia Waves (who renamed themselves "Columbus Catfish").

There's nobody waiting in the wings this time.

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