Thursday, July 17, 2008

Part 4: Bye-bye baseball

After this season, my baseball team is leaving.

I call it "my" team, but I don't own it. The folks that do own it are moving it to Bowling Green, KY.

Fans like me in the Columbus area will be without baseball. The good news is, not many people will be affected.

Why do I say that?

Because if you don't care, you aren't affected.

I'm affected, because I care. But most folks in the area don't care, because most folks in the area don't go to the games.

But I'm a fan, and I go.

And so do sports reporters.

Sure, it's there job. But I've seen some of them at games when they aren't working. For instance, it's not unusual to see Andrew Whittenberg of WTVM and WXTX sitting behind home plate on his day off if the Catfish are in town.

Sure, he's got a life. And one of the ways he enjoys life is to take in a ball game.

Andrew works with Dave Platta, who's been doing sports in Columbus since the mid-1980s.

Dave's a baseball fan, too. He enjoys covering the games, because, despite the fact it's work, it's also fun for him.

The sports guys will be two of the local fans who will miss baseball when it's gone.

We've been through this before. I've only been in the Columbus area since the mid-1990s. And I was here when the Columbus RedStixx left. I wasn't here when the team before them, the Columbus Mudcats (nee Astros) left.

Dave was. He did a 5-part report on the Columbus Astros in 1988. When he told me about it one day earlier this season, I told him I'd love to see it if he could locate it.

Well, the series was located, and WTVM is sharing it, not just with me, but with everybody. They have the entire series posted on their Website. You gotta dig a little for it. But it's not too hard to find.

I'm posting the series here, too. I've already shared parts one, two and three. Here's part four. Oh, a warning. Part four has some noise in it. Think nails on a blackboard. It's not that bad, but it's annoying. Still, all in all, I enjoyed it.

The Charleston Wheelers still exists, though they went through a couple of transformations. They became the Charleston Alley Cats, then finally, the West Virginia Power.

The Catfish beat the Power for the South Atlantic League title last year in a 3-game sweep. But in Columbus, winning it all isn't enough.

And, if everything isn't enough, nothing is.

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