About three years ago, right before I moved to DC, I took a date to a Richmond Braves game (our now defunct Triple A baseball team).
Now, I couldn't tell you my date's name to save my life, but I can remember the strange details from that night. I got drunk on 5 dollar rubber bottles of Miller Lite. I managed to befriend a large (maybe 45) group of inner-city kids who came to the game. I belligerently cussed at the opposing team (The Rochester Red Wings) and even got my little inner city group to chant opposing players names with a funny adjective in front of the name when they were at bat (Smelly Samano!!! Smelly Samano!!!). The stadium was dead and both teams were constantly looking back at me and my group's ridiculous taunts (Hey Johnson! Your wife sucks in bed!!!) My date was embarrassed, I was red-faced drunk and 45 little black kids thought that I was funniest white man they had ever seen. It was a lot of fun. I'm not sure if I ever saw the girl after that... Apparently I was too immature. Psh...Me? Immature?
My point in telling you this?
We need baseball back in Richmond! I don't care if it doesn't bring in enough revenue. I don't care if the city has to pony up 50 million dollars. I don't even care if we don't build a new stadium and we just stick with the toilet bowl that is the Diamond.
Baseball is a Richmond tradition. There is no better way to spend an afternoon skipping work and drinking a few beers. The Braves may have lost money, but they increased civic pride. They were a part of this cities history. My all-time favorite player and alleged spouse-abuser David Justice played for the Braves! I almost caught about 7 foul balls in that stadium! I got drunk and yelled at strangers there!
I dare you to go and re watch the movie "Bull Durham" and not want minor league baseball back in Richmond. You can't do it.