As a resident of central Virginia, I have spent a fair amount of time covering the drama surrounding the former Richmond Braves. When the parent club decided to move their triple-A affiliate from Virginia’s capital city to the suburbs of Atlanta itself, Richmond residents were stunned.
The R-Braves, as they were known locally, had been in the area since 1966, so many couldn’t believe their beloved franchise was gone.
Local investors took a deep breath and plunged into the search for a replacement, however. And it’s starting to look like they’ve zeroed in on the next team to call Richmond home.
From the website of Norwich’s WTNH:
According to a Richmond newspaper, the plans call for the Richmond group to buy the Defenders for about $15 million and move the team to Virginia at the end of the 2009 season.
The deal must be approved by the Eastern League and by officials at Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball.
Virginia hasn’t had a double-A team since I moved here ten years ago, so I’m kind of happy to hear this. It’s kind of like hitting for the cycle, affiliation-wise. The Defenders are tied into the Giants, so that should be an interesting change. Whether the club’s nickname changes or not doesn’t really matter to me, but I do hope they get a new stadium. The Diamond, where the R-Braves used to play, is a concrete eyesore, in my humble opinion. Then again, we don’t want to be wasting big bucks in these economic times do we?
Here’s hoping the sale goes through. It’ll be great to have a new Bus Leagues option near home.