Excellent Adventure Day # 63
A Long and Hilly History
I’m pretty sure we camped at First Landing State Park on the Atlantic Ocean at least once during this stretch but it might have been when we came back to see the Tidewater Tides later in the week.
In any case, we arrived at City Stadium in Lynchburg late in the afternoon on a Monday and stayed right through the game.
According to Baseball History Daily, baseball in Lynchburg goes back to at least 1906 when the Lynchburg Shoemakers won the Virginia League pennant in the C-League.
Here also is a very nice essay on the more recent history of baseball in this Central Virginia city of hills.
The 91 Lynchburg Red Sox finished under .500 overall but managed to make it to the Carolina League finals. Outfielder Jeff McNeely was the team’s best hitter on the team and he ended playing briefly in Boston two seasons later. The Red Sox jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and went on to win the game that night 6-3. McNeely batted leadoff and had two hits and two RBI.
As I say in introducing the video, City Stadium in Lynchburg was not the oldest park we saw, nor was it particularly fancy and there were no spectacular plays in the game. But we were comfortable there and I think it comes across in the video.
By the way, we’re trying something new with today’s video and setting the premiere time for 5 pm Eastern. If you want to watch it then folks can chat together during the premiere…click below.
It probably doesn’t take long for most people watching baseball in Lynchburg to come up with one word to describe the town…hilly. The stadium is perched on a hill surrounded by a town made up of more hills and the surrounding area includes even larger hills. Thus, when the team changed its name from Red Sox to Hillcats in 1995 it seemed pretty fitting.
The Lynchburg Hillcats continue to play at City Stadium though it got a major facelift and new name, Calvin Falwell Field at City Stadium in 2004. Just this spring the name has changed to Bank of the James Stadium when the naming rights were purchased by a local bank.
The day after Lynchburg was a short drive in pretty country, next up is the Salem Buccaneers in the Blue Ridge mountain town of Salem, VA.