A Moment to Ponder

What has looked inevitable for weeks finally became official yesterday..Minor League Baseball’s 2020 season is over before it began..there will be no minor league baseball played in 160 towns across the country this year.

Here are three good stories about this

First this one from the New York Times (above) It does a nice job explaining where we are and how we got here.

This next one is from Forbes last month. It provides important context to the back story behind the story of how the Major League draft went from 40 to just five rounds last month.

Finally there is this story from ESPN, which asks and answers some important questions about what this means for Minor League Baseball.

But the closing paragraph in the ESPN piece is worth highlighting here

When the minor league season ended last summer, business was good — perhaps as good as it had ever been. Most teams were profitable, with more than 40 million fans clicking the turnstiles of minor league parks across the nation. Now we don’t know what the landscape will look like when we next see affiliated baseball at the minor league level.

We don’t, in fact, know if we will be able to recognize that landscape at all.

ESPN

You won’t be surprised to know that I have some pretty strong feelings about this. I spent the whole day writing and I will turn it into a video tomorrow but am going to need some more time to do it justice.

Suffice it to say for now, I fully intend to continue with the Low Mileage Series this summer, in fact my resolve is even greater than it was before this news became official. But I am very worried about what 18 months without fans will do to the landscape of Minor League Baseball I fell in love with on our Excellent Adventure. I think its likely that the communities that will need minor league baseball the most in the months and years ahead, are also those at the greatest risk of losing it. I want to do everything I can with this series to try to help mitigate that risk.

More coming tomorrow…

Bill

LMT Stop #45: Canton, OH

Excellent Adventure Day # 83

Old Before its Time

Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium in Canton, OH

We arrived at Thurman Munson Stadium just south of Canton, Ohio on a blazing hot Sunday at the end of June.

There frankly, wasn’t a ton to recommend Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium except the legend of the man who it was named for and there wasn’t much evidence of him in sight..

It could be that, it could be that we were tired and looking forward to seeing our families after three months on the road or it was probably a bit of both but something happened that day that hardly ever happened on our Excellent Adventure, we were ready to go long before a 15-3 game finally ended.

The Trip

The Video

This video includes a look at Thurman Munson Stadium in Akron but also a brief look at Akron’s Canal Park, a vast improvement, which I saw on the 2003 Extra Innings Tour.

On Deck

July begins tomorrow the same way it did for us in 1991, with a trip down to Columbus, Ohio to see the Columbus Clippers play. Enjoy the evening!

LMT Stop #44: Charleston, WV

Excellent Adventure Day # 82

The View from the Tracks

The View from the Tracks at Watt Powell Park June 1991

You never forget your Mom’s birthday…at least I hope you don’t, so our stop on June 29th 1991 was special anyway but Watt Powell Park in Charleston, WV, our last in the Southeast, felt almost as if we were turning a corner.

We had been to 91 parks since April 9, there were still 87 to go but as we turned toward the Northeast after this game I think we started to feel like we might really be able to do this thing.

The Trip

The Video

A little trivia, some interesting weather history and Bill pulls a disappearing act.

On Deck

We move into a new state tomorrow, its on to Canton, OH the 1991 home of the Eastern League’s Canton-Akron Indians.