Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Richmond Giants

The following is written by David Kamoe, a life-long sports fan whose sister is a close friend. David is an avid A's fan, wen to to high school with Drew Gooden and can't believe that Giants commentator Mike Krukow used to refer to the right-centerfield expanse at Pac Bell Park as "Finley Alley," referring to Steve Finley who remarkably wore a Giants uniform for a season. David will likely be stopping by these parts a few times a month, so treat him right. And no sister jokes.

No, not Richmond, Calif. but Richmond, Va., which starting in 2010 will be the home of the San Francisco Giants' Double-A team. This is of specific interest to me as my mother grew up in Richmond, Va. at a time when the Richmond Virginians or Virginia Vee’s were the Triple-A team of the New York Yankees. The Vee’s left in 1964, however, so the team I saw was the Richmond Braves. Visiting my Grandfather in Richmond, I have a few occasions to see the Braves at “The Diamond.” Sadly the Braves were relocated to Gwinnett, Ga. this season.

The city of Richmond has since been looking for another team to replace the Braves. Part of the problem is that “The Diamond” was not exactly the most modern facility. I’m not sure how necessary this is but considering the fact that the only other minor league ballpark I’ve been to is Raley Field (home of the Sacramento Rivercats), I can’t say for certain. It (“The Diamond) had a very college baseball feel to some extent though Richmond is not a giant sports hub. It is a wonderful city that doubles a quality college town (Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Richmond, and Virginia Union among others) and was the birthplace of Arthur Ashe, Moses Malone, and Bruce Smith.

The former home of the Giants Double-A team was Norwich, Conn. I have never been to Connecticut but like most people I know it for ESPN, the Whalers, and UConn. I also know that it was never the seat of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Yes, Richmond was the capitol of the Confederate States and has a rather large statue in honor of General Richard E. Lee. It’s not gaudy but it’s there in “the Fan” section of Richmond along with a statue of Arthur Ashe.

Richmond has come quite a long way in the 144 years since the Civil War ended and is a very nice place to visit. It is about an hour south of Charlottesville where the Cavaliers are having an up and down football season. William and Mary?! Oh my. The scuttlebutt is that “the Diamond” will be refurbished for the Giants but considering the money they have tied up in Dave Roberts, Randy Winn, and Edgar Renteria, it may take a lot of votes and public funds. And we all know how quickly Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T was voted on.

In the meantime, the artist formerly known as the Connecticut Defenders will be rechristened the “Richmond Defenders” or something equally snappy. Maybe the Richmond Rusty the Robots or the Richmond Crazy Crabs.


Anonymous said...

Being a Richmond, I have to make a slight correction.

Bruce Smith is originally from Virginia Beach. To the best of my knowledge, he's never passed out drunk behind the wheel at at Richmond stoplight, while accomplishing this twice in his hometown and still managing to stay out of jail.

The Diamond was a modern facility when A-Ha was a popular group. Now, it's uncomfortable, and unwieldy. The new ownership group here is going to be able to do some sprucing up, but until this area decides they would actually like to support a sporting event, any team here will have to make do.

Ok, I think that's more than enough about Richmond.

Anonymous said...

"General Richard E. Lee" ???? Whos is that? I think you meant Robert E. Lee.

JMC said...

GMoney said...

OK, what was the fucking point of this? Zach, please fire this guy.

Anonymous said...

"It is about an hour south of Charlottesville where the Cavaliers are having an up and down football season."

What the hell kind of football have you been watching? Exactally what part of UVA Football has been UP this year?

HM said...

Wow. What a youtube video! They have 5 minutes to discuss Richmond and they spend 30 seconds talking about a $2 movie theater? Not a good sign.

I suggest the "Richmond Smokers" for a team name.

Anonymous said...

I apologize for my missteps on Richmond knowledge, Robert E. Lee's name, and clearly misrepresenting the University of Virginia's football program. I am not a college football fan. I grew up near Cal but never really followed Cal. I've seen two college football games in my entire life and went to a school that hasn't had a football program in around 50 years. If I may be so bold as to quote the title of a Primus singles collection: "They Can't All be Zingers." Working for free, David

Anonymous said...

GMoney (?)
It's time for you to grow up and stop dropping 6-letter f-bombs and other such nonsense on internet sites. I try to mind my business, but your act has grown tiresome. I find you pathetic and unfunny. I am quite serious about this. You are a joke to me.

Sorry if I've rocked the boat, Zach. I just find this cyber-bullying unpleasant and cowardly.


The Big Picture said...

thanks d.o.

let's keep it clean, fun and collaborative around here. no one's a professional and we're all just using this site as a place to express our voice about sports.

remember, sports are supposed to be fun (unless you live in the bay area). let's all smile a little.

GMoney said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Love the Richmond, VA youtube video!
Carol in Virginia

kamagra said...

The former home of the Giants Double-A team was Norwich, Conn. I have never been to Connecticut but like most people I know it for ESPN, the Whalers, and UConn.