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Braves Ignoring Columbus As A Potential Site For A Minor League Team

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All the recent news about the Atlanta Braves organization wanting to expand to Wilmington, North Carolina, has left some towns a little jealous. Especially one town in Southwest Georgia:

The Atlanta Braves are looking for a new home for one of their Class-A affiliates, but they haven’t been shopping in Columbus.

Neither has any other owner or potential buyer. Golden Park is rotting in its own history and the city continues to be without a minor league baseball team.

The Braves already operate two farm clubs in the state. Their Class-AAA team is in Gwinnett County and their low-A club is in Rome. You would think a town 90 minutes away from Turner Field would be an attractive location, but as far as anyone knows the big club hasn’t thought about Golden Park.

No one from the Braves or any other team has contacted the Parks and Recreation Department or the Columbus Sports Council. "I haven’t heard a word from anybody," says Herbert Greene, executive director of the Sports Council. "Two years ago, there was a nibble but that’s the last thing I heard."

The article does say that the Columbus City Council likely wouldn't consider building the Braves a new stadium the way that the Wilmington City Council is considering it. Of course, Golden Park is a pretty nice park for a minor league team. Go here for a great review of the park, and more pictures like the one above.

A decade ago the Braves abandoned South Georgia (anywhere below Atlanta) when they moved their Sally League team from Macon to Rome after the 2002 season. The Macon ballpark is the oldest park in the state (opened in 1929), and deserves a team of some sort. Unfortunately, the trend around baseball is away from the historic minor league stadiums to new ergonomic money-machines that try for a diluted faux-historic flavor.

If you want a Braves minor league franchise, then you better build them a new stadium. Surely someone can find a use for these gorgeous old parks. Maybe we need more Rickwood Classics around the South. Speaking of, the 2012 Rickwood Classic will feature a guest appearance by Dale Murphy. Perhaps we could get Dale to start up a series of "Classic" games throughout the old parks of the South.