Diamond dreams
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Apr 11, 2013 | 3188 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabamians can debate the “What’s our favorite sport?” question until we’re blue in the face, and the winner will always be football. There is no doubt.

But what’s happening in Birmingham this spring is proof that few activities are better than spending an enjoyable warm-weather night at a baseball game.

The Railroad Park area of Birmingham is the site of Regions Park, the new home of the minor league Birmingham Barons baseball team. Since the Barons departed historic Rickwood Field in the late 1980s, the Barons have toiled south of town in Hoover at a nondescript stadium that was both functional and boring. It had lots of parking and no charm. You went for the game, not the ambience.

Thank goodness the Barons’ ownership and the city of Birmingham have brought the Barons back home.

The park hosted its first game Wednesday night. Judging from the photos and online videos, the night went great and the park was stunning. Contractors still have a few things to finish before the park is spit-shined, and a few glitches did pop up. (Long concession lines were prevalent.)

Nevertheless, Birmingham seems to have made the same decision officials in Montgomery did a decade ago when they built an attractive downtown stadium for that city’s team, the Biscuits. Montgomery residents still rave about their park and the positive impact it’s had on the city.

Calhoun County’s sports fans are fortunate; the Major Leagues’ Atlanta Braves are only about 90 miles to the east, and now Birmingham’s new park has opened to our west. Sounds like it’s time to make a springtime roadtrip.
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