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Thread: Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

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    Will post for food BuckeyeRedleg's Avatar
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    Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

    Nice story on the Reds from the Columbus Dispatch this morning.

    Reds try to draw kids into baseball
    13 area diamonds being refurbished by big-league team
    Saturday, January 26, 2008 3:13 AM

    By Mark Ferenchik

    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH


    The day was more suited for swatting pucks than fastballs, but Clayton Hicks was more than happy to welcome a shot of money from the Cincinnati Reds to rebuild four of his Driving Park neighborhood's baseball fields.

    "We have a lot of kids in the neighborhood who don't have much of anything," said Hicks, an optometrist whose office has been in the neighborhood for 30 years. "It's a boost to our community."

    The Cincinnati Reds Community Fund, working with the city of Columbus, is spending $50,000 to help renovate 13 ball fields: four at Driving Park, four at Woodward Park on the North Side and five at Westgate Park on the Hilltop.

    The improvements include clay for the diamonds as well as new benches and signs, said recreation and parks director Alan McKnight.

    The goal goes beyond the physical improvements. The city also hopes the new fields will bring more kids to the game.

    Stories that youth baseball is struggling in inner-city neighborhoods aren't new. Black youngsters have fewer black ballplayers to emulate, while basketball and football continue to be more attractive to many.

    But baseball was attractive to Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips. The 26-year-old Phillips, who grew up in Georgia, said he became a fan as a kid when his dad took him to an Atlanta Braves game and he watched the play of Reds star Barry Larkin.

    "Watching this guy play shortstop really opened my eyes," said Phillips, who was among a Reds caravan that traveled to Driving Park yesterday for a ceremonial groundbreaking, and who continues to sponsor youth baseball in Georgia.

    The 65-year-old Hicks remembers watching the Indianapolis Clowns of the old Negro Leagues at Red Bird Stadium, now Cooper Stadium.

    But today, urban youths follow other sports or are sucked into video games. That's clear to many city coaches.

    "I was watching 10- and 11-year-old kids throwing a baseball for the first time. They were so disconnected from America's national pastime," said Jon Beard, commissioner of the Driving Park Youth Baseball League.

    Beard, who grew up playing baseball in Cleveland, hopes to boost the number of kids participating this year from about 126 to 220 through intense recruiting at nearby schools.

    For Beard, baseball is also a teacher of deferred gratification, of patience, of strategy.

    The donation also made it clear that the Reds want to better position themselves in a market they dominated during the Big Red Machine years of the 1970s but now share with the Cleveland Indians.

    "This was as important of a market as there was," long-time Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman said.

    The bottom line, as always, is that the Reds need to play winning baseball to win fans, he said.

    http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live...V.html?sid=101

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

    "This was as important of a market as there was," long-time Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman said.

    The bottom line, as always, is that the Reds need to play winning baseball to win fans, he said.
    Having Columbus as the AAA affiliate would help establish some dominance over the Indians, too. I hope the rumor we've heard of that happening comes true.
    /r/reds

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    Re: Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted View Post
    Having Columbus as the AAA affiliate would help establish some dominance over the Indians, too. I hope the rumor we've heard of that happening comes true.
    then you lose Louisville. that wouldn't be good.
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    Re: Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

    It would be awful, because we'd most likely lose it to an NL team, one of those teams we actually play with all year.
    Go Gators!

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    Re: Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

    Quote Originally Posted by Jpup View Post
    then you lose Louisville. that wouldn't be good.
    Who are they going to lose Louisville to? St. Louis seems content with Memphis, so Louisville would probably affiliate with a more distant team. The problem with Cincinnati is that it has 3 cities with large populations and AAA ballclubs within a 2 hour drive. I don't know about Louisville's growth, but Columbus has had incredible growth and lies in between Cincinnati and Cleveland, which puts the city "in play" for fan interest between the Reds and Indians. Some in Louisville could turn to the Cards, but with Cincinnati being half the distance, I would suspect many would remain Reds fans unless the Cards decide to leave Memphis and return to Louisville. The combination of a growing city and competition from other MLB markets makes Columbus an ideal target for Cincinnati to focus its efforts in. That may mean ditching a good relationship with Louisville. Stinks, but that's business, just like the Reds potentially moving to AZ for Spring Training.
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    Re: Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

    Columbus is pretty indicative of the short sightedness of the Schott administration. That we walked away from our large regional markets right as the Indians were becoming good was catastrophic. In order to play with the big boys and not be a "small market" team, we need Columbus, Indianapolis and Louisville. We really ought to continue to see that large portions of both West Virginia and Tennessee stay in Reds country.
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    Re: Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted View Post
    Having Columbus as the AAA affiliate would help establish some dominance over the Indians, too. I hope the rumor we've heard of that happening comes true.
    The Reds have a Player Development Contract with Louisville that doesn't expire untill after the 2010 season. The Clippers PDC with the Nationals expires after the '08 season.
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    Re: Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted View Post
    Having Columbus as the AAA affiliate would help establish some dominance over the Indians, too. I hope the rumor we've heard of that happening comes true.
    The Reds owned the Columbus franchise way back in the 20's they sold it to a guy who almost lost it during the depression, Larry McPhail got his start in the game by making Columbus a major AAA market... something about night games IIRC.

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    Re: Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Nd2 View Post
    The Reds have a Player Development Contract with Louisville that doesn't expire untill after the 2010 season. The Clippers PDC with the Nationals expires after the '08 season.
    For those reasons and others, it looks like the Indians are more likely to move their AAA franchise to Columbus than the Reds, according to the Indians beat writer at MLB.com.

    Columbus is in the process of building a brand new baseball stadium in the heart of the arena district, set to open in 2009. The Nationals call Columbus their Triple-A home through the end of '08. What are the chances the Indians would want to move from Buffalo to Columbus in '09?
    -- Eric K., Columbus, Ohio

    This issue has come up from about a dozen people in recent weeks, so let's address it. Basically, a move to Columbus makes sense. Perhaps even too much sense for it not to happen. The Indians' contract with Buffalo is up after this year, the Nats' contract with Columbus is up after this year and the intrastate rival Reds have no interest in moving their Triple-A operation out of Louisville.


    Tapping into the Columbus market could be a tremendous benefit to the Indians. If the good people of Columbus had a more vested interest in the Tribe's farm system, they might be more inclined to make the 140-mile drive north to Progressive Field than the 100-mile trek to Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.


    All this being said, no one with the Indians has confirmed that a move is, indeed, happening. The Tribe has a great relationship with Buffalo. It's a Triple-A marriage that's gone very well, and, of course, there is some benefit to having a presence in western New York. And while a move to Columbus seems to make sense, plenty of things in life that appear to make sense don't actually happen. So stay tuned.
    /r/reds

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    Re: Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

    http://dispatch.com/live/content/spo...s.html?sid=101

    Clippers will be Indians' triple-A team, source says
    Thursday, September 18, 2008 10:23 AM

    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
    The Columbus Clippers have signed a four-year deal with the Cleveland Indians to be the Tribe's top minor-league affiliate, a source told The Dispatch today.

    It was widely speculated that the Clippers would sign with Cleveland to be the parent club when Columbus opens the 2009 season in Huntington Park in the Arena District.

    The Clippers had spent the past two seasons as an affiliate of the Washington Nationals but allowed that agreement to expire this summer. The Indians, whose Class AA affiliate is in Akron, had based their triple-A franchise in Buffalo, N.Y., since the 1995 season.
    /r/reds

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    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

    Reds screwed the pooch yet again. No offense to Louisville but what a horribly wasted opportunity.

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    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted View Post
    Having Columbus as the AAA affiliate would help establish some dominance over the Indians, too. I hope the rumor we've heard of that happening comes true.

    I think Cleveland has already grabbed Columbus as an affiliate. The Reds have pretty much neglected Columbus as a market. We get Indians games on the CW for free. No Reds games. We occasionally get a radio ad about the Reds, but that's about it. It's no wonder that most of the baseball fans here are Cleveland fans now.

    Frankly, given the teams' long run of sub-mediocrity and poor marketing, they've pretty much lost an entire generation of new fans. I can understand why Cast is so desperate to win now. Allen and Lindner let the fan base erode. Cast has a big job to win them back (if that's even possible).

    EDIT: sorry, I didn't realize this thread was so old.
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    Re: Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    I think Cleveland has already grabbed Columbus as an affiliate. The Reds have pretty much neglected Columbus as a market. We get Indians games on the CW for free. No Reds games. We occasionally get a radio ad about the Reds, but that's about it. It's no wonder that most of the baseball fans here are Cleveland fans now.

    Frankly, given the teams' long run of sub-mediocrity and poor marketing, they've pretty much lost an entire generation of new fans. I can understand why Cast is so desperate to win now. Allen and Lindner let the fan base erode. Cast has a big job to win them back (if that's even possible).

    EDIT: sorry, I didn't realize this thread was so old.
    I think you're right Redread, it is partly a marketing issue. But having lived in Columbus for five years it seems to me the majority of those living there will be fans of whichever team is having the better season. When I lived there, if the Reds or Bengals were playing well, there were loads of Cincinnati colors in Columbus and when the Browns and Indians were having good seasons, Cleveland fans came out of the woodwork. And for the past ten years we know the direction the Reds and Indians have gone, hence the current Cleveland dominated capital city..
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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

    Quote Originally Posted by smith288 View Post
    Reds screwed the pooch yet again. No offense to Louisville but what a horribly wasted opportunity.

    Is there a right call here? You go to Columbus and possibly try to bring them back and you leave Louisville up for grabs.

    I think Reds Freak has a point. They are going to root for whoever is the better team. Over the past decade that team has been CLE.
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    Re: Reds trying to earn back Columbus while bringing baseball back to the inner city

    Meanwhile, Jim Bowden is in Syracuse today to discuss moving the Nationals AAA team here. Anything you want me to ask him if I see him?


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