MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The city of Macon is prepared to spend over $2 million dollars to allow a Coastal Plains bat league team to start play here soon.
I wish I wasn’t skeptical, but I am. Maybe it’s the angst I still have about the stupidity of former city leaders allowing the Macon Braves to walk to Rome, Georgia 15 years ago. I still can’t believe the city of Macon had a Braves affiliate, and morons who ran this city didn’t even care if they left. Well, they did leave – and we’ve been trying to put lipstick on a pig ever since.
That’s exactly what they will try to do to fix Luther Williams Field. I’m all for nostalgia, but can $2.5 million even touch Luther Williams Field? It’s a dump. Sure, there’s history there. But there’s also filth that has only been barely covered up with movie shoots and TV shows. That’s probably all Luther Williams is still good for – movies and TV shows.
Will people go see baseball – in its purest form – a wood bat league team – in an old stadium? The hope is that downtown Macon is different now compared to a decade ago. There are more people downtown with the lofts and more businesses that it might bring more people to the stadium. Maybe that’s true, but the last time Macon had a team it was the Macon Music. The team did well, but the league was a bust. Is the Coastal Plains League good for the long-term, or is this just another short-term attempt to fix a mess that was created 15 years ago?
Maybe it would be better if the city spent $25 million on a brand new stadium and attracted an affiliated team – but if it did that, it better think of the people in Warner Robins – as that town is almost as big as Macon. The folks in Houston County love baseball, and they would be needed to support a team in Bibb County. Wouldn’t it be nice if the two cities, the two counties could work together to get a team and build a new stadium that would benefit both areas? Is that too much to ask – that Bibb County and Houston County work together on something for the betterment of all of Middle Georgia?
In the meantime, Macon will likely spend that money on Luther Williams Field and get the wood bat league team. But will it work for the long-term? We’ve had plenty of minor league teams that have come and gone, and it’ll probably happen again.
Luther Williams is just a movie set – not a legit ballpark that $2.5 million will save. I’m skeptical. I hope it does work, but again, I’m very skeptical.