Letter: Please keep Tourists baseball in Asheville!

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I grew up in a baseball family. My father was a minor league pitcher and one of my treasured mementos is a photograph of him sitting in the dugout talking to Babe Ruth. Baseball was always in the background on TV in my youth.

But I didn’t really become a serious fan until I was an adult when when my husband, Paul, and I lived in Minnesota and cheered the Minnesota Twins to two World Series championships. When we moved to Asheville 18 years ago, we began going to see the Asheville Tourists at McCormick Field. We were amazed to learn about the stadium’s storied history. It opened in 1924! Ty Cobb and Jackie Robinson played there as did so many other amazing baseball players before hopefully going to The Show.

We all stop what we are doing, put our hands on our hearts and sing the national anthem before the game begins. And, of course, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh inning stretch. Tourists games are simply a great family activity! There is something for the kids between almost every inning. Baseball and sports in general are among the few things we can all enjoy without any political divides. That’s increasingly tough to find these days.

After the planes hit the World Trade Center towers on 9/11, the world shut down, and it wasn’t until baseball resumed a few weeks later that we began to feel a glimmer of hope that things would be all right again.

That’s what I’m getting at. McCormick Field is an integral part of Asheville history and tradition.

Yes, tradition. You can’t put a price on that. And yet there are those who are trying to do just that.

We haven’t seen much response in the paper about the stadium, but it’s probably because it was announced around election time and right before the holidays. But we assure you, come spring we are going to want to see baseball in Asheville again.

I can’t even get my head around $30 million or how we can find a way to get it, but I’m pretty sure there’s enough people with that kind of money to preserve our honored tradition in our wonderful city!

Play ball!

— Trish Howey


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4 thoughts on “Letter: Please keep Tourists baseball in Asheville!

  1. indy499

    Trish, I’m all for cobbling together a plan to get this done. Unfortunately, most suggestions involve the city paying a big piece of the cost. City taxpayers are tired of paying for things used by many who have no financial skin in the game.

  2. Jt

    What a romanticized take on this blatant effort to extort tax dollars for private entertainment. Pony up your own bucks and leave tax money for important infrastructure that benefits everyone. That little crisis called WATER comes to mind.

    • HRV

      What an incredibly jaded, short-sighted, and unnecessarily rude response. I’m curious why you think this is either-or. Why can’t the stadium be “infrastructure that benefits everyone?” Do you use this much venom to oppose tax dollars for subsidizing hotels and luxury apartment development?

  3. MV

    Okay, Trish, but how about if the people who go to the games pay for all the upgrades just as local activists pay the legal fees when trying to save their neighborhoods from wealthy white extractive developers who are very much like the DeWines?

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