Approximately 30 years ago, as the mother of a young son, I became aware of his intense interest in baseball and made the decision to begin taking him to Bristol baseball games in the summer months. At that time, the farm team was owned by the Detroit Tigers, followed by the Chicago White Sox and now the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Quite honestly, I did not initially look forward to the games and took a book to read while he had fun at the games. However, by the third season, I too was hooked. I began to learn the mechanics of baseball, enjoyed the very nice fans I met and appreciated the efforts of the Bristol baseball board to make the evening’s fun and a safe place to bring children.

Now, these many years later, I am a grandmother, and my grandchildren, as well as my adult son and I, love Bristol baseball. Some of my best friends are the ones I have made at baseball games through the years — and most of them are now grandparents who enjoy treating their grandchildren to the joys of baseball games.

While we have been very appreciative to have the use of the field owned by the city of Bristol, Virginia — it is now time to have our own Bristol baseball stadium for all to enjoy. Numerous visitors come to games from other towns and cities, and we are grateful to also meet the families of the young men wearing the team uniforms. The disrepair of the current facility is definitely not a “drawing card” for a return visit. Also, major league baseball has standards for safety, etc., that we are not currently able to fully implement.

I believe that a new and up-to-date baseball stadium will greatly enhance Bristol for our citizens, the players and for visitors.

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