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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Minor League Moves: Farewell to Oneonta

When I convinced my wife back in August to make the Thursday night trip down the Interstate to Oneonta, NY, I knew there was a chance the Tigers' short-season team might move. But everything said that chance would be after 2010.

We had a great visit. Built in 1940, the Tigers' home Damaschke Field, was your quintessential old ballpark, bleachers and very few box seats. We had box seats just down from the Tigers' dugout, with players and coaches walking back and forth right in front of us. Tigers' hitting coach Luis Quinones even sampled some of our neighbors popcorn and we offered him some of our ice cream. He declined.

We were glad we made the trip. Now I'm really glad we did. It was announced today that the Oneonta Tigers have moved to Norwich, Conn., completing the minor league domino effect that began in 2008 with the Braves moving their AAA team from Richmond. Norwich lost the Defenders to Richmond in September, now Oneonta the closest pro-city to Cooperstown, has lost its team to Norwich.

When we heard the Defenders had moved to Virginia, I was upset because, had I known they were leaving, I would have targeted them for a final game in 2009. Of course, that might have left Oneonta for 2010.

Now we're glad we didn't. We got to see one of the final games at a nice old ballpark and we got to offer a former major leaguer some ice cream.

To read the full MiLB story on the move, click here:

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