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Friday, April 24, 2009

20


That's me on the field of Lackawanna County Stadium the evening of April 26, 1989. Yes, do the math. Sunday is the 20th anniversary of the stadium's opening.

Remember, the Red Barons spent the first few weeks on the road because the stadium wasn't ready. The first game, on the road, was in Rochester. I was there that afternoon, and I remember how stunned I was at the condition of Silver Stadium. It didn't seem one step below the major leagues. It reminded me of Memorial Stadium in Scranton-- one of those places with a lot of exposed steel. You could see the guts of the ballpark. Below is a 1989 picture I found on a web site.

Two things jumped out at me here. Take a look at the press box. The pass I was given didn't say "media" or "press box." It said "roof pass."

The other thing that I really noticed on my first visit to a AAA ballpark was the advertising. It was everywhere. I don't think there was a blank area in the entire stadium. Signs all over the place, including going up some of the light poles.

Fast forward to 20 years and Lackawanna County Stadium. Guess what? Advertising is everywhere. Yes, there are bills to pay, but it cheapens the look.

Silver Stadium was torn down after the 1997 season. It was about sixty years old.

The bad economy has put talk of a new Lackawanna County Stadium on the back burner. The ballpark, other than the ads, looks okay to me, but there's more to be considered-- like the plumbing and the wiring. That stuff can get old, fast.

It seems that with a little TLC and common sense, there are many more years left in Lackawanna County Stadium.