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The challenge at Wahconah: Bringing back baseball fans

Pittsfield SunsWith several teams operating out of Pittsfield’s historic Wahconah Park in past years, the big challenge for the management of the new Pittsfield Suns (summer collegiate; Futures League) will be reassuring jittery fans.

In the last decade we’ve seen a parade of independent and summer-collegiate teams march through the historic facility, where baseball has been played since 1892. None exactly inspired confidence, though Jim Bouton probably had the most intriguing plan for ballpark renovations and a variety of events.

We’re guessing the owners and operators of the current leaseholder, the Pittsfield Suns, will have the best shot at making baseball work at the old place. For starters, the team is owned by the Goldklang Group, which also owns a host of MiLB and indy teams — the Charleston RiverDogs (Low Class A; Sally League), Hudson Valley Renegades (short season A; NY-Penn League), Fort Myers Miracle (High Class A; Florida State League) and St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association). Sharp folks like Jeff Goldklang and Tyler Tumminia have helped set up the team, and there’s a stable front office in place.

Having a good operator at Wahconah Park is good for the game of baseball: classic venues should be filled with enthralled fans, happy kids and the crack of the bat. Otherwise, they’re just sad, empty buildings.

RELATED STORIES: New for 2012: Pittsfield Suns; FCBL expands to Pittsfield, Old Orchard Park, Wachusett; College tourney caps comeback for Old Orchard Beach ballparkOld Orchard Beach Ballpark opens for business; Rox, Capitales to play exhibitions at Old Orchard BallparkGood news! Old Orchard Beach Ballpark off Endangered ListPreservation of Maine Guides ballpark continues


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