Weather, wall postpone game

Storms damage minor league stadium

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Heavy thunderstorms rolling through the Augusta area knocked over the center-field wall at Lake Olmstead Stadium before Wednesday's scheduled Augusta GreenJackets game.

A section of the center-field wall at Lake Olmstead Stadium was blown down by heavy winds during an afternoon thunderstorm.   Billy Byler/Staff
Billy Byler/Staff
A section of the center-field wall at Lake Olmstead Stadium was blown down by heavy winds during an afternoon thunderstorm.

A 50-foot section of the 18-foot-high wall was toppled when strong winds hit the ballpark less than an hour before the scheduled 7:05 p.m. first pitch. The game was postponed and is tentatively scheduled to be made up as a doubleheader starting at 6:05 tonight.

GreenJackets general manager Nick Brown said heavy winds damaged tents in the concourse areas and a possible lightning strike to the roof of the first-base bleachers blew several flat screen televisions in the clubhouse. The worst damage was inflicted in center field.

"It was just one of those Southern afternoon thunderstorms," Brown said. "As a staff, we'll be tested over the next 24 hours."

Brown said his staff will work late into the night and early today to come up with at least a temporary replacement wall.

"The game plan is to at least get the lower wall fixed and ask for a variance (from the South Atlantic League) for the (lack of a) batters' eye," he said.

Tickets to Wednesday's game can be redeemed for admission to any remaining regular season home game.

The GreenJackets (10-9, 41-48 overall) would extend their winning streak to seven with a doubleheader sweep today. Hagerstown (12-7, 52-37) will try to keep pace near the top of the league's Northern Division standings.

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allhans
23618
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allhans 07/13/11 - 06:43 pm
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0
Heavy rain, lightning,

Heavy rain, lightning, thunder, winds, what a storm and it keeps right on a coming'.
We might float away before this is over. I live in Forest Hills and it is pouring.

Sorry about the stadium, at least it's not major damage and have to be replaced...

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 07/13/11 - 07:01 pm
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This massive damage to the

This massive damage to the current stadium makes an irrefutable case for the necessity of building a baseball stadium-plus downtown on the river.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 07/13/11 - 07:10 pm
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Yeah, we should totally build

Yeah, we should totally build a new stadium because a wall fell over.

Pu239
284
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Pu239 07/13/11 - 07:14 pm
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I bet the cost to replace
Unpublished

I bet the cost to replace that wall is $40M....(eyeroll)

Riverman1
83526
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Riverman1 07/13/11 - 07:23 pm
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There was a report that two

There was a report that two guys were messing with the wall as the storm approached. One was tall and bald, the other slim and wearing speedos.

TrulyWorried
14053
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TrulyWorried 07/13/11 - 07:49 pm
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And not ONE drop in South

And not ONE drop in South Richmond County!!

CorporalGripweed
0
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CorporalGripweed 07/13/11 - 08:17 pm
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It was pretty powerful where

It was pretty powerful where I live. Let's hope the rain is all we get from here on out.

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 07/13/11 - 08:31 pm
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super good one, riverman. i
Unpublished

super good one, riverman.
i cannot wait to see who they get to guesstimate repair costs.
and then who they hire as a consultant.
and the sealed bid that was way better.

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 07/13/11 - 08:32 pm
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TrulyWorried, don't know

TrulyWorried, don't know where in South Richmond County you live but I live in South Augusta and we got a good bit of rain!

Pu239
284
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Pu239 07/13/11 - 08:37 pm
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The repair to the center
Unpublished

The repair to the center field wall will bring over 200 new jobs to Lake Olmstead....film at Eleven

justthefacts
21699
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justthefacts 07/13/11 - 08:59 pm
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Proof that God wants a new

Proof that God wants a new stadium.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 07/13/11 - 09:20 pm
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Pu239 and (J)ustthefacts, You

Pu239 and (J)ustthefacts,

You two are too much.

Riverman1
83526
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Riverman1 07/13/11 - 09:29 pm
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Pu239 and Justthefacts, ditto

Pu239 and Justthefacts, ditto what Craig Spinks said. Funny stuff.

But if we only had a decent stadium....

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 07/13/11 - 10:10 pm
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Riverman...you are too funny.

Riverman...you are too funny. ;)

JohnnyChimp
0
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JohnnyChimp 07/14/11 - 09:15 am
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Love all the positivity on

Love all the positivity on this forum. Mr. Brown said HIS staff is going to be tested, not hired workers from the city. Thank the Lord no one was hurt by something else falling off an out of date stadium, is that what it will take for the citizens to realize a new stadium might be a good idea?

Lori Davis
918
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Lori Davis 07/14/11 - 09:15 am
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Lost shingles off my roof in

Lost shingles off my roof in the past two storms. Guess I need a new house.

TrukinRanger
1748
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TrukinRanger 07/14/11 - 09:51 am
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I heard Deke and Carl were
Unpublished

I heard Deke and Carl were seen out there pushing on the fence....

animate
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animate 07/14/11 - 09:54 am
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We already have a decent

We already have a decent stadium, if just a fraction of the money to build a new stadium was used for current stadium upgrades, we'd have a new stadium. Some speak as if we had a new stadium downtown, there's just no way a storm could damage it in any way. Don't buy into "if you build, they will come", that's Hollywood, not reality. And think of the people living in Harrisburg who regularly attend and don't have transportation to go downtown. It would top $100 million by the time the "new" stadium was complete, and still no parking.

Hoser
0
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Hoser 07/14/11 - 10:38 am
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What Lake Olmstead doesn't

What Lake Olmstead doesn't have is an air conditioned place to watch a game during the stifling summer heat. That's what I'd like to see in a new stadium. I would gladly pay, say $20, to sit it an air conditioned room at the ballpark than sit out in unrelenting sweltering heat and have sweat constantly pour down my back. I will gladly pay for a new stadium. What we can't do at Lake Olmstead is when we have to go to the concession stand, we cannot see any of the game while it's still in progress. Design the new stadium to where we can stand in line for a beer, soda, or popcorn and still be able to see the game. Incorporate an Augusta baseball Hall of Fame/Wall of Fame into the design.

Riverman1
83526
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Riverman1 07/14/11 - 10:54 am
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A glassed luxury box is

A glassed luxury box is incongruous with a minor league baseball game. The advantage of minor league ball is the proximity to the field and players with the feel of being at a ballgame. With glassed luxury boxes you are going to have little kids running up and putting their ice creamed hands and faces on the glass, laughing at those inside who think they are Donald Trump at Yankee Stadium. Silly.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 07/14/11 - 11:02 am
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This is for the group for

This is for the group for people who wants a new stadium so badly: What has been keeping all of you from starting a fundraising drive to raise the money from private donations for a new stadium. I mean really, this has been talked about for over 5 years now.. imagine how much money you guys could have raised by now? If it has so much widespread support, I imagine if you had started a campaign drive 5 years ago, you'd already be breaking ground on a new stadium. Why is it that the boosters of The Kroc center were able to raise tens of millions from private donations to make that project happen, with no money from local, state or federal taxes? So you see, if the community believes a project is worth it, they will put up the cash. But let the supporters of a stadium put up their own cash, instead of expecting it from all the taxpayers. Instead of waging a campaign of arrogance, you could have been using the last 5 years to build a private war chest to build your field of dreams.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 07/14/11 - 11:06 am
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well hoser, if there are

well hoser, if there are enough people willing to pay beaucoup bucks to sit in a royal glassed enclosed box to watch a A minor league ballgame away from the peasants, then I am sure Ripken baseball will see dollar signs and can easily construct such facilities at LOS and make a tidy profit. Why should taxpayers subsidize your exclusive sky boxes?

Hoser
0
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Hoser 07/14/11 - 12:48 pm
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Keep the kids out in the

Keep the kids out in the playpen. The new ballpark WILL happen. Nobody ever said you have to like it after all, right? LOS is just a bare bones, no frills facility that lacks the modern amenities being constructed elsewhere. What are the citizens of Augusta going to say when LOS finally does fall into disrepair and the Greenjackets move to another city who was willing to construct a new facility? I have been to other facilities across the country. I have seen what is possible here. Buuuuuuut I notice that many people here don't want to change the channel from yesterday. The cities that don't build a new facility lose their teams. What are you going to say to your children when the Greenjackets leave because the taxpayers of Augusta didn't want to build a new facility? It's called progress. If you don't want to progress and invest in the future, then the whole world will pass you by while you stay stuck in the past.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 07/14/11 - 01:21 pm
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Hoser, what you are

Hoser, what you are describing is extortion, and taxpayers are frankly getting fed up with it. We are in a new economic reality now, and the gravy train for sports teams who expect handout after handout from taxpayers is coming to an end. If you haven't noticed cities all over the country are in the red, and it is a struggle to even provide the most basic of city services. In Augusta, there is a long litany of capital improvement projects that take higher priority over a ballpark. And what about in 5 or 6 years when this new ballpark is not fancy enough, will the taxpayers be expected to dump another $10 million because the team threatens to leave? The fact is, the metro Augusta area is around 550,000 people, and that will always make it attractive to a minor league ball team. If not this ownership group, then another one will be more than happy to play in LOS. We are not talking about a stadium that is 80 years old. LOS is a mere 16 years old.. about the same age as Turner Field in Atlanta. Could it stand some upgrades? Sure. But again, I think that should be left up to team ownership. I mean how many other businesses have their main base of operations paid for in full by the taxpayers? LOS is paid for. Overall it is a more than adequate facility. If Ripken baseball wants to add some bells and whistles, they are certainly free to do so, but at some point, cities have to just say no to the "give me more, more, more."

SlapShot2
0
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SlapShot2 07/14/11 - 03:21 pm
0
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Hoser, dont listen to him and

Hoser, dont listen to him and I agree with you because it will happen. The same dozen people make up the negative comments here and they dont even know the facts. The make stuff up all the time and they are bitter about nearly everything.

Riverman1
83526
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Riverman1 07/14/11 - 04:16 pm
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I say they dress up

I say they dress up Countyman, Hoser and Austin in constumes looking like Deke, Cal and Clay Boardman and have them race around Lake Olmstead Stadium to spice up things during the 7th inning stretch.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 07/14/11 - 04:42 pm
0
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Slap, and the same three

Slap, and the same three think a stadium would be gods gift to downtown. I like our odds.

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 07/15/11 - 12:56 pm
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what are the facts, slapshot?
Unpublished

what are the facts, slapshot? how much is it gonna cost? how are we paying? bonds? what kind? what's the interest rate? where is the stadium gonna be? what is the investment split- how much do we pay and how much do they? what is the profits split? i'm surprised how many people are ready to buy for an out-of-town owner who has a highly-rated stadium here and threatens to leave if we don't buy him a new one even before they have any idea what it will cost. i'd love to sell you all a house and car.

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 07/15/11 - 12:57 pm
0
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riverman, did you see what
Unpublished

riverman, did you see what taylormade? http://mlb.jibjab.com/view/QrY8Qneq13Yp4LJN

Riverman1
83526
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Riverman1 07/15/11 - 01:29 pm
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BroadStNM, heh, heh...just

BroadStNM, heh, heh...just saw it. But they've changed the rules. It looks like they get as many strikes as they need. "Creative financing."

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