Our story so far … On August 2, 1884, after an atrocious 12-51 record, the Washington Nationals of the American Association folded mid-season. The Richmond Virginians, playing in the lesser Eastern League, were tapped to complete the remaining games on Washington’s schedule. Those games represent the only major league games in Richmond baseball history.
If you’re going to picture Richmond, Virginia’s history of major league baseball – 71 days and 46 games in 1884 – you’re going to have to use your imagination.
They played at Virginia Ball-Park.
And, the outfield – rocky and uneven, but wider and deeper than most outfields – was over here, more or less …
… where the controversial statue of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart stands today on Richmond’s Monument Avenue.
And, the front gate, home plate, and wooden grandstand where the brass band would play were over here …
… where the even more controversial statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee now stands just a few blocks away.
That’s Richmond, Virginia in a nutshell. Its history is a wonderful pastoral pastime and its history is a conflicted and ugly war. And, sometimes they converge.
Like they did in 1884. Continue reading