Some of my Texas Panhandle peeps perhaps thought I popped off to vigorously in cheering the demolition of Potter County Memorial Stadium.
If so, allow me to explain.
I admit to not having any of the memories of spending evenings at the rotten old ballpark watching teams named the Gold Sox and the Dillas play hardball. I attended a couple of events at the place but found it to be unsuitable for virtually any sort of public activity, given the deplorable condition of amenities such as, oh, restrooms and the like.
So, while visiting Amarillo the other day I took a moment to travel to the Tri-State Fairgrounds to see the rubble that is what is left of the stadium. I cheered its demise.
Then a friend of mine reminded me via social media that Amarillo voters had the good sense to endorse a municipal referendum to build the downtown stadium now called Hodgetown. It is a shiny venue, a state-of-the-art place to watch the Amarillo Sod Poodles play under the guidance of a Major League Baseball franchise.
The Sod Poodles opened the ballpark by winning the Texas League championship in their initial season.
Fans are continuing to pack the place. I suspect there will be plenty of new memories to be built over time as the Sod Poodles continue to enjoy successful seasons. They will welcome players who eventually will gravitate to the Big Leagues and, who knows, possibly craft Hall of Fame careers the way, say, the late Tony Gwinn did when he stopped briefly in Amarillo to play for the Gold Sox.
Therefore, I don’t think I popped off when I bid a heartfelt farewell to a rathole dump. I’m betting the best is yet to come for Amarillo.