May 25, 2012
I may arrive at Parkview High School on Saturday afternoon and be surprised.
Maybe every spectator will be able to see the field, at least a portion of it. Maybe fans won't be stacked so thick in the Panthers' cozy park that viewing the game won't be an issue.
But I'm banking on otherwise.
High school baseball in Georgia has gotten so big, particularly here in Gwinnett, that big-time showcase games like Saturday's Class AAAAA final between Parkview and Brookwood have outgrown most high school baseball stadiums.
It would be nice to see the baseball finals to get the same treatment as other sports who have showcase finales — football in the Georgia Dome, basketball/wrestling in the Arena at Gwinnett Center/Macon Centreplex, etc. Even the soccer state finals will be played next year at top-notch venues at Kennesaw State and at the Atlanta Silverbacks stadium.
Coolray Field, home of the Gwinnett Braves, would be an ideal venue for the championships, as would any number of Georgia college stadiums. Coolray is bigger and more comfortable, but it isn't so big that it would seem cavernous. My guess is that Brookwood and Parkview fans would have filled that place up this year.
Here's a link to a column I wrote on the subject last year:
What are your thoughts on the finals in baseball? High school fields or a neutral site like Coolray?