Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Baseball at Fort Bragg

An artists rendering of the under-construction ballpark
in Fort Bragg where the Braves and Marlins are to play
on July 3.
Last November there was a brief political kefluffle over "paid patriotism," a Pentagon practice of paying pro sports teams to hold events honoring the military. The leading practitioner of it among MLB teams: the Atlanta Braves, who got $450,000 in 2012-15, according to a Senate report. (The Twins, whose pregame flag-raising ceremony draws frequent laudatory comment from visiting writers, got nothing.)

Interesting, therefore, that the Braves will be the "home team" on July 3 when they and the Miami Marlins play on a new field at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The field is being built at the Army base by MLB and the players union. After the game -- to be ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball game -- will be converted to a softball facility for the troops there.

Which is all well and good as a one-time thing. But I hope this doesn't become an annual event in which MLB and the MLBPA pay for a new field at one installation or another and a regular-season game is played there every July 4 weekend. They can build the yards, that's fine, but after this, let's skip the self-congratulatory wallowing. The gesture will be more meaningful if it's not such an obvious publicity stunt.


  1. A little ironic perhaps .,. does Ted Turner still own the Braves? His former wife, Jane Fonda (or are they still wedded?), was one of our Nation's protestors against out military, even to the extent of getting POW's beaten by North Vietnam guards.

  2. Turner ceased owning the Braves when he sold Turner Broadcasting to Time Warner. Various mergers, splits and sales later, the Braves are, I believe, now part of the Liberty Media conglomerate. Turner and Fonda divorced more than a decade ago.

  3. Really? You are begrudging MLB building a field for military? I say "do it" every year at every base. These are poorly paid families who put their lives on the line for us every day. We cannot do enough to say thanks. Liz Edwards. Proud mom of a patriot in the Air Force.