If you think what is happening to Ray Winder Field right now as its remaining seats are ripped from the earth and handed to wayward collectors as it is prepared for imminent demolition, what will happen to that storied piece of land that was once graced with the likes of Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, and Ted Williams plus a parade of legendary talent on the way to making a name in Major League Baseball is even worse.
It is going to become... a parking lot.
One of the reasons I started this blog is because I felt like the entire community was neglecting what was a real jewel on the south side of Hillcrest -- the Arkansas Travelers franchise and the sparsely attended Ray Winder Field.
That neglect extended to City Hall, where no one seemed to understand the value of such an historic landmark or ever once thought maybe it was worthy of some historic preservation efforts that might include financial assistance.
And though management continually slapped a new paint job here and there and occasionally installed some new rows of uncomfortable seats, I always wondered where exactly all the profits from that operation were going. So the neglect might also apply within, but that's another story.
With a coordinated renovation plan -- mixed with some tax money and concern from the mysterious Travelers board of directors -- we might still have our Wrigley Field.
But like Ray Winder Field, that's history. We have a magnificent replacement, at least.
As Ray Winder Field's funeral procession nears and the last items from its will are dispersed, we must once again reflect on what is happening there now.
Rather than give the land to the Little Rock Zoo, where at least Ray Winder Field's history could have been somewhat preserved with a home-plate marker and possibly many other historic tributes -- in what could have actually been a draw to the zoo for local baseball fans wanting to pay tribute -- it will become yet another parking lot for the ever-increasing UAMS dynasty conquering all around it.
Why even bother with a redevelopment plan for Little Rock's largest urban park when a crucial piece is just going to be handed over to the mammoth hospital campus already supported by taxpayer dollars just to pave over the grass that has played host to the best baseball games the state has ever seen?
RIP, Ray Winder Field. We will always have Fernando Valenzuela night.
-- Travelerocity reporter