The Huntsville Stars have played in the Southern League since 1985, but they are not going to be celebrating a happy 30th anniversary next year. The franchise has been sold to a group of investors who will move it to Biloxi, Mississippi. Originally scheduled to reach Biloxi in time to open the 2015 season, the team may remain in Huntsville or play a total road schedule as the new Biloxi stadium has yet to begin construction. Either way, baseball's days in Huntsville are coming to an end.
When I used to live in Japan, these are the sort of events I would watch wistfully from afar; it was never feasible to race across the world to see a soon-to-be-abandoned minor league ballpark. Now that I am living in the US though, and working as well, I can take a trip to witness what might be the final weekend in Huntsville Stars history.
With my new job, an extended trip isn't possible, so I am limited to the Labor Day weekend, when two other teams in the league are home in Montgomery and Birmingham. I found a remarkably cheap sale on flights to Atlanta through Southwest Airlines (never flown them before either), so I'm heading to the Deep South to close out the minor league baseball season.
The full schedule is short and sweet, but that suits Alabama quite nicely, at least according to Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Fri Aug 29 Jackson Generals at Montgomery Biscuits 7:05 Sat Aug 30 Jackson Generals at Montgomery Biscuits 2:05 Sat Aug 30 Pensacola Blue Wahoos at Birmingham Barons 6:30 Sun Aug 31 Mississippi Braves at Huntsville Stars 4:00
Alabama is also one of the states in which I have yet to see a sporting event. After this trip, only 6 will remain (Alaska, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Wyoming). I plan to visit all those states in 2015 to complete yet another meaningless quest. As always, check back regularly for updates.