Battle over baseball continues as group comes out to protest - KCTV5

Battle over baseball in Shockoe continues as group comes out to protest

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

The rain did not stop a concerned group of citizens from coming out Sunday to express their feelings about the possibility of a new baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom.

Helene Ruiz organized the protest and says it is about holding onto a history that dates back more than 200 years.

"Why do you want to put a minor league baseball stadium here?  I don't see it being economically better for the community. I see it as a disaster," said Ruiz.

Ruiz stumbled across the former Lumpkin Jail site and slave burial grounds not long ago.  After hearing about the proposed stadium, Ruiz and others decided to use art and poetry to show the community that they are against the change. 

Ruiz says building the stadium in that location is a slap in the face to the slaves buried on the site.

"This further disrespects their spirits. They can't get up and speak and they never had an opportunity to speak. Now, I think it's our place to speak for them and be a voice," Ruiz said.

Hillary Bleckley lives in Church Hill and wants to see baseball come to the Bottom.  Like many others in the neighborhood, she and her husband are proud supporters of the movement and do not believe history will be destroyed.

"It's beyond just a ballpark. To us it's really allowing this neighborhood to continue to thrive, continue to flourish and we are just excited to be in support of something really good for our city," Bleckley said.

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