Baseball fans in Virginia’s capital city were saddened and shocked in the fall of 2008 when their longtime team, the Triple-A Richmond Braves, citing the city’s failure to finally replace the aging Diamond, left town after more than 40 years for suburban Atlanta. But the void in the Capital City was not there for long, as the Connecticut Defenders, from the Double-A Eastern League, relocated south, and after a Name-the-Team Contest, the Richmond Flying Squirrels were born, playing their first game in 2010.
In that time, the Flying Squirrels have had some amazing success. Giants stalwarts Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, and Joe Panik played in Richmond on their way to San Francisco. In 5 years in Richmond, the Flying Squirrels have played in 2 EL championship series, losing to New Hampshire in 2011 and are playing in the 2014 finals against Binghamton.
Despite the fact that Richmond has made no progress towards a new stadium, promised to the relocating team in 2010, the Giants have signed a 2-year extension with the Squirrels, to run through the 2016 season.