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Minor League Baseball ~ The Nashville Sounds
Those Were The Days!
“BLEACHER SEATS! GET YOUR BLEACHER SEATS HERE!” We’d always laugh when that guy started hawking those things. I don’t think we ever rented one of those seats that you put on the bleacher so you can sit more comfortably. This was in the early eighties and we were cheering on the Nashville Sounds, a minor league baseball team.
I have such fond memories of going to see the Sounds. I remember getting the little baseball helmets with ice cream in them, and buttered popcorn, peanuts, cotton candy, hot dogs...wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, baseball!
I love baseball. I can just sit and watch a game and I don’t care who is playing. Actually, I don’t have to watch it, I can just listen to it and I’m instantly in a good mood. Baseball puts me in a better place. A place of innocence. A place of no worries. A place in the past - the good ol’ days.
The year was 1885 and the Sounds were known as the Nashville Americans back then. Although the team had been around since 1860, 1885 was when they became part of the newly formed Southern League. The Nashville Americans remained the name until 1886 and then the name changed to the Blues.
The team was also known as the Tigers and Seraphs during those early years, but in 1901 the newly named Nashville Volunteers started playing in the Southern Association. The name and their affiliation with the league stuck for 61 years. The dissolution of the Southern Association in 1962 brought Nashville a year without baseball, and in 1963, the team played only one more year for the Southern Atlantic League and then disbanded.
Let's Play Some Ball!
After fifteen years, baseball was brought back to the people, but the former home of the Nashville Volunteers, Sulphur Dell, had been razed and made into a parking lot during the hiatus. A new name and a new ballpark was needed to bring in the fans so in 1978, the Nashville Sounds were born. Herschel Greer Stadium located near downtown Nashville was their new home as it remains today.
The Nashville Sounds of today are a Triple-A team and play in the Pacific Coast League. The major league team they are affiliated with are the Milwaukee Brewers. Over the years, the Sounds have been the farm team for the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, and Detroit Tigers.
Making More Memories
My fond memories come from the New York Yankees years. I still have merchandise such as pennants, pens, programs, cups, and the aforementioned helmets. I sure miss hearing the “BLEACHER SEAT” guy, sitting in seats that weren’t mine, and falling asleep on that long ride home, but I don’t miss the heat, the pushing and shoving, and long lines to the bathroom.
This summer, I plan on going to as many home games as possible. I need to hear the crowds and smell the popcorn. Get sticky cotton candy hands and yell at the umpire. Do the pee-pee dance while waiting in line at those old dimly lit bathrooms. I need to sit where I don’t belong and then claim innocence when I’m caught. To live and breathe baseball during the summer of 2012 is my new goal. Play ball!