A Baseball Trip to the Appalachian League?
If you are a baseball fan who is taking a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park area, you may want to take a look at several minor league teams in northeast Tennessee in the rookie Appalachian League as well as the Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs' affiliate) of the Class AA Southern League.
The Appalachian League, which has been around since the 1930s, currently features 10 teams, including four in Tennessee (the Kingsport Mets, Johnson City Cardinals, Elizabethton Twins and Greeneville Astros) and one on the Tennessee/Virgina border (Bristol Pirates). The league also has several outstanding Top 20 prospects from the major league teams. For instance, the Princeton Rays from West Virginia has three of Tampa Bay's Top 20 (actually 15) prospects, according to TB's official Web site.
The Appalachian League, by the way, once had Kentucky clubs in Harlan, Middlesboro, Paintsville and Pikeville many years ago. Below are several Appalachian League photos of the Princeton Rays-at-Bristol Pirates matchup on July 28 as well as the Greeneville Astros.
More information about the Appalachian League and its teams can be found at http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=l120. A Web site link for the Tennessee Smokies is also available on the front page.
July 29, 2014
Rays-Pirates Photos by Jamie H. Vaught
Greeneville Astros Photos by Ray Reynolds