On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to visit Greeneville, TN, the home of Cincinnati’s newest minor league franchise, the Greeneville Reds. To say I was impressed would be an understatement.

Greeneville plays on the campus of Tusculum University, a scenic locale just over an hour away from Knoxville, TN. The stadium is called Pioneer Park, and it’s the jewel of the Appalachian League,* by far the nicest stadium in the league, and the Greeneville Reds have been enthusiastic about making the gameday experience a great one. The club is managed by the same outfit that controls the Johnson City Cardinals — also in the Appalachian League — and the Double-A Tennessee Smokies, a Cubs affiliate. The game I attended was the second of the season, and it ended in an 11-0 loss.

*The Appalachian League — a rookie league — has been in operation since 1911; the Reds once had a team in the league, based in Princeton, WV, but Cincinnati hasn’t been affiliated with the league in 22 years.

While the play on the field, in Greeneville’s second game as a Reds affiliate, was pretty poor, my experience was fantastic. Justin Rocke, the play by play voice of the club, greeted me when I arrived, and I spent part of the time in the press box. Much of the game, however, I spent wandering the stadium, checking out the experience from different angles. I came away very impressed. Ballpark operations were top-notch, and the fans were enthusiastic and into the game. Tip of the cap to the guys from Abingdon, VA, who stopped me and had some nice things to say about Redleg Nation.

I posted some pictures over at Instagram — and if you don’t follow us on Instagram, you should — and I’ll post some more photos below, along with some video I took at the game. I’ll have more to say about Greenville soon, and I look forward to returning in the near future.

Click on photos to see larger version.

(Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

(Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

Jonathan Willems, Juan Martinez. (Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

Cash Case. (Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

Juan Martinez, unknown, Reniel Ozuna. (Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

(Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

Greenville shortstop Miguel Hernandez stands on third base, watching Pirates top prospect Shane Baz. (Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

Greeneville manager Travis “Gookie” Dawkins. (Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

Pitcher Doug Norman likes to eat towels between innings. (Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

Miguel Hernandez. (Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

Jonathan Willems. (Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

Max Wotell joined on the mound by catcher Hunter Oliver and pitching coach Chad Cordero. (Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

Ricky Karcher delivers a fastball. (Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

(Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

Second baseman Jonathan Willems. (Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

Catcher Hunter Oliver. (Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

Reniel Ozuna checks his swing. (Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

Shortstop Miguel Hernandez. (Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

(Photo: Chad Dotson/Redleg Nation)

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 12 Comments

  1. This reminds me of my first exposure to pro ball. It was the old NY-Penn league and the Elmira (NY) Pioneer Red Sox. I actually saw Jackie Gutierez play and noted that he later got a shot with the big club.

    Color me jealous, Chad …

  2. A guy named Cash Case just has to make it to the Bigs!

  3. Sounds like a great day Chad. Since the Reds switched AA affiliation from Chattanooga to Pensacola, there’s no minor league Reds team anywhere remotely close to Atlanta. But this looks terrific and well worth a trip. Thanks for this update!

  4. Nice! I’m heading to Burlington next month to see the G-Reds. Scored three seats behind their dugout.

  5. Thanks Chad! I enjoyed the pictures and the comments.

  6. It looks like a very nice small town stadium. I hope to make it there once this year. If not will try to see them vs. Bluefield (Jays) or Princeton (Rays).

  7. I live in Greeneville about a 17 min drive from there (I think). I’m hoping to make it to a game one of these months or years but money’s REAL tight right now.

    • You live in Greeneville? I wish you had been able to drop by to say hello.

      • Wished I could’ve come by. Several factors were at play though. I’ve been very busy lately and it’s exhausting every ounce of my energy. Plus there are transportation and money issues. So, you can see a lot of factors against me. Maybe one of these days though.

  8. 👍

  9. Thanks, Chad and nice report! And how about those uni’s and logo!? That’s a stocking-stuffer for a few folks I know.

  10. I really thought someone would have something to say about my previous comment/revelation.😉

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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