On January 9, 1939, Larry Gilbert, who will be leaving the next day with his wife and youngest son Tookie for Nashville to take over his new duties as manager of the Vols, is given a going-away party at his home in New Orleans. Over 100 family member and friends visited and presented the Gilberts with a variety of gifts.
The Gilberts made a stop in Memphis for one night’s stay before completing their journey to Nashville.
More than 250 people attended a “Welcome Larry Gilbert” dinner on January 24 held by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, attended by Brooklyn Dodgers general manager, Larry MacPhail, who was keynote speaker.
Along with the Gilbert family, including Mrs. Gilbert’s mother, Mrs. Charles Mader, other dignitaries included toastmaster Jack Whaley, Jr., and pro players Red Lucas, Clydell Castleman, Jim Turner, Johnny Gill, Harley Boss, Clyde McCullough, Shaky Cain, Dick Luckey, Bill Gould, , Larry Merville, George Kirsch, and Jay Partridge.
Gibert, who was hired to replace the departing Chuck Dressen, addressed the crowd with no promise for a pennant-winning season.
“I’m not guaranteeing a pennant,” the Vol manager stated, as reported by Nashville Tennessean sportswriter, Raymond Johnson. “We won pennants at New Orleans in 1926 and 1927 and I thought we were certain to win in 1928.”
“All I can promise the fans is a good, hustling club that will be tring at all times.”
Nashville owner Fay Murray and Old Timers president Harry “Warhorse” Rogers also attended, and all were treated to music by the Tennessee A & I singers.