Nashville's first professional team was organized in the fall of 1884, and was the foundation of the club that joined the newly-formed Southern League beginning play in 1885. Known as the Americans, the team played two seasons before becoming the Blues in 1887. The team folded in 1888, but when the league was resurrected in 1893 Nashville became the Tigers for two years and was known as the Seraphs in 1895.
The 1895 and 1896 teams were managed by George Stallings, who would become famous as the manager of Boston's "Miracle Braves" in 1914. The team came from last place in the mid-season to win the National League pennant by 10 1/2 games over the New York Giants. The Braves went on to sweep the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series.
The Southern Association was born in 1901 with eight teams, and Nashville's franchise remained a member until the league folded in 1961. Nashville's club took on the name Volunteers in 1908 and kept the name until the team went out of business in 1963 as a member of the South Atlantic League.
The Vols won pennants in 1901, 1902, 1908, 1916, 1940, 1943, 1948 and 1949. and eague playoffs in 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1949, 1950 and 1953. In the Dixie Playoffs, a championship series between Southern Association and Texas League champions, Nashville won titles in 1940, 1941, 1942 and 1949.
Nashville's most successful manager was Larry Gilbert who managed the club between 1939-1948. His all-tim record with the Vols was 818 wins and 660 losses.
Click below for a list of all Nashville Vols players:
With no league to play in 1897, Billy Works organized and managed in the short-lived Central League. Teams included Evansville, Washington (Indiana), Paducah, Cairo, and Terre Haute.
As the league was close to folding, Nashville's franchise was moved to Henderson, Kentucky. On the last day of the season, Henderson/Nashville was in first place with a 39-29 record.
Vanderbilt baseball coach Larry Schmittou formed an ownership group in 1977 to bring professional baseball back to Nashville in 1978. A new stadium was built on Chestnut Street and named Herschel Greer Stadium. The Nashville Sounds were born when an affiliation was formed with the Cincinnati Reds and their Double-AA Eastern League club was moved from Trois-Rivieres , Quebec and joined the Southern League.
The Sounds won their first championship the next season, and again in 1982. It remained a Double-AA team until 1985 when it moved up to Triple-AAA classification and joined the American Association. In 1998 when the American Association was disbanded. the Sounds moved to the Pacific Coast League where it won the league championship in 2005.
In 1993 and 1994 the Sounds shared Herschel Greer Stadium with the Nashville Xpress. The Double-AA club had lost its home when Charlotte moved up to Triple-AAA, and Larry Schmittou made it possible for the franchise to shift to Music City.
That made it possible for a professional game to be played nearly every day during the American Association and Southern League seasons. An affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, the club was managed by former major leauge player Phil Roof.
The Xpress hosted the Birmingham Barons on several occasions as NBA star Michael Jordan was attempting to become a major league star with the Chicago White Sox.