Negro League

Nashville Elite Giants

Tom Wilson, team owner of the Nashville Elite Giants

The Nashville Elite Giants were owned by Tom Wilson and were champions of the Negro Southern League  in 1921, 1922, 1929, and 1931. The team played at Sulphur Dell until Wilson built a ballpark in the Trimble Bottom area of Nashville.


Tom Wilson Park hosted Negro League games and was used as an event venue by Whites and Blacks. Wilson demolished the park and built the Paradise Ballroom in its place. 

Nashville Black Vols

Jim Gilliam, who began his professional baseball career with the Nashville Black Vols

In 1946, at the age of 17, Jim "Junior" Gilliam signed to play third base for the Nashville Black Vols. The team was owned by Dr. R. B. Jackson, and was affiliated with the Negro League Baltimore Elite Giants .


Jacksons's club was a member of the Negro Southern League, and at season's end Gilliam joined teammates Frank Russell, Edward Derricks, and Nathan Owens on the leagues' All-Star team.

Nashville Cubs

The Nashville Cubs played in the Negro Southern League in 1946 through 1949

The Black Vols became the Cubs in 1946, although the two names are used interchangeably throughout the season. The relationship as a minor league team for the Baltimore Elite Giants continued.


Playing in the Negro Southern League, the team's roster included Nashville's Jim Zapp as a third baseman and left fielder, pitcher Bill Greason, and first baseman Clinton "Butch" McCord.

Nashville Stars

Nashville Stars were members of the Negro Southern League in 1950-1951

The Nashville Stars took on a truncated season schedule in 1950 when the club was often referred to as Cubs and Giants, and in 1951 the team did not last long as a member of the Negro Southern League.


The team included  Kelly Searcy, Doc Dennis, Jim Zapp and Frank Russell as team members. By this time the Negro Leagues were dying a slow death, and few teams could meet their payroll or pay traveling expenses.

Nashville Capital City League

The Capital City League was an amateur league for local Black players

The Capital CIty League was organized in 1907 by J. W. White, C. B. Reaves, and W. G. Sublett for local Black players.


The Nashville Standard Giants club was a member of this league and  a forerunner to the professional Nashville Elite Giants. Other teams included the Black Sox, Southern Stars, National Baptist, Athletics, Baptist Hill Swifts, and Eclipse.